March 24, 2016
CARLSBAD – March 24, 2016 – Even though he’s 41 years old doesn’t mean the world-famous middle-distance runner, Bernard Lagat, is ready to take it easy. The five-time world champion will be lacing up his shoes to compete in the Carlsbad 5000, billed as the “world’s fastest 5K”, next weekend in the beautiful California seaside town north of San Diego. Lagat, a Tucson, Arizona native owns a staggering 11 American records that range from the 1500m to the race distance he is competing in next weekend: the 5000.
“I’m excited to be coming back to Carlsbad and running the 5K again,” Lagat said. This year is a big year for me. Hopefully a successful race in Carlsbad will lead to my fifth trip to the Olympics this summer.”
This versatile runner who doesn’t seem to age like the rest of us, will be squaring off against some still American and international competition in Carlsbad. Expected to give Lagat a run for the money is defending champion Lawi Lalang of Kenya. The 24-year-old is an 8-time champion from the University of Arizona and a close friend and training partner of Lagat.
Top runners from the United States include Will Leer who finished 4th at Carlsbad back in 2013 when he ran 13:36. The 30-year-old Leer, who ran successfully at Pomona College, owns a 13.21.55 5000m PR that he ran on a track.
Kenya and the United States aside, there are also elite runners from other countries who will be toeing the line in the world’s fastest 5K most notably Andy Vernon of Great Britain who owns three European medals: one silver and two bronze. The super-fast Carlsbad course is especially memorable to the 30-year-old who set a PR of 13.40 there back in 2012. An Aussie will also be in the mix on Sunday as two-time Olympian Collis Birmingham looks to improve on his 5000m road PR that he set in Carlsbad back in 2009 when he finished in 13:27 for fifth place.
The Carlsbad 5000 is a signature event of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series. This year marks the 31st anniversary of this storied race, which as witnessed 16 world records, 8 U.S. records, as well as numerous age-group records along its scenic and lively waterfront course.
The race weekend kicks off with a Junior Carlsbad pre-registration party on Friday.On Saturday, the action begins when 1500 junior runners ages 12 and under will take part in one of the eleven age-group races. For the first time in 2016, Saturday’s events will include a new 1-mile race for adults featuring $3,000 in prize money. The culminating event in Carlsbad takes place that next day on Sunday when the starting gun for the famous 3.1-mile race sounds. The party doesn’t end with a finisher medal, however, as all runners over 21 years of age can step into a post-race beer garden for free suds from Pizza Port while enjoying live music and celebrating their accomplishments.
For more information, or to register for the event, visit Carlsbad5000.com.