- March 30, 2012
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Dan Cruz, 619-925-7671
Ethiopian Great Tirunesh Dibaba Leads Women’s Field at Carlsbad 5000
World-Renowned 5K Celebrates 27th Running this Sunday, April 1
Carlsbad, Calif. – March 30, 2012 – Reigning Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 meter gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba will return to the Carlsbad 5000 for the first time since 2005 when she equaled the world record at the ‘World’s Fastest 5k’. On Sunday, Dibaba will take another step in her bid to repeat as a double Olympic champion, leading a strong international women’s field at the 27th running of the Carlsbad 5000.
The 26-year-old Dibaba took home a bronze medal at the Olympics in the 5,000m in 2004, has won world championship gold in the 5,000m in 2003 and 2005, and also captured world championship gold in the 10,000m in 2005 and 2007. Off the track, she’s won five IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
This will be Dibaba’s fourth Carlsbad race, and like in most of her other competitions, she has had good success here. She made her Carlsbad debut in 2002 as a 16-year-old and finished an impressive second to Deena Kastor’s then world record of 14:54. A year later, she placed third when Berhane Adere equaled Kastor’s world mark. In 2005, Dibaba finally won at Carlsbad, breaking the tape in 14:51 and matching Paula Radcliffe’s then world road record.
Dibaba’s mark was the 15th world record broken or tied at Carlsbad since its inception in 1985. The total now is 16, including Ethiopian Meseret Defar’s current world record of 14:46 here in 2006, along with eight U.S. records, and numerous national and age-group marks, hence why Carlsbad is known as the “World’s Fastest 5K.” Defar established the current world mark of 14:46 in 2006 and Kastor set the U.S. mark of 14:54 in 2002.
Despite the presence of defending champion Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia (who also won in 2009 and was the runner-up in 2010) and a contingent of other strong international competitors, Dibaba is an overwhelming favorite in Sunday’s race.
“This is a very important year for me as I prepare to defend my Olympic titles,” she said. “I’m very excited to be returning to Carlsbad this year as I build up to London 2012. I have great memories of racing here. It was one of my first races outside of Ethiopia back in 2002. Carlsbad has had many great champions and I’m proud of my win here. I’m so happy to return as an Olympic champion and world record-holder and I will try my best to win another title. After a tough 2011 with injuries and setbacks, it’s been great to get back to racing. I’m happy to be back on track again. Carlsbad is perfect for my next step back.”
In addition to Kiros, the women’s field includes Kenya’s Pauline Korikwiang, who finished second at Carlsbad last year; Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase, the World Youth Champion over 3000 meters who recently finished second to Defar at the New Balance Boston Indoor Games 3000m in February; and Ethiopia’s Werknesh Kidane, who was third at Carlsbad in 2002 and has five bronze medals from the World Cross Country Championships.
“There are four or five women who can challenge Dibaba, but if she’s at the top of her game, she’ll be tough to beat. She’s always tough to beat,” said Matt Turnbull, elite athlete coordinator for the Carlsbad 5000. “The pinnacle of the sport is to get the Olympic champion to come to your race and she’s the undisputed No. 1. It’s a great feather in our cap to get her to come to our race. She’s a true global champion.”
The elite field of world-class athletes will be joined by the best masters runners in the U.S. for the 27th running of one of the marquee events on the international road race circuit. Race day begins at 7:05am with the Masters Men 40 and over, the first of nine races that will take place throughout the morning. The elite women’s race starts at 12:17 pm.
For more information about the Carlsbad 5000, visit Carlsbad5000.com.
2012 Carlsbad 5000 Event Logo
Two-time Carlsbad 5000 Champion Aheza Kiros (credit: photorun.net)
Tirunesh Dibaba alongside Kim Smith at the 2005 Carlsbad 5000 (credit: photorun.net)
About the Carlsbad 5000
The 27th running of the Carlsbad 5000 annually attracts amateur, competitive and professional runners from around the world. It is the only road race from a commonly run distance in the world that is home to the world records and its home country records for both genders. The ‘Party by the Sea’ gets started as soon as the first racers cross the finish line. After enjoying the scenic 3.1-mile course, runners age 21 and over can step into the beer garden, sip two free brews and then rock out to a live band. The main event, featuring the world’s fastest professional athletes, begins at 12:15 pm. The Carlsbad 5000 is the home of the current world 5K road records: 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000 & 2001, and 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006. For more information, please visit Carlsbad5000.com.
2012 Women’s Invitational Field
Race #, Name, Age, Country, Career Highlight
F1. Tirunesh Dibaba, 26, ETH, Won Olympic gold medals at 5,000 and 10,000m in 2008
F2. Aheza Kiros, 29, ETH, Two-time Carlsbad 5000 Champion. Won Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race last year
F3. Werknesh Kidane, 30, ETH, Gold medalist at the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships
F4. Pauline Korikwiang, 24, KEN, Runner up at 2011 Carlsbad 5000; set a PR over 10K this year in Puerto Rico
F5. Eloise Wellings, 29, AUS, 5th at Carlsbad last year. Has run the Olympic A qualifying standard for 10,000m
F6. Clara Horowitz Peterson, 28, USA , NCAA All-American Honors, 2004, 2005 at Duke
F7. Lara Tamsett, 23, AUS, Finished 3rd at the 2009 Carlsbad 5000 running a PR of 15:42.
F8. Gotytom Gebreslase, 17, ETH, World Youth Champion over 3000 meters
F9. Emily Brichacek, 21, AUS, Set her PR earlier this year running 15:38.10, her best outdoor time is 16:22.
F10. Alissa McKaig, 24, USA, Has a 15:53 5k road best and finished 8th at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials
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