Carlsbad 5000: The World's Fastest 5K
Updated Thursday, March 31, 2016
Author: Larry Straus
The Carlsbad 5000 is a 5K race that was first held in 1986 and has been held annually since that year. This is a popular race that draws in runners to compete from around the world. The program for the races includes amateur and elite level races, a junior Carlsbad race for the runners that are younger, the masters division (for those that are 40 and over), and a health and fitness exposition.
A Mouse in a Maze
The original course from 1986 is currently used for all races except for the professional and wheelchair races which started using a slightly changed course in 2015. The original course begins at Grand Avenue and Jefferson Street in Carlsbad. The runners will run up the hill until they get to Carlsbad Boulevard. The course then loops along Carlsbad Boulevard until the runners get to Tamarack Avenue where the runners will make a southern turn around. When the runners get to the Grand Avenue junction, they have just made it past the halfway mark. The point that the runners will make a north turn around is near the Army and Navy Academy at about Mountain View Street. The course then heads downhill on Carlsbad Village Drive and ends at State Street with the finish line being near the Coaster Station which is just past the railroad tracks.
USA Track & Field Certified & Sanctioned Course
The change that has been made for the new course has the runners start and end at State Street rather than starting at Grand Avenue and Jefferson Street. From State Street, they will run up hill until they get to Carlsbad Boulevard, then they will continue on the original course. The USA Track and Field is the body that governs over the sport. It has certified and sanctioned the course that is used in the Carlsbad 5000.
Steve Scott, an American, was the winner of the first men's race in 1986, with a time of 13 minutes and 36 seconds and won two consecutive races after that. The first winner in the women's race in 1986 was PattiSue Plumer, with a time of 15 minutes and 30.2 seconds.
The World's Fastest 5000
The Carlsbad 5000 is recognized as the world's fastest 5K because of it's history of having 16 world record and 8 US record finishes. The fastest time that has been set for the men in the history of this race was in 2000 by Sammy Kipketer, a Kenyan, with a time of 12 minutes and 59.5 seconds. The fastest time that has been set for the women in the history of this race was in 2006 by Meseret Defar, an Ethiopian, with a time of 14 minutes and 46 seconds. Both of these times were the fastest times that had ever been recorded in the 5K road distance. They were both recognized as a world road record by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians and a world best by the IAAF.
The men's American record is currently held by Mark Davis. He set the record in 1996 with a time of 13 minutes and 24 seconds. The women's American record is currently held by Deena Kastor. She set the record in 2002 with a time of 14 minutes and 54 seconds.
The Carlsbad 5000 is a great race to watch and is so much fun for both the runners to compete and the spectators that are watching.