CARLSBAD— One of the great, if not the greatest, runners in American history is set to be the new face of the Carlsbad 5000.
Meb Keflezighi, who is the only runner in history to win the New York City and Boston marathons and an Olympic medal, is joining San Diego-based Groundwork Endurance LLC, which announced last week it bought the Carlsbad 5000 from Ironman, according to a press release.
“I am delighted to join the local ownership team in building upon the legacy of the Carlsbad 5000,” Keflezighi said. “There is no better place than the San Diego coast to celebrate the sport that has meant so much to me. I raced the Carlsbad 5000 twice during my professional career and both experiences were unforgettable. Having the opportunity to now help shape the direction of this amazing event for future generations is truly an honor.”
The race is known as the “World’s Fastest 5k” and attracts amateur, competitive, and professional runners from across the world. Since the first race in 1986, the Carlsbad 5000 has seen 16 world records and eight U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks.
The event is the home of the current female and male world 5K-road records by Meseret Defar (14 minutes, 46 seconds) of Ethiopia 2006 and Sammy Kipketer (13:00)of Kenya in 2000.
Race weekend delivers a fast oceanfront course, competition and an energetic atmosphere for participants. The event features multiple age-group races throughout the morning leading up to the legendary pro women’s and men’s races.
The “Party by the Sea” gets started as soon as the first runners cross the finish line with participants 21 and older celebrating in the Pizza Port beer garden with two complimentary craft brews and runners of all ages rocking out to live music on the streets of the Carlsbad Village.
The 2019 races will run on April 6 and April 7 for the 34th annual Carlsbad 5000. The popular Junior Carlsbad, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019, also features multiple races designed for children ages 12 and under. Kids’ distances range from a one-mile to the always entertaining 50-yard Toddler Trot and 25-yard Diaper Dash.
“First and foremost, we want to thank the incredible running community that has made this race so special for more than 30 years,” said Ashley Gibson, the founder of Groundwork Endurance. “The Carlsbad 5000 is not only a showcase of world-class talent but a celebration of family, friends, and community. Our team has a great appreciation for the unrivaled history of this race and we are committed to producing a fantastic event in 2019.”
Registration for all events opens this month via Carlsbad5000.com.