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Posted: April 1, 2009  :

(RWire) Athletics: U.S. Olympians Set Sights on Carlsbad 5000

Predicted fast times put U.S. road 5K record in jeopardy

CARLSBAD, Calif. - (March 26, 2009) - The world's fastest five-kilometer road race has once again attracted a world class field to the Southern California beachside resort of Carlsbad. Renowned for producing 16 world records, a selection of America's best runners has signed up to compete in the 24th Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday, April 5.

Among them are four U.S. Olympians hoping to produce the level of performances that put them on the road to Beijing last year. Anthony Famiglietti, fresh from his recent victory at the USA 15K Championships, will be making his Carlsbad debut with his sights set on Marc Davis' 13-year-old U.S. record of 13:24.

"Winning the USA 15K Championship was a unique challenge, and switching gears from a long distance race to a 5K will be even more challenging," said Famiglietti, who used a last-second burst to win the 15K title with a time of 43:36. "Carlsbad has a great history, including a U.S. 5K record setting performance by Marc Davis in 1996. The race will be a great opportunity to test myself against some of the best middle distance runners around. I hope to live up to the tradition of great performances the Carlsbad 5000 is known for."

Famiglietti, who won the 2008 USA 5K Championship last year, is the fastest American to ever run the 5000m on U.S. soil with a PR of 13:11.93. He will face stern competition from NCAA 5000m champion Bobby Curtis, a collegiate All-American at Villanova, who holds a personal best of 13:25.66 in the 5000m. Curtis will be full of confidence after recently earning his first U.S. vest at the World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan.

Another U.S. Olympian competing in the professional field will be Jarrod Shoemaker of Massachusetts. Track fans may not be familiar with his name, as he usually competes in the multi-disciplined triathlon, an event in which he finished top 20 at the Beijing Olympics.

"I am excited to race with the elite field at the Carlsbad 5000 this year," said Shoemaker, two-time winner of the Carlsbad 5000's Open race. "One of my goals is to compete against the best 5000 meter runners on the Carlsbad course. I had the honor of competing against the best in the world in the triathlon last summer and now I will get to see how good my running legs are versus the world's best."

Leading the U.S. in the women's field will be San Francisco's Shannon Rowbury. After an injury riddled collegiate career, Rowbury burst onto the international track and field scene in 2008 with a number of world class performances. Most notable was her 4:00.33 1500m effort at the Paris Golden League, just one week after she comfortably qualified for her first Olympics.

"I had a great year in 2008 and I'm looking forward to building on that in 2009, with the World Championships in Berlin being my target," said Rowbury. "I'm excited to make my 2009 racing debut at the Carlsbad 5000 and I hope to mix it up with some of the best athletes in the world."

Fellow Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas will return to Carlsbad after finishing 2008 ranked the #3 female in the U.S. by Track & Field News. As the 2008 1500m USA Indoor champion, the Arkansas graduate is eager to perform well over the longer distance.

"I am very excited to race at Carlsbad again and I think it is probably the most beautiful course in America," said Wurth-Thomas, who paced world record holder Meseret Defar during her '07 victory. "I've stepped up my training and I'm well ahead of where I was last year. It will be exciting to see what I can do."

The complete field of international athletes will be announced race week and introduced at a local media briefing in Carlsbad on Friday, April 3. For more information or to register for the race, visit or call (800) 311-1255.

About Carlsbad 5000
The 24th running of the Carlsbad 5000 attracts amateur, competitive and professional runners from around the world. The 2009 event, known as the World's Fastest 5K road race and the home of 16 world records, 8 U.S. records and 11 world wheelchair bests is set for Sunday, April 5. 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 invitational event, featuring the world's fastest professional athletes, begins at 12:15pm. The Carlsbad 5000 is home to the current world 5K road records: 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000 & 2001, and 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006.

Saturday, April 4 will mark the 20th Junior Carlsbad, a running event for kids 12 and under. Eleven kids' races run throughout the morning crossing the same finish line as the professional field on Sunday. Registration is still open and available on race day. To view the full race weekend schedule or register online, visit: or

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