I am partial to Carlsbad 5000, but for all the right reasons! This is the race, that made me fall in love with running back in 2016! This is the race that taught me drinking two beers at super early in the morning at 9am is a thing! This is the race that showed me this whole new group of ‘masters’ in both men and women that defy the norms of aging, and run super fast time than people in their 20s and 30s that I knew at that time! Running this race in 2016 as a ‘non runner’ who never had run races like this before, has been the single best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life!
Since 2016, running Carlsbad 5000 5k has been a thing for me. I would run through the months and couldnt wait to come back and see how my 5k time is like, and how my running form has improved. I come back here every year, to learn if I have gotten any far, and or have lagged behind for any reason, and to focus myself to be better for the runs in the coming days and months! 2017 was significant, as I went from a rookie non runner to learning to run methodically learning from others and participating in group runs. Sure enough, I cut down my pace from 7:57 to 6:55. I came back last year in 2018, I had run enough half marathons by then, but I also lost lot of weight so I was sub 150lbs, and some how I think that allowed me to run a little faster time than I had in the past year, where I ran a 6:51 pace time in 2018. Not that I was in any better form.
This year, 2019 it had been little difficult. I haven’t been running with any running groups for a while. I mostly run on my own and its been very sporadic. Also I have been trying to get back into weight lifting which meant I am about 6 lbs more than I weighed last year. Adding all that up combined with the half marathon I ran last week at Encinitas Half Marathon, I was expecting for the worst, but I managed to keep up with fellow South Coast Road Runners David Schiller and Mike Bertram for part of the course, and finished the race at a 6:56 pace. Way more delighted but I think with better training I could have been in a better mind set to ‘endure’ little more to get a course PR. I sure want to come back again next year and if god willing, to run my race and run my heart here!
I did enjoy the Pizza Port beer(Thanks for those delicious IPA and a Lager and giving us two beers so we dont have to make a choice and have at it both :)!) at the beer garden after and had a wonderful chat with another runner, who is a Carlsbad Resident, who had been running here for more than a decade. He ran a 12:00min pace, and was upset some ‘world’s best grandpa’ as the announcer announced, as he tried to pass the finish line. He wants to come back and beat that grandpa’s time next year. I also met this really cute sweedish runner, who had run this race for years in his 60s. He ran a 6:30 some finish pace, and shared with me how it had been for him to keep running in his 60s and he is coming close to 70s and he still expects to see greater things with his training. He gave me a nice talk about the need to cross train and to swim. As I went to my car, I ran into another guy in his 60s who was stretching and told me he used to run a 5:00min pace in his young age and how he now runs a 9 or 10min pace. He had a 2016 carlsbad shirt which is this brown shirt( I remember that one as anytime I wear it literally matches my skin tone!).
I went back to the expo, signed up for the 2020 race as it was $25, and went to Pollos Maria which over the years has become my own little tradition to get breakfast burrito before I drive back home. (
I am really happy about the new ownership of Carlsbad 5000 under Meb keflezighi. Taking over this race, which had been a decades log tradition, is a big deal, and his team has made it flawless and effortless. And all of us went home with our picture with Meb, and what a cool thing it is! I am pretty sure he is going to be at the finish line next year, high fiving each of us! This world’s fastest 5k I think in my opinion is worlds most favorite race!
P.S – registration for 2020 is open at $25.