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Bernard Lagat to Run Carlsbad 5000

LAGAT TO MAKE CARLSBAD 5000 DEBUT
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

ALBUQUERQUE
(20-Feb) — Two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat will take to the
roads after completing his indoor season and tackle the Carlsbad 5000
on Sunday, March 30. For the 39 year-old Lagat, Carlsbad will be his
first 5-kilometer road race.

“I’m happy to finally make it to
the start line of the Carlsbad 5000,” Lagat said through a media
release. “It’s been on my radar for some time, but we just never
managed to get there to toe the line. It’s a truly iconic U.S. road
race with a great history of world records with many of the finest
athletes of all time adding their names to the list of champions.”

Lagat,
who just ran the fastest-ever indoor 2000m by an American at the
Millrose Games last Saturday (4:54.74), will be here in Albuquerque
this weekend to try to win his fourth USA indoor 3000m title. Should he
finish first or second in Saturday’s race, he’ll qualify for the IAAF
World Championships in Sopot, Poland, in March. There he hopes to
defend the world indoor title he won in 2012 in Istanbul.

“I’m
looking forward to racing on the West Coast after what I hope is a
successful defense of my world indoor title over 3000 meters,” Lagat
added.

At the race in Carlsbad, where the men’s world record
has been set four times, Lagat will try to break Marc Davis’s USA
record of 13:24 which was set in Carlsbad in 1996. The closest any
American has come to that mark in recent years was in 2009 when Olympic
steeplechaser Anthony Famiglietti ran 13:28, also at Carlsbad.

Lagat’s
appearance at Carlsbad was made possible by a dramatic policy reversal
at the company which organizes the event, Competitor Group Inc. Last
September, the San Diego-based event organizer slashed its elite
athlete budget, but then abruptly restored it early this year in the
midst of a management shake-up. Long-time senior vice-president Tracy
Sundlun was instrumental in restoring the funding for top athletes like
Lagat.

“All of us at Competitor Group are thrilled that Bernard
will finally be running the Carlsbad 5000 this year,” said Sundlun
through a statement. “He is one of the world’s best athletes and an
even better person. Running fans in Southern California are going to be
in for a real treat.”

The last American man to win Carlsbad was
Doug Padilla in 1990. Ethiopia’s Dejene Gebremeskel, the 2012 Olympic
Games 5000m silver medalist, has won the race the last three years in a
row.

PHOTO: Bernard Lagat winning the 2013 USA 5000m title in Des Moines, Iowa

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