On a day featuring warm temperatures, blue skies and a slight breeze, Daba Bekana won the Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday (6) as Ethiopian men finished 1-2-3 in the 5k road race. Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia won the women's race, edging out U.S. Olympian Shannon Rowbury.
Bekana made his move with 300m remaining, out-sprinting his countryman Abreham Cherkos, but it was very tight with both finishing in 13:19. Defending champion Margue Zewdie clocked at 13:24 to complete the Ethiopian sweep. Cherkos competed in last year's Olympic Games in Beijing, finishing fifth in the 5000m.
“The race was good today and I’m happy I won,” said Bekana. “This is my first 5k road race, I was just trying to compete and stay with the leaders.”
American Anthony Famigletti just missed Marc Davis’ 13-year-old American record, finishing in sixth place overall in a time of 13:28.
“It was just too little too late over the last 600 metres,” said Famigletti, competing for the first time in Carlsbad. “This is a fun place to race and the aggressive world class field was one of a kind. Now that I know the course I’ll have a better shot at the record next year. It was a good experience overall and a good start to the outdoor track season.”
In the women's race, Kiros used a final kick to earn first place over American Shannon Rowbury, by a mere 3 seconds with a time of 15:38. The Ethiopian started to make her move at the final turn and was able to keep a slim lead to the finish line on Carlsbad Village Drive.
“I was confident I could hold her off,” said Kiros, 25, on the final sprint to the finish line.
Kiros and Rowbury were stride for stride over the last 200 meters, but Kiros had more speed in the end.
“It was a sunny day and the crowd was awesome,” said Rowbury, who will race next in Berkley, CA on 25 April.
The Carlsbad 5000 will celebrate its 25th anniversary on 11 April 2010.
Dan Cruz (organisers) for the IAAF
Elite Men – MEN
1. Daba Bekana, Ethiopia, 13:19
2. Abreham Cherkos, Ethiopia, 13:19
3. Maregu Zewdie, Ethiopia, 13:24
4. Ali Abdosh, Ethiopia, 13:25
5. Collis Birmingham, Australia, 13:27
Elite Women – WOMEN
1. Aheza Kiros, Ethiopia, 15:38
2. Shannon Rowbury, United States, 15:41
3. Lara Tamsett, Australia, 15:42
4. Katie McGregor, United States, 15:58
5. Jane Kibii, Kenya, 16:04