For a while it looked like Carlsbad 5000 might disappear. Competitor Group sold the Rock n Roll series to Ironman and last year, Carlsbad 5000 was interesting, especially in regards to the elite races.
But after what seemed like forever, it was announced that Meb & a group of local San Diego investors had purchased Carlsbad 5000 and in December they opened up registration to the race. We immediately signed up only to realize that Leona Divide was the day before. For some reason I had my dates wrong and thought it was later in the month.
In any case, we decided we would still run, especially since the Arete ladies were doing a big meet-up where we would get to meet one of the founders, Mary before the race.
So when I left off on my Leona Divide recap, Sean had finished and we were high-tailing it out of Green Valley. Well it got dark not too long after that and I don’t enjoy driving in the dark, especially when I’m tired. Plus getting out of Green Valley/Palmdale requires driving on a very stressful two lane road with a ton of traffic. We finally made it to San Bernardino and found a place to have dinner. By this point I was so exhausted I couldn’t drive the 2 hours home so we got a hotel near the airport in Ontario and decided to drive to Carlsbad in the morning.
Sean’s wave started at 6:53a and mine at 7:55a. We decided to shoot for my wave and left the hotel around 6am I think. The sun was just starting to come up when we left the hotel.
It was a pretty easy drive, we ended up on a toll road that was so incredibly beautiful, unfortunately no photos, I was driving, but it was almost empty and I kept thinking how lucky we were to get to see these beautiful mountains.
Eventually we made it to the 5 and then made our way south to Carlsbad. I was starting to stress out, would we find a parking spot, get our bibs & hit the port-o-potties and be there in time to start the race?
We found a parking spot, jogged over to the starting area, I picked up the bibs for Sean & I, he was jogging just a touch slower than me ;), understandably so after finishing a 100k less than 12 hours before.
We then jogged over to the start area, where we immediately saw Kristina & Josh, we said a quick hello & headed immediately to the bathrooms. We made it & even were there in time to hear the National Anthem.
Last year Kristina & I were racing around this course trying to get PRs or close to them. I managed to go under 25 minutes for the first time last year. This year we were both like, I don’t know how this is going to go. I told her I might not be able to keep up and she said the same thing lol.
But off we went. I started out really easy at least compared to last year, lol, when I was weaving in and out of all sorts of other runners. This year I didn’t have a real goal but just wanted to do my best.
The first section has a few little bumps that feel like hills and then you make the turn. I was feeling pretty good as I made my way down to the turnaround.
I hit the first mile then made the turn to go back the way I just came around 1.4 miles. I missed the aid station, I was pretty thirsty, but it was only 3 miles so I just kept moving.
I started to feel like my legs were really tired so I know I started slowing down around the 2 mile mark. We eventually started seeing the leaders and I was just saying to myself, keep moving, it’s only 3 miles, don’t walk. I was waiting for the next turn, where was it? Finally we came up to the turn. I made it and felt like I was going soooo slow, willing myself to keep running, not much longer now, less than a mile.
Then I heard Sean call my name! I turned, thinking I probably looked like death & Sean took my photo. I thought these photos were going to reflect how I felt, but they actually didn’t look too bad, lol.
Seeing Sean gave me a little boost and I continued moving towards the Carlsbad sign and the final turn. I hit the turn and did my best to speed up, it was tough, let me tell you. I don’t believe I’m smiling in the photos at the finish lol, which was a shame because they had free photos!!
But I did managed to hang on to get a 8:31 avg pace which for these days was a significant effort. I was about 3 minutes faster than the LA Big 5k so that was a good sign.
For the second year in a row, Kristina finished just behind me. I kept thinking she would pass me, but she was hanging on just like I was, lol.
Sean finished a few minutes later, I was able to wait for him & see a few other friends in the meantime.
We got a quick snack, some coffee & then headed to meet the Arete ladies by the packet pick-up. Most of them were running in either the 30 – 39 or 2o – 29 age groups. I think I was the only one who ran in the masters group this race.
We got a few photos & then they took off for a quick warm-up run. We headed to the finish area to wait to watch the next race.
It’s pretty exciting and we would have loved to have stayed to watch the elites but we were exhausted so we said good-bye to all our friends and headed to Plant Power for some lunch before heading home.
Some of the cool things about this years race, free photos, Meb was taking photos with runners at the finish. I wish I had know there were free photos because I would have gotten a pic but I didn’t really want to pay for them. We didn’t pick up our shirts, although they were a nice design, we just have so many race shirts we don’t wear.