CARLSBAD (CNS) - The 27th annual Carlsbad 5000, touted as "the world's fastest 5K," is scheduled for Sunday.
Races by sex and age groups start at 7 a.m.
The elite runners start at 12:15 p.m., and organizers say they believe the field is the strongest in four years.
Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel, the defending champion and last year's 5,000-meter bronze medalist at the World Championships, will return, as will Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the 2011 Carlsbad runner-up and who has silver and bronze medals in the 5K from the past two Olympic Games. Ethiopia's Tariku Bekele, a former 3K world champion indoors, also will be running. His best 5K time is 12:54.45.
"This is the strongest field we've had in the last four years," said Matt Turnbull, the coordinator for elite runners. "It should be a very closely contested race."
Several Carlsbad 5000 runners are capable of breaking the record of 13 minutes flat, set in 2000 by Kenya's Sammy Kipketer -- who matched his feat the next year. That is also the road race record for the distance.
Anthony Famiglietti of Davidson, N.C. -- a six-time U.S. champion at various distances -- is the top American contender.
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