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Dibaba Ties World Record, Berhanu Three-Peats at Carlsbad 5000
By Ryan Lamppa & Basil Honikman
April 3, 2005
Courtesy of Running USA wire

CARLSBAD, CA - At the 20th Carlsbad 5000, Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba ran 14:51 to tie Paula Radcliffe's world road record, while countryman Dejene Berhanu won his third consecutive title in 13:10, the second fastest individual all-time ever. Dibaba's time was the 15th world record broken or tied at Carlsbad since its inception in 1986.

Dibaba, 19, the double gold medalist at the recent World Cross Country Championships, came to Carlsbad with a world record on her mind, and under sunny, but breezy conditions, she was pushed by defending Carlsbad champion Isabella Ochichi of Kenya who set the world record last year in 14:53.

The lead women - Dibaba, Ochichi, Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia and Kim Smith of New Zealand and Providence College - hit an opening mile of 4:47 and in the key uphill second mile, Ochichi pulled Dibaba and Melkamu away from the field. The trio passed two miles in 9:36 (last year, Ochichi ran 9:25), and there now was little margin of error for the world record.

Dibaba and Ochichi kept the 4:48 pace as it became a two-women race at the final 180- degree turnaround. The pair shadowed each other on Carlsbad Boulevard before the final turn home. At three miles (14:24), Dibaba put the hammer down, distanced herself from Ochichi and used the momentum to carry her to the tape in 14:51 with Ochichi four seconds back (and the best time ever for place).

After the race, Dibaba expressed disappointment in not setting the world record and winning the accompanying four-wheel drive SUV.

"I'm disappointed in not breaking the world record, but I am happy to win the race," Dibaba said thru an interpreter.

In the mens's race, Berhanu won for the third time in 13:10, the third fastest performance ever on the seaside course.

As they approached the first mile in 4:06, Berhanu, former champion and joint world record holder, Sammy Kipketer, Meshack Sang and Australian Craig Mottram had separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

At about 2 kilometers, Berhane surged on the upslope and opened a 15-meter gap on a fading Kipketer and that was the race. He continued to increase his lead while Mottram passed Kipketer for second in 13:20 and an Australian record.

American Dathan Ritzenhein ran strongly towards the front of the second pack and finished in seventh place in 13:48.

"I wanted to break the record. I was thinking that the whole time. When I'm running I'm used to seeing the clocks and I didn't see them. If I could see the clocks that would encourage me more. I would have the energy and I would go. I love this run," said a delighted Berhanu, who joined race founder Steve Scott and Kipketer as the only three- time consecutive race champions.

Gracious second place finisher, Craig Mottram was impressed. "This was my first time at Carlsbad. This was a fantastic race. To be running 13:20 at this time of year was impressive. Obviously, there's something special here. The crowd is amazing. They are always encouraging you to go quicker," he said.

Tim Murphy, Carlsbad 5000 co-founder and Elite Racing president, closed a great race day by saying, "The energy and expectations were high today, and it was a great way to top 20 years of the Carlsbad 5000. We also had the largest number of participants and spectators ever."

TOP FINISHERS

MEN

1) Dejene Berhanu, ETH, 13:10, $5000
2) Craig Mottram, AUS, 13:20, $3500
3) Shadrack Kosgei, KEN, 13:24, $2000
4) Sammy Kipketer, KEN, 13:34, $1000
5) Boaz Cheboiyo, KEN, 13:34, $800
6) Meshack Sang, KEN, 13:42, $700
7) Dathan Ritzenhein, USA/CO, 13:48, $500
8) Luke Kipkosgei, KEN, 13:54, $400
9) Mohamed Awol, ETH, 14:16, $300
10) Jason Hubbard, USA/CO, 14:27, $200

WOMEN

1) Tirunesh Dibaba, ETH, 14:51+, $5000
2) Isabella Ochichi, KEN, 14:55, $3500
3) Meselech Melkamu, ETH, 15:16, $2000
4) Kim Smith, NZL, 15:30, $1000
5) Madai Perez, MEX, 15:50, $800
6) Haley McGregor, AUS, 16:17, $700
7) Erika Aklufi, USA/CA, 16:26, $500
8) Carrie Messner, USA/CO, 16:36, $400
9) Eloise Wellings, NZL, 16:41, $300
10) Sarah Bouchard, GBR, 16:53, $200

+ ties World Record, Paula Radcliffe, Flora Light Women's 5K, London, GBR, September 14, 2003; breaks course record, 14:53, Isabella Ochichi, 2004

For full results, go to: www.eliteracing.com


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