Carlsbad, California — World record holder Meseret Defar of Ethiopia became the first three-time women’s champion of the Carlsbad 5000 when she finished the 25th anniversary race here on Sunday in a time of 15 minutes and 4 seconds, followed by defending champion and fellow compatriot Aheza Kiros and Meskerem Assefa.

 In the men’s race, Kenya’s Eluid Kipchoge crossed the finish line in 13:11, followed by a trio of Ethiopians:  Dejen Gebremeskel, Bekana Daba and Markos Geneti.

Kipchoge and Defar earned $5,000 each but failed to break their respective world records and missed out on the $10,000 bonus.

Meseret, who is rumoured to be paid a $20,000 for appearance fee, has been competing here since 2002 when she was just 18.

The silver anniversary drew nearly 10,000 entrants for the 9 races held throughout the morning. NBA Hall of Famer and San Diego legend Bill Walton served as the event’s lead cyclist to enthusiastic support of spectators. 

The event is the home of the current world 5K road records: 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000 & 2001, and 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006. 

The 26th Carlsbad 5000 is set for Sunday, April 3, 2011.  

MEN

  1. Eliud Kipchoge, KEN, 13:11, $5,000
  2. Dejen Gebremekel, ETH, 13:18, $3,500
  3. Bekana Daba, ETH, 13:24, $2,000
  4. Markos Geneti, ETH, 13:34, $1,000

WOMEN

  1.  Meseret Defar, ETH, 15:04, $5,000
  2.  Aheza Kiros, ETH, 15:26, $3,500
  3.  Meskerem Assefa, ETH, 15:55, $2,000
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