I think it safe to say that most runners have a race “bucket list.” Many of us dream of running in far away lands, or in an exclusive race that you need to qualify for, but then there are the more “doable” races that you dream about. The ones that are close enough within reach that they actually COULD happen. I’ve got a big list of them and one of those that has always stood out to me was the Carlsbad 5000 and All Day 20K.
I’ve heard stories of how it’s a family tradition for many locals to run it every year, how beautiful the course is, and how unique the All Day 20K is compared to other races. When people spoke about it with such enthusiasm, I knew I needed to experience it first hand myself.
This weekend, it happened for me. I crossed the Carlsbad 5000 off my bucket list and I’m sure glad I did.
My husband I decided to make a getaway out of going there. We live about 2.5 hours north of Carlsbad so it could be a quick overnight without too much hassle. We left Saturday morning and, aside from the horrendous traffic getting down there, things went fairly smooth. What we didn’t know was that there were two major events happening in San Diego this past weekend. The Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside and the Carlsbad 5000, so the traffic was less than ideal.
We stayed in Oceanside and had dinner at The Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen. As we sat down to dinner, a group of what was clearly seasoned athletes were seated next to us. As we ate our delicious dinner, it dawned on me that the girl sitting right next to me, was Lauren Fleshman. Fleshman in the Flesh.
Now, let’s get something clear, I am not the type to get star struck. I live near LA and I see celebrities quite often– it’s not a big deal. But to see The Fleshman Flyer IRL had this runner girl totally geeked out. Obviously, I was not going to interrupt her dinner with friends and family, but I was holding up the menu and making “OMG face” at my husband.
As we exited the restaurant I did get to say hello and tell her that I was a big fan and she was as gracious and wonderful as I thought she would be. It was an exciting detail of our trip that I just couldn’t leave out.
The next morning we headed for Carlsbad. We pulled right up and had no problems finding parking. I went to packet pick up and was able to get my bib within minutes.
I ate my breakfast, peed a thousand times, did a warm up, and headed for the starting line. I met up with some fellow Rock N Bloggers and had a quick chat and some pictures before hopping into the start corral.
If you are not familar with the ALL DAY 20K, how it works is you run all four divisions of 5k’s starting with Master’s mens at 7:00. After you finish one race, you walk back up to the starting line and wait for the next division to start. There are four in all.12 Reasons You Don't Want to Miss Running The World's Fastest 5K #RocknBlog #RunChat Click To Tweet
Here’s why I think that the Carlsbad 5000 is the race that shouldn’t be missed!
1-AWESOME COURSE– It is the worlds fastest 5K. The course is nice and flat with a little downhill to the finish. The world record for the 5K was set here. I didn’t do too shabby, either. Not a PR but still proud of myself.
2- BEAUTIFUL SCENERY– the views of the Pacific are like no other and having the sound of crashing waves in your ear while you’re doing something kind of hard is really, really nice.
3- CROWDS– the crowds at this race were awesome. The locals really embrace the spirit of the race and cheer for you. It was very nice to have that extra support.
4- SUPPORT- Rock n Roll knows how to put on a race. There are SO many people on staff to help you. You literally can look around and see an employee or volunteer wherever you are. They are for the most part seamlessly executed. Obviously, these are huge events and naturally things can wrong, but I personally have never experienced that.
5-The MEDALS– If you are interested in earning a beautiful medal, the Carlsbad 5000 will not let you down. They also have a special one for the first 250 runners to cross the finish line. I love that!
6-The ALL DAY 20K-I have never experienced a race like this one. You run all four divisions for a total of 20K. I wasn’t exactly sure how it worked, but when I arrived and saw that you got a little break between each race, I knew that it was unique. This race is just fun!
7-It’s a 5K– If you are only doing the 5K distance, then, well, it’s only a 5K and you can enjoy the rest of the day with your friends or family. I’ve been training for marathons for so long that the shorter distance felt incredible. You get all of the fanfare of a big race, but you’re done in snap and you’re not exhausted. Love that!
8-OCEAN AIR– The cool ocean breeze is heavenly to run in, plus, you can stick your legs in the water and sand post race.
9- FOOD- The streets of Carlsbad are filled with some of the best restaurants ever! What better way to end your race then with some delicious eats!
10-ENTERTAINMENT– As with most Rock n Roll races there are always several great bands along the course and throughout the expo area. Plus, the crowds are amazing!
11-WEATHER– It’s San Diego, so it’s near perfect weather almost everyday of the year… need I say more?
12- FRIENDS— There are so many people who run this race year after year. If you are on Instagram or big into the running world on Social Media, this might be a race you’d like. I ran into so many friends and it’s always exciting to meet IRL like Debbie from Coach Debbie Runs and Smitha from Running with SD Mom shown here with me at the starting line.
Guess what? If you are thinking of running a Rock N Roll event I have a DISCOUNT CODE for you! Use Code ROCKNROLLWITHRUNWIKI at check out for $15 off domestic marathon and half marathons!
How about you? Have you ever run The Carlsbad 5000 or All Day 20K? What races are on your bucket list?