A fun runner completing the race in 2004
|Official site||Carlsbad 5000|
The event is organized by Groundwork Endurance, a San Diego-based company which acquired the race in 2018 from World Triathlon Corporation. Headlining the Groundwork Endurance ownership team is US Olympian, Meb Keflezighi, the only runner in history to win the NYC Marathon, Boston Marathon, and an Olympic Marathon medal.
The event, which was first held in 1986, features seven 5k races, with participation in a specific race determined by each runners age and gender. The full day of running culminates with the men's and women's Skechers Performance Elite Invitationals, both of which feature professional fields competing for a substantial cash purse. In addition to the 5k races, there is a dedicated event for kids-only, the Junior Carlsbad, with distances ranging from a one mile fun run down to a diaper dash. The weekend also includes a free health and wellness expo, elite athlete Q&A, and post-race Pizza Port beer garden.
The 5k race course begins on Grand Avenue in downtown Carlsbad before following a south-to-north loop on Carlsbad Boulevard along the Pacific coast. The southern turnaround is near Tamarack Avenue and the northern turnaround is located near the Army and Navy Academy. The course returns south before making a final turn onto Carlsbad Village Drive for a downhill finish in Carlsbad Village. The course is sanctioned and certified by USA Track and Field, the governing body for the sport.
The course records of 12:59.5 minutes for men (set by Sammy Kipketer in 2000) and 14:46 minutes for women (set by Meseret Defar in 2006) are the fastest times ever recorded for the 5 km road distance. These are recognized as world bests by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians. However, records for the road distance were not recognized by the IAAF until November 2017. In 2019, Kenyan Edward Cheserek won the men's elite invitational in a time of 13:29, which equalled the official IAAF record set earlier that same year.
American Steve Scott not only helped design the course in 1986 but won the inaugural race en route to three straight victories. Other notable past winners include Eluid Kipchoge, Deena Kastor (Drossin), and Dejen Gebremeskel 
Key: Course record
|Edition||Year||Men's winner||Time (m:s)||Women's winner||Time (m:s)|
|1st||1986||Steve Scott (USA)||13:32||PattiSue Plumer (USA)||15:30.2|
|2nd||1987||Steve Scott (USA)||13:36||Lorraine Moller (NZL)||15:35|
|3rd||1988||Steve Scott (USA)||13:30.2||Liz McColgan (GBR)||15:29.7|
|4th||1989||Yobes Ondieki (KEN)||13:26||Lynn Williams (CAN)||15:20|
|5th||1990||Doug Padilla (USA)||13:30||Elly van Hulst (NED)||15:33|
|6th||1991||Frank O'Mara (IRL)||13:35||Liz McColgan (GBR)||15:11|
|7th||1992||William Mutwol (KEN)||13:12||Vicki Huber (USA)||15:14|
|8th||1993||Philemon Hanneck (ZIM)||13:22||Shelly Steely (USA)||15:36|
|9th||1994||Josephat Machuka (KEN)||13:21||Colleen de Reuck (RSA)||15:20|
|10th||1995||Ismael Kirui (KEN)||13:17||Rose Cheruiyot (KEN)||15:05|
|11th||1996||Armando Quintanilla (MEX)||13:18||Angela Chalmers (CAN)||15:20|
|12th||1997||Paul Koech (KEN)||13:15||Sally Barsosio (KEN)||15:18|
|13th||1998||Paul Koech (KEN)||13:16||Naomi Mugo (KEN)||15:25|
|14th||1999||Armando Quintanilla (MEX)||13:33||Libbie Hickman (USA)||15:47|
|15th||2000||Sammy Kipketer (KEN)||12:59.5||Deena Drossin (USA)||15:08|
|16th||2001||Sammy Kipketer (KEN)||12:59.6||Sally Barsosio (KEN)||15:20|
|17th||2002||Sammy Kipketer (KEN)||13:17||Deena Drossin (USA)||14:53.8|
|18th||2003||Dejene Berhanu (ETH)||13:19||Berhane Adere (ETH)||14:53.6|
|19th||2004||Dejene Berhanu (ETH)||13:23||Isabella Ochichi (KEN)||14:53|
|20th||2005||Dejene Berhanu (ETH)||13:10||Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)||14:51|
|21st||2006||Abreham Cherkos (ETH)||13:15||Meseret Defar (ETH)||14:46|
|22nd||2007||Simon Ndirangu Githuka (KEN)||13:28||Meseret Defar (ETH)||15:01|
|23rd||2008||Maregu Zewdie Tarefe (ETH)||13:34||Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN)||15:14|
|24th||2009||Bekana Daba (ETH)||13:19||Aheza Kiros (ETH)||15:38|
|25th||2010||Eliud Kipchoge (KEN)||13:11||Meseret Defar (ETH)||15:04|
|26th||2011||Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH)||13:11||Aheza Kiros (ETH)||15:13|
|27th||2012||Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH)||13:11||Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)||15:01|
|28th||2013||Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH)||13:21||Gelete Burka (ETH)||15:26|
|29th||2014||Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH)||13:13||Julia Bleasdale (GBR)||15:06|
|30th||2015||Lawi Lalang (KEN)||13:32||Genzebe Dibaba (ETH)||14:48|
|31st||2016||Joshua Cheptegei (UGA)||13:24||Meseret Defar (ETH)||15:00|
|32nd||2017||Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH)||13:27||Viola Lagat (KEN)||15:35|
|33rd||2018||Kalle Berglund (SWE)||14:15||Emelia Gorecka (GBR)||16:04|
|34th||2019||Edward Cheserek (KEN)||13:29||Sharon Lokedi (KEN)||15:48|
- Andrew Dawson (2018-12-14). "Meb Keflezighi Joins New Ownership Team for Carlsbad 5000". Runner's World. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
- "Skechers Performance Elite Invitational". Carlsbad 5000. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
- "Junior Carlsbad". Carlsbad 5000. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
- Carlsbad 5000 Course Map. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
- Working Groups / Road Records. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-04-10.
- Cheserek matches Wanders’ performance from Monaco to join Lokedi as champion, completing first Kenyan sweep at annual event since 2001, DyeStat, Erik Boal, April 7, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
- Marty Post, Ryan Lamppa, Jack Leydig (2011-04-04). Carlsbad 5 km. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-04-10.
- Rosenthal, Bert (2012-04-02). Gebremeskel, Dibaba Win Carlsbad 5000. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-04-03.
- Third win in a row for Gebremeskel, Burka makes Ethiopian double in Carlsbad. IAAF (2013-04-08). Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
- Gebremeskel defeats local star Lagat for fourth straight Carlsbad win. IAAF (31 March 2014). Retrieved on 1 April 2014
- . IAAF (29 March 2015). Retrieved on 30 April 2015
-  Archived 2017-04-05 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF (3 April 2017). women video
- . Retrieved on 25 February 2019
- List of winners