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Lukas Verzbicas, the Carlsbad 5000 this weekend!


Coming back from injury, Lukas Verzbicas takes on competitive Carlsbad 5K this weekend!
Many of you may know Lukas Verzbicas as a high school star runner breaking 4:00 in the mile, setting records for the 2 mile, winning Footlocker Cross Country, going to Oregon to run his freshman year, leaving there to pursue triathlon or from his recent injury.

The triathlon hopeful is on the road to recovery after a bad bike accident last year.

Lukas Verzbicas is a lucky man to be able to compete in the under-29 age-group race at the Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday.

Last July 31 at about 9 AM, while bicycling along the Garden of the Gods in Colorado on a training ride, the now 20-year-old Verzbicas encountered a wide 180-degree turn on a downhill stretch of road. He tried slowing down, but his bike got caught up in some sand and he slammed into a guardrail. The horrific accident left him with a broken thoracic vetrebrae, a broken clavicle, a broken spine and a partially collapsed lung. He also was paralyzed in his right leg and went through multiple hours and days of surgery at Penn Rose St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs.

Here was a man who had been the fifth high-schooler in history to break four minutes for the mile, had set national junior records for two miles and 3,000 meters, was a two-time Footlocker Cross Country champion during his sophomore and junior years in high school and was a two-time world champion in World Junior Triathlon. His chances of recuperating and regaining his brilliant athletic skills were slim. Even his chances of being able to walk properly again were considered a long shot.

Despite those odds, Verzbicas never doubted himself, even though he was hospitalized for 35 days. “I had lots of plans and hopes athletically,” he said. “I thought that took them all away.”


After this incredible talent gets injured, he comes back even stronger now with really big goals.

Now, he feels he’s ready to take on the Carlsbad 5000 this weekend. He has been getting ready for the race by training three to four hours a day, boosting his endurance and increasing his weightlifting. “I still have some weakness in my right leg,” he said. “The nerves have to be regenerated.”

At the Carlsbad 5000, Verzbicas will be close to where he currently trains at the Olympic Center in Chula Vista, Calif., with Olympic 800-meter gold medalist Joaquim Cruz of Brazil. His next scheduled event is also nearby, next month’s Wildflower Triathlon in southern California.

These varied competitions are aimed at helping Verzbicas realize his goals: competing in the triathlon and running either the 10,000 meters or the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Those hopes seemed so far away at the end of last summer. Now, in Verzbicas’ mind, they appear realistic.

Source: Competitor Running

I'm curious, hopeful and excited to see how Verzbicas does this weekend! I'll post updates as the race goes on and hope you guys will too :) Who else are you all excited to see race this weekend?

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6 Comments

Also check out this pretty cool article about who's going to be there at Carlsbad on Sunday.

 

"Another Record Day Ahead In Carlsbad?" 

 

 

London Olympic 1500 meter silver medalist Leo Manzano, along with Bay Area Track Club star David Torrence,will be running their first ever road 5Ks. 

 

At least this year Manzano and Torrence will have top Aussie Collis Birmingham, 4th in 2008, 5th in `09, and recently a competitive 8th at the World Cross Country Championships, in the field with them.

 

2011 World and 2012 Olympic 5000 meter silver medalist and two-time defending Carlsbad champion Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia returns in search of a historic three-peat.

 

Last year’s runner up Hagos Gebrihiwet coming in after a dominating win in Poland at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior race March 24th.

 

2012 Olympic 10,000 meter bronze medalist Tariku Bekele, 2011 World Champion at 10,000 meters Ibrahim Jeilan, and 22 year-oldYenew Almirew, an aspiring 12:48 5000 meter man on the track.  Both Bekele and Jeilan have experience in Carlsbad, Bekele finishing 4th last year in 13:16, Jeilan taking 7th in 2009 in 13:30.

 

Reigning US indoor 3000 meter champ Will Leer has been added to the field. Will ran PR 8:21.53 to place 5th at Jan. 16th Millrose Games 2-Mile in New York, then 3:56.35 to take 2nd at February’s Boston Indoor Grand Prix mile.

 

I've also heard that Shannon Rowbury is also ready to race this weekend!

    • Brianna likes this

It's awesome to see him making such a comeback after his terrible injury, I'm excited to see what he will run!

    • catalano98 likes this
Verzbicas ran a 15:22 (unofficial). 4th in the 20-29 age group. I can't find the article yet, but I found a picture. http://campl.us/oyDj
    • Brianna and Gavin like this
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Justinbritton
Apr 07 2013 08:31 PM

You know what's weird Manzano (who didn't run well today) finishes 3rd in the Olympic 1500 and is now without a contract.   He's currently in talks with Nike and trying to re-sign with them, but for a runner of his stature, makes 2nd Olympic team, wins Bronze..he has been without a contract for a little while now, odd.  

 

In other news about the race, Ethiopian, Dejen Gebremeskel 3 peats by running 13:20.  Will Leer is top American in 13:36ish.  

    • catalano98 likes this

One under 29 goes sub 15, 14:52 - Ryan Ripley. Lukas Verzbicas confirmed 15:22. Gebremeskel runs 13:20! Geleta Burka runs 15:26! Brenda Martinez 15:24, Rowbury 16:08.

 

Results can be found here!

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Justinbritton
Apr 08 2013 03:11 AM

Leo Manzano ran 14:57...what!

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