National University Partners with the Carlsbad 5000 to Raise Awareness of the Value of Achieving Personal and Academic Goals

The Carlsbad 5000, known as the “World’s Fastest 5K,” encourages participants to achieve their personal bests, just as the San Diego-based private nonprofit university supports adult learners to achieve education and career goals; 2022 Carlsbad 5000 presented by National University returns for 36th edition the weekend of May 21-22

CARLSBAD, CA ‐ April 1, 2022 – Recognizing the shared alignments of the running community and the nation’s college students, the private, nonprofit National University is pleased to partner with the Carlsbad 5000, known as the “World’s Fastest 5K,” to recognize the hard work and dedication of students who are striving to achieve their academic and personal bests. Carlsbad 5000 Presented by National University will host its 36th edition on the weekend of May 21-22, 2022, marking a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the education and running communities.

“I’ve always thought that life, education, and running have a lot in common. In each, we set goals and work hard to achieve those goals. We truly could not be more grateful to partner with National University to promote health and wellness,” said Meb Keflezighi, co-owner of Carlsbad 5000 and the only athlete in history to win the New York Marathon, the Boston Marathon, and an Olympic Marathon Medal. “Whether it is your first 5K or you are pursuing a new personal best finish time, the Carlsbad 5000 is an event that is accessible and welcoming for everyone.”

Providing access to a quality degree is core to the mission of National University, and congruent with the adult learner population, aspiring to a college degree is a priority for the nation’s runners. Today’s core runners are highly educated with 79 percent having earned a college diploma, compared to 27 percent of the United States population (ACS, 2006-08), according to the National Runner Survey.

“We are so pleased to be partnering with Meb and the Carlsbad 5000 in support of this world-class event that brings together our local community and renowned runners from around the globe,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, Chancellor of the private, nonprofit National University System, which includes National University, headquartered in San Diego, CA. “Meb is such an incredible role model for us all, and his message of perseverance despite all odds serves as an inspiration for our students, many who are adult learners or the first in their family to pursue a college degree. As in racing, we believe that all students should have access to opportunities that allow them to achieve their personal bests in life.”

Keflezighi and National University have joined forces over the years to celebrate the accomplishments of the nation’s adult and lifelong learners, with Meb as a featured guest speaker at two National University commencements and the recipient of an honorary doctorate. Born in Eritrea, Africa, Keflezighi and his family escaped famine, drought and a brutal war of liberation from Ethiopia, eventually making their way to San Diego. He won the 2014 Boston Marathon just two weeks before turning 39, becoming the oldest winner of one of the world’s premier distance events in more than 80 years. His story has served as inspiration for National University graduates and other adult learners nationwide who are often managing work, families and other responsibilities while pursuing dreams of furthering their education.

The running community and National University students are committed to long-term training and success. More than 60 percent of the University’s graduate students are female, with an average age of 36, and have stated a preference for running or related activities. The typical US female runner is 38.6 years old, and a degree holder.

Additionally, National University is awarding a $5,000 tuition scholarship at the Carlsbad 5000. All new students to National University who enroll in a bachelor or master program are eligible, as well as returning students if they are seeking a next level degree. One recipient will receive a check during the race day festivities, and another will be awarded following the race. The deadline to apply is May 31st.

Since the inaugural edition in 1986, the Carlsbad 5000 annually attracts amateur, competitive, and professional runners from around the world. Over its 36-year history, the Carlsbad 5000 has seen 16 World records and 8 U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks that earned the moniker “World’s Fastest 5k.” Race weekend promises a fast oceanfront course, healthy competition, and an energetic atmosphere for participants of all ages and paces. The event features races by age group throughout the morning leading up to the legendary pro women and men’s races. The popular Junior Carlsbad features multiple races designed for children ages 12 and under. Kids’ distances range from one-mile to a half mile.

The post-race celebration gets started as soon as the first runners cross the finish line with participants 21 and older celebrating in the Pizza Port beer garden with two complimentary craft brews and runners of all ages rocking out to live music on the streets of Carlsbad Village.

In addition, donations from Carlsbad 5000 runners and its race organizers will benefit the Lucky Duck Foundation’s numerous homelessness programs, which include shelters, employment and job training opportunities, and more to benefit the homeless throughout San Diego County. For more information or to register for the event, visit and follow @Carlsbad5000 on Instagram.

About National University

National University, a veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 75 online and on-campus programs and flexible four-week classes designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to over 30,000 students and 185,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. Learn more at