Skip to main content

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Race Weekend Elite Field Highlights (updated)

by Brett Larner



Japanese athletes feature in two of the three races at Australia's Gold Coast Airport Marathon in its second year as an IAAF gold label race.  Former Aoyama Gakuin University captain Takehiro Deki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) leads the men's half marathon, with cancer survivor Remi Nakazato at the top of the women's list.

Deki's 58:51 best for 20 km translates to 1:02:15 for the half marathon, far ahead of the 1:03:28 best of #2-ranked Liam Adams (Australia), but although he has run 1:03:11 for the first half of a marathon Deki's legitimate half marathon best remains just 1:04:16, and with a 29:22 two weeks ago in Boston indicating mid-1:04 condition it should be a challenge for him to take down Adams and the other Aussie and Kiwi competition. "This is my first serious race in a long time," Deki told JRN.  "If all goes well I think I can run mid-1:03."

Nakazato, a promising new talent after a 2:24:29 at age 23 in 2011 in her second marathon, abruptly quit the Daihatsu corporate team in February last year.  In November she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, scuttling plans for her indy debut at January's Osaka International Women's Marathon.  The ASICS Half Marathon will be her first serious race since her 1:16:34 at last October's Sapporo Half Marathon and subsequent diagnosis, and despite her 1:10:03 best the question of whether she is fit enough to handle whatever competition she faces remains a good one.  And the competition is tough, led by 2015 Marugame Half winner Eloise Wellings (Australia) and sub-71 woman Sara Hall (U.S.A.).

No top-level Japanese athletes are on the list in the Southern Cross University 10 km, where with a legendary 2011 International Chiba Ekiden run in Vibram Five Fingers behind him Australia's Harry Summers comes in the top seed, but the same cannot be said for the main event, Sunday's Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Japanese women have won 4 of the last 5 years including a 2:27:17 course record from the now-retired Yukiko Akaba in 2013, and with Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) and Keiko Nogami (Team Juhachi Ginko) coming in ranked #2 and #3 the chances of another Japanese winner look decent.  Takenaka, a former star collegiate ekiden runner at Ritsumeikan University, made a 2:28:09 debut for 5th in March's Nagoya Women's Marathon with Nogami just behind her.  The pair should be a good match for #1-ranked Makda Haji Harun (Ethiopia) for the win.  Either way it will be an Ethiopia-Japan battle up front, the top 7 entrants all hailing from those two countries.

In the men's race, defending champion and course and Australian all-comers' record holder Silah Limo (Kenya) returns along with runner-up Jeffrey Eggleston (U.S.A.) and 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), but all three face some pretty tough competition from 2:04:48 man Berhanu Shiferaw (Ethiopia), sub-2:08 Kenyans Albert Matebor, Kenneth Mungara and Evans Ruto and more.  Weather permitting, and with the weather looking pretty good, a shot at Limo's 2:09:14 record seems on the cards.  The top non-African entrants, Japan's Ryo Yamamoto (Team SGH Group) and Kawauchi, will have a tough time of it trying to contend against the superior East African field.

Yamamoto, a member of Japan's 2012 London Olympics marathon team, had a superb 2:12:10 debut for 2nd in extreme heat at the 2009 Hokkaido Marathon, going on to run 2:08:44 to make the London team.  Since then his times have declined gradually, with a 2:09:06 in 2013, a 2:10:59 in 2014, and a 2:12:46 in Tokyo this February.  His most recent race was just a 30:19.51 track 10000 m in late May, not encouraging for the return-to-form marathon you would hope for on the Gold Coast.  "I had some trouble in April," he told JRN, "but things have been good since then.  I didn't run the kind of time I wanted to in Tokyo, so with the Olympics next year and the selection races before that I wanted to get in a good time.  Japanese runners have been running well here recently, so I'm hoping that time will come here on the Gold Coast."

Kawauchi, a past Gold Coast winner, comes in with a long-lasting overuse injury stemming from a twisted ankle in late December.  Rather than taking the time needed to let the injury heal Kawauchi has continued to race almost without interruption to his schedule, the sole highlights of his season being a 2:12:13 for 2nd at April's Zurich Marathon and a 2:48:23 win at the Okinoshima 50 km two weeks ago.  A 2:12 at Gold Coast would be a very good day for him, anything faster a miracle.  "I'll go out with the lead pack and hang on as long as I can, whether that's 20 km or later," he said.  "After that I think I can run down people who fall off the lead pack, so I might end up with a result like last year.  That's all I can do."

JRN will be on-site throughout race weekend to cover the race live and provide expert commentary on Sunday's live webcast for the second year in a row.  Check back often for exclusive content.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon and Southern Cross University 10 km - Elite Field Highlights
Gold Coast, Australia, July 4-5, 2015
click here for more detailed field listings

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Men's Field
Berhanu Shiferaw (Ethiopia) - 2:04:48
Albert Matebor (Kenya) - 2:05:25
Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) - 2:07:36
Evans Ruto (Kenya) - 2:07:49
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14
Ryo Yamamoto (Japan/SGH Group) - 2:08:44
Samuel Woldeamanuel (Ethiopia) - 2:08:45
Silah Limo (Kenya) - 2:09:14
Dominic Kangor Kimwetich (Kenya) - 2:09:36
Tewelde Estifanos Hidru (Eritrea) - 2:10:18
Jeffrey Eggleston (U.S.A.) - 2:10:52
Jeff Hunt (Australia) - 2:11:00
Shigeki Tsuji (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:13:41
Tomonori Sakamoto (Japan/Press Kogyo) - 2:13:49
Yoshinori Sugimoto (Japan/Aichi T&F Assoc.) - 2:14:11
Saeki Makino (Japan/Kawaguchi T&F Assoc.) - 2:17:59
Rowan Walker (Australia) - 2:18:01
Alphonce Felix Simbu (Tanzania) - debut - 1:02:21

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Women's Field
Makda Haji Harun (Ethiopia) - 2:26:46
Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 2:28:09
Keiko Nogami (Japan/Juhachi Ginko) - 2:28:19
Tsehay Desalegn Adhana (Ethiopia) - 2:31:25
Manami Kamitanida (Japan/Hitachi) - 2:31:34
Shoko Shimizu (Japan/Aichi Denki) - 2:32:43
Riona Ishimoto (Japan/Noritz) - 2:38:26
Kirsten Molloy (Australia) - 2:43:43
Victoria Beck (New Zealand) - 2:43:45
Fumiko Hashimoto (Japan/Shimamura) - debut - 1:12:20 half marathon

ASICS Half Marathon Men's Field
Takehiro Deki (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 58:51 (20 km)
Liam Adams (Australia) 1:03:28
Benjamin Ashkettle (New Zealand) 1:03:45
Ben Moreau (U.K.) 1:03:59
Callan Moody (New Zealand) 1:05:13
Brad Milosevic (Australia) 1:05:33
Duer Yoa (Australia) 1:05:35
Alastair Stevenson (Australia) 1:05:46

ASICS Half Marathon Women's Field
Remi Nakazato (Japan) - 1:10:03
Eloise Wellings (Australia) - 1:10:41
Sara Hall (U.S.A.) - 1:10:50
Jessica Trengrove (Australia) - 1:11:07
Cassie Fien (Australia) - 1:11:45
Milly Clark (Australia) - 1:14:04
Sinead Diver (Australia) - 1:14:25
Yuka Koga (Japan) - 1:14:28
Lydia O'Donnell (New Zealand) - 1:14:40
Nicki McFadzien (New Zealand) - 1:15:13
Amelia Aslanides (Australia) - 1:16:13

Southern Cross University 10 km Men's Field
Harry Summers (Australia) - 28:13
Martin Dent (Australia) - 28:28
Malcolm Hicks (New Zealand) - 29:19
Jack Rayner (Australia) - 29:37
Jackson Elliott (Australia) - 29:42
Bradley Croker (Australia) - 29:48

Southern Cross University 10 km Women's Field
Bridey Delaney (Australia) - 33:52
Gemma Maini (Australia) - 33:50
Sarah Klein (Australia) - 34:21

text and photos (c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

One Month Until the Japanese Olympic Marathon Trials

It's one month to go until what's bound to be the best marathon of 2019, Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, the Sept. 15 Marathon Grand Championship Race. Up to now Japan has typically picked its Olympic and World Championships marathon teams based on performances in a series of specific races, primarily the Fukuoka International Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Marathon for men, and the Saitama International Marathon, Osaka International Women's Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon for women. This time around they're going with a U.S.-style one-shot trials race, the MGC Race.

People had a nearly two-year window from August, 2017 to April this year to hit tough standards to qualify. Only 34 men and 15 women made it, and after withdrawals for the Doha World Championships the MGC Race's final entry list is just 31 men and 12 women. Swedish Athletics Federation official Lorenzo Nesicalled it "the most difficult marathon race ever to quali…

MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier - Naoki Okamoto

Naoki Okamotoage: 35
sponsor: Chugoku Denryoku
graduated from: Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S., Meiji University

best time inside MGC window:
2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

PB: 2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 13:37.71 (2009) 10000 m: 28:05.84 (2011) half marathon: 1:02:16 (2009)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019)
DNF, 2019 Beppu-Oita Marathon
1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon, 2:11:29 – PB
DNF, 2018 Boston Marathon

other major results:
4th, 2019 Shibetsu Half Marathon, 1:03:53
2nd, 2019 New Year Ekiden Fourth Stage (22.4 km), 1:05:13
1st, 2018 Chugoku Corporate Ekiden Sixth Stage (19.0 km), 56:25 – CR
1st, 2018 Ome 30 km Road Race, 1:33:09
21st, 2017 Tokyo Marathon, 2:13:53

We’re picking Okamoto as our official dark horse of the men’s race. The second-oldest man in a field, Okamoto is a journeyman corporate leaguer who never broke 2:12 and whose PBs all came a decade ago. But, nearing the end of his career, over the last two years he has really come on…

Running the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Marathon Course Part Three - Men's Marathon and Overall Summary

Today marks one year until the men's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. For the third time in the last week, once last Friday with one year to go to the Olympic women's marathon, once on Monday with a likely competitor in the men's marathon, and again today, I ran most of the Olympic marathon course taking temperature and humidity readings every half an hour to get a handle on what kind of conditions athletes in each race can expect to be facing. Between the three runs I covered about 80 km, and including the two times I did it last summer two years out from the women's marathon and men's marathon about 135 km, on the Olympic course. To get it out of the way off the bat, a couple of days ago a few readers told me that the Buy Me A Coffee button wasn't working. I think the problem has been fixed, so if you're so inclined please feel free to use it. Your support for JRN is always really appreciated.

And now on to the run.


This time out I went to the start …