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

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Nakamoto and Kawauchi to Run Boston

Japan's Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) will run the 2018 Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. Kawauchi holds world records for everything from most career sub-2:12 marathons to most sub-2:20, while Nakamoto is Japan's best championships marathoner of modern times with four top 10 finishes at the Olympics and World Championships.

Longtime rivals, their duel at the 2013 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon was one of the classics of Japanese marathoning, both running sub-2:09 PBs as Kawauchi set a still-standing course record of 2:08:15. The pair has a 3-3 record in the marathon so far, their most recent meeting coming at last summer's London World Championships where Kawauchi ran Nakamoto down in the last kilometer to take 9th. Boston will be their 7th and likely final face-off.

Our 2018 #BostonMarathon International Elite Field includes 46 of the world’s best marathoners from 13 countries. Watch to see the …

Kawauchi Breaks Sub-2:20 World Record in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Battling freezing temperatures and wind chill that took things down to -23C, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a 2018 world-leading 2:18:59 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, taking 30 minutes off the course record and breaking American Doug Kurtis' historic sub-2:20 world record with his 76th career sub-2:20.

Kawauchi spent Dec. 29 to 31 training on the Boston Marathon course ahead of his upcoming appearance as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and planned to run Marshfield at the tail end of his trip. The Marshfield Road Runners club, organizers of the marathon, had their longstanding race USATF certified ahead of his appearance.


Wearing full-length tights in a marathon for the first time, in Marshfield Kawauchi planned to run the first of the hilly course's two laps in 1:09 flat to give himself room to work with in breaking 2:20. But in the wind and cold he struggled to stay on pace, ice crystals coating his face as he hit halfway in 1:10:29…