Skip to main content

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Elite Field Highlights

by Brett Larner

Australia's Gold Coast Airport Marathon has released the men's and women's elite fields for this year's race on July 3.  Cementing its position as a significant IAAF gold label event, the race features nine men and five women with recent times under the gold label standards of 2:10 and 2:28.  Peter Some of Kenya leads the men's field with a 2:07:05 at the 2014 Tokyo Marathon and should give the 2:08:42 Australian all-comers' record set last year by returning champion Kenneth Mungara a scare.  Yuki Kawauchi is the top-ranked Japanese man with a 2:09:05 from the 2013 Fukuoka International Marathon, his domestic competition including corporate runner Chiharu Takada and Kawauchi's longtime rival and sometimes training partner Arata Fujiwara.

The women's all-comers' record is Naoko Takahashi's mighty 2:23:14 gold medal run from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  Ethiopians Gulume Chala and Meseret Biru both have recent times under 2:23:30, and with a bit of teamwork they may be able to give Takahashi's legendary mark a go.  The woman who replaced Takahashi as the Japanese national record holder, Yoko Shibui, has long since passed the days when she was running those kinds of times and with just a 2:31:06 at last November's Saitama International Marathon will need a big comeback run to factor into the front end of the race.  Misato Horie is the lone Japanese woman in the field with a current gold label time, a 2:27:57 from the 2014 Nagoya Women's Marathon.  Horie is ranked 5th in the field on recent performances, but with a streak of solid runs on the Gold Coast from Japanese women in recent years she could place well higher.

JRN will be on-site at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.  Looked for detailed coverage closer to race date.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Gold Coast, Australia, 7/3/16
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Peter Some (Kenya) - 2:07:05 (Tokyo 2014)
Beraki Zerea (Eritrea) - 2:08:27 (Hengshui 2014)
Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) - 2:08:38 (Milano 2016)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia) - 2:08:50 (Fukuoka 2014)
Milton Rotich (Kenya) - 2:08:55 (Casablanca 2013)
John Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 2:08:56 (Frankfurt 2015)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:09:05 (Fukuoka 2013)
Birhanu Achamie (Ethiopia) - 2:09:27 (Rome 2016)
Willy Kotile (Kenya) - 2:09:58 (Milano 2015)
Chiharu Takada (Japan) - 2:10:03 (Fukuoka 2014)
Abragaw Misganaw (Ethiopia) - 2:10:22 (Dubai 2014)
Arata Fujiwara (Japan) - 2:11:50 (Hofu 2015)
Tatsunori Hamasaki (Japan) - 2:12:12 (Tokyo 2015)
Abdelhadi El Hachimi (Belgium) - 2:12:45 (Berlin 2014)
Saeki Makino (Japan) - 2:15:22 (Seoul 2015)

Women
Gulume Chala (Ethiopia) - 2:23:12 (Frankfurt 2015)
Meseret Biru (Ethiopia) - 2:23:26 (Paris 2015)
Meseret Tolwak (Ethiopia) - 2:27:17 (Frankfurt 2015)
Leah Kiprono (Kenya) - 2:27:39 (Zhengzhou 2016)
Misato Horie (Japan) - 2:27:57 (Nagoya Women's 2014)
Rika Takenaka (Japan) - 2:29:27 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Agnes Mutune (Kenya) - 2:30:13 (Frankfurt 2015)
Yoko Shibui (Japan) - 2:31:06 (Saitama 2015)
Hitomi Nakamura (Japan) - 2:33:23 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Wei Wei Sun (China) - 2:36:29 (Seoul 2016)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…