Skip to main content

Barsosio Leads Gold Coast Women



For its 40th anniversary running Australia's Gold Coast Marathon has brought in a woman capable of giving the event a course record worthy of its gold label status, and maybe of taking a swing at the fastest marathon ever run on Australian soil, Naoko Takahashi's 2:23:14 gold medal run at the Sydney Olympics. Runner-up at last year's Paris Marathon in 2:20:59, Kenyan Agnes Jeruto Barsosio is the class of the field, almost five minutes faster than her strongest competition, fellow Kenyan Ruth Chebitok. Despite a scarcity of results this year it's Barsosio's race to lose.

That said, the long travel to Australia often takes a toll on the top competitors, leaving the top of the podium accessible to women in the 2:25-2:27 range. Along with Chebitok, Australia's Jessica Trengove and Japan's Ayaka Fujimoto (Kyocera) and Miharu Shimokado (Nitori) are positioned at exactly that level and should contend for top three at the worst. The 2015 Melbourne Marathon winner, Trengove set her PB of 2:27:01 while finishing 10th at last year's London Marathon before doubling back to take 9th in the London World Championships marathon. Gold Coast hasn't had an Australian winner male or female since Lauren Shelley in 2009, but Trengove looks like its best chance of breaking that dry spell.

Japanese women have won six of the last eight years at Gold Coast. Coached by former half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato, Fujimoto's 2:27:08 breakthrough in Tokyo at age 19 last year marked her as one of the country's highest-potential young athletes. Shimokado has gone through coaching changes since her 2:27:54 best in Nagoya last year but if she is back on track should be up with Trengove, Fujimoto and the others. Australia's Celia Sullohern rounds out the subgroup of sub-2:30 women on the entry list.

Fujimoto, Shimokado and the other Japanese women in the race will also be chasing qualifying for marks for the MGC Race, Japan's new 2020 Olympic trials event to be held in the fall of 2019. The sub-2:24 auto-qualifier is probably out of range at Gold Coast, but a decent time would count toward the two-race sub-2:28 average route to qualification. Mao Uesugi (Starts) is the only woman there who already has one mark on the books counting toward MGC qualification, her 2:31:49 in Tokyo this year necessitating a 2:24:11 to make the trials.

Also running in the half marathon division are Japan's Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido), 6th in March's Nagoya Women's Marathon, and Misaki Hayashida (Toyota Jidoshokki), Rie Fujita (Kyocera) and Anna Matsuda (Kyocera), the 3rd through 5th-placers February's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships. $6000 is the prize for 1st place, sweet pickings for a race that has only gone under 70 minutes three times in its history.

Look for the men's field listing on Monday. JRN will be on-site at the Gold Coast Marathon throughout race weekend and will once again be doing race commentary on the official webcast. Check back for more closer to race date.

40th Gold Coast Marathon Elite Women's Field Highlights

Gold Coast, Australia, July 1, 2018
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Agnes Jeruto Barsosio (Kenya) - 2:20:59 (Paris 2017)
Ruth Chebitok (Kenya) - 2:25:49 (Barcelona 2018)
Jessica Trengove (Australia) - 2:27:01 (London 2017)
Ayaka Fujimoto (Japan) - 2:27:08 (Tokyo 2017)
Miharu Shimokado (Japan) - 2:27:54 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Celia Sullohern (Australia) - 2:29:27 (Melbourne 2017)
Mao Uesugi (Japan) - 2:31:49 (Tokyo 2018)
Yukari Abe (Japan) - 2:35:47 (Nagoya Women's 2015)

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Three - The Men's Marathon and Racewalks

Following last week's run over most of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon course exactly two years before the women's marathon, this morning I went out to do it again at the same time the men's marathon will be held. Last week we focused mostly on the first 20 km and finish. This week I looked more at the second part of the course after 20 km, starting at 7 a.m. and making it back to the stadium at 9:45, about the same time the last few runners in the men's race are likely to finish in two years. Effort-wise I ran about 4:15/km, slightly faster than last week's run to get a better sense of what a decent effort would feel like in the Tokyo conditions.

The Report Last week's heat, humidity and sun pretty well represented Tokyo's weather this summer, but no summer would be complete without a few typhoons. One passed just east of Tokyo yesterday and during the night, bringing cooler temperatures and shifting winds and humidity as it passed to the northeast. The …

Official Caught Manipulating Results to Get Junior High School Athletes Into National Championships

On Aug. 10 the Yamanashi Track and Field Association announced that at last month's Yamanashi Prefecture Junior High School Track and Field Championships a male official had misrepresented the results of two athletes so that they cleared the qualifying standards necessary for them to compete in the National Junior High School Championships.

According to the YTFA, in the girls' 100 m hurdles and boys' 110 m hurdles at July's prefectural meet, while determining finishing time in finish line photographs the official measured the two athletes from the neck rather than from the torso, improving each athlete's time by 0.01 seconds. The official told investigators, "I knew it was wrong, but I had the qualifying marks for Nationals in mind."

The finish line photo data were sent to the JAAF, who discovered the manipulation of the results and brought it to the YTFA's attention on Aug. 2. The YFTA apologized to the two athletes and allowed them to participate i…

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Two - The Women's Marathon

Today marks two years until the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There's been a lot of concern about the 7:00 a.m. start time approved by the IOC two weeks ago as it means that athletes will be running under direct sunlight in temperatures in the low 30's and potentially high humidity. I went down to the Olympic Stadium site this morning and, starting at exactly 7:00 a.m., ran 30 km of the course to check for myself what kind of conditions the athletes will be facing.


If you're not familiar with Tokyo, take a look at the map to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. I ran from the stadium to the 20 km point and then back, cutting out the sections from 20 to 28 km and from 31 to 35 km which I'll do next week on the 9th, two years ahead of the men's marathon.
The bad news: The conditions were tough. With zero cloud cover and very little wind, at the time of the 7:00 a.m. start at the Olympic Stadium it was 31.1˚C with 68% humidity according…