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Gold Coast Half Marathon and Marathon Preview

Australia's Gold Coast Half Marathon and Marathon are big draws for Japanese corporate leaguers these days, especially with a big contingent from this year's National Corporate Half Marathon dominating the entry lists in the half. Two-time winner Sara Hall is top-ranked in the women's half with a 1:07:15 from Houston two years ago and will mostly be racing Leanne Pompeani for the win. Beyond that there's a big group at the 1:10 level including Japan's Rinka Hida, Yukari Nagatomo and Moe Shimizu who should all be in it for 3rd.

The men's half is dominated by four Japanese men who broke 1:01 at the National Corporate Half in February, meaning that if the weather is decent then the 1:01:16 CR is likely to fall to Shunsuke Shikama, Koki Kamata, Soshi Suzuki or Daisuke Doi. That's a big if, though, with >50% chance of rain and a headwind in the 2nd half that's forecast to get stronger as the race goes along.

The favorite for the win and a shot at American Lindsay Flanagan's 2:24:43 event record is Kenyan Visiline Jepkesho, 2:22:52 in Seoul this year. Japan's Rie Kawauchi and Ethiopian Sichala Kumeshi are both podium contenders, Kawauchi with a 2:25:35 in Osaka two years ago and Sichala 2:26:53 in Hamburg last year. Japanese women won the marathon at the Gold Coast seven times in the ten years from 2007 to 2016, but since Misato Horie's win in 2016 they've only had two 3rd-place finishes, one by Risa Takenaka in 2017 and the other by Shiho Kaneshige in 2022. Both Horie and Kaneshige are back this time, with Aynalem Kasahun Teferi and Kaneshige rounding out the list of current sub-2:30 women in the race.

Japanese men have won it four of the last five editions, and the last time a Japanese man wasn't in the top two was 2015. Last year Naoki Koyama set a course record 2:07:40, then went on to win the Paris Olympic marathon trials, then ran 2:06:33 in Osaka this past February. Given that kind of progression, the field this year is packed with 2nd-tier Japanese men hoping to have the same success, ten of them who've run 2:07 to 2:09 in the last two years.

Most of the action looks like it'll be down around the 3rd to 5th-ranked runners, with 2:07:53 Kenyan Timothy Kipkorir Kattam looking like the best bet to break the Japanese streak carried this year by Yuta Koyama, 2:07:57 in Osaka last year, and Mizuki Higashi, 2:08:03 in Osaka this year. Top-ranked Kenyan Felix Kandie has a 2:07:18 in Seoul two years ago, but with only a 2:11:57 season best last year it'll be tough for him to stay in contention here. Six other Japanese come in with recent times between 2:08:29 and 2:08:44, and with the weather looking better for Sunday expect to see all of them go with the lead pace group at 3:01/km.

Streaming of both races will be here starting at 6:00 a.m. local time both days. JRN's Brett Larner will be sitting in on guest commentary on the marathon broadcast again this year.

Gold Coast Half Marathon and Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Gold Coast, Australia, 7 July 2024
times listed are best in 2022~2024 except where noted

Half Marathon Women
Sara Hall (U.S.A.) - 1:07:15 (Houston 2022)
Leanne Pompeani (Australia) - 1:09:07 (Gold Coast 2023)
Natasha Wodak (Canada) - 1:10:01 (New York 2022)
Rinka Hida (Japan) - 1:10:10 (Osaka 2023)
Yukari Nagatomo (Japan) - 1:10:34 (National Corporate Half 2024)
Moe Shimizu (Japan) - 1:10:37 (National Corporate Half 2024)
Andrea Seccafien (Canada) - 1:11:33 (New York 2022)
Jessica Stenson (Australia) - 1:11:35 (Gold Coast 2022)

Half Marathon Men
Shunsuke Shikama (Japan) - 1:00:41 (National Corporate Half 2024)
Koki Kamata (Japan) - 1:00:47 (National Corporate Half 2024)
Soshi Suzuki (Japan) - 1:00:49 (National Corporate Half 2024)
Daisuke Doi (Japan) - 1:00:51 (National Corporate Half 2024)
Tim Vincent (Australia) - 1:02:01 (Marugame 2024)
Haruki Abe (Japan) - 1:02:05 (Marugame 2023)
Naoya Sakuda (Japan) - 1:02:22 (Gifu 2022)
Riley Cocks (Australia) - 1:02:43 (Marugame 2023)
Rei Yamahira (Japan) - 1:02:48 (Setagaya 2022)
Cameron Avery (New Zealand) - 1:02:50 (Gold Coast 2023)
Ed Goddard (Australia) - 1:02:52 (Valencia 2023)
Andrew Buchanan (Australia) - 1:03:12 (Sunshine Coast 2023)
Kenya Sonota (Japan) - 1:03:14 (National Corporate Half 2018)
Seth O'Donnell (Australia) - 1:03:40 (Gold Coast 2023)
Jo Fukuda (Japan) - 1:04:41 (Osaka 2024)

Marathon Women
Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) - 2:22:52 (Seoul 2024)
Rie Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:25:35 (Osaka 2022)
Sichala Kumeshi (Ethiopia) - 2:26:53 (Hamburg 2023)
Aynalem Kasahun Teferi (Ethiopia) - 2:29:11 (Seville 2022)
Shiho Kaneshige (Japan) - 2:29:12 (Gold Coast 2022)
Min Liu (China) - 2:29:24 (Wuxi 2024)
Sarah Klein (Australia) - 2:30:10 (Eugene 2022)
Yuki Nakamura (Japan) - 2:30:31 (Nagoya 2024)
Irene Jerobon (Kenya) - 2:30:51 (Castellon 2024)
Misato Horie (Japan) - 2:32:10 (Osaka 2022)
Tara Palm (Australia) - 2:32:25 (Osaka 2024)
Ai Ikemoto (Japan) - 2:34:17 (Hofu 2022)
Gemma Maini (Japan) - 2:35:25 (Melbourne 2023)
Ella McCartney (Australia) - 2:38:43 (Gold Coast 2023)
Abigail Nordberg (Australia) - debut - 1:11:53 (Launceston 2022)
Brigid Dennehy (New Zealand) - debut - 1:15:00 (Southport 2023

Marathon Men
Felix Kipchirchir Kandie (Kenya) - 2:07:18 (Seoul 2022)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:07:35 (Osaka 2023)
Timothy Kipkorir Kattam (Kenya) - 2:07:53 (Milan 2023)
Yuta Koyama (Japan) - 2:07:57 (Osaka 2023)
Mizuki Higashi (Japan) - 2:08:03 (Osaka 2024)
Yuki Nakamura (Japan) - 2:08:29 (Hofu 2022)
Kiyoshi Koga (Japan) - 2:08:30 (Beppu-Oita 2022)
Daiji Kawai (Japan) - 2:08:31 (Tokyo 2022)
Kenji Yamamoto (Japan) - 2:08:33 (Tokyo 2024)
Naoki Aiba (Japan) - 2:08:44 (Beppu-Oita 2022)
Rintaro Takeda (Japan) - 2:08:48 (Osaka 2022)
Masaki Tsuda (Japan) - 2:10:40 (Beppu-Oita 2023)
Kibet Soyekwo (Uganda) - 2:10:58 (MIlan 2023)
Joshua Iżewski (U.S.A.) - 2:11:09 (Orlando 2024)
Geoffrey Birgen (Kenya) - 2:11:22 (Buriram 2024)
Akihiro Kaneko (Japan) - 2:11:39 (Osaka 2022)
Keisuke Yokota (Japan) - 2:11:43 (Osaka 2023)
Belay Tilahun (Ethiopia) - 2:11:49 (Dalian 2023)
Thomas Do Canto (Australia) - 2:11:51 (Valencia 2023)
Kenneth Omulo (Kenya) - 2:12:38 (Izmir 2023)
Reece Edwards (Australia) - 2:14:34 (Melbourne 2023)
Anubaike Kuwan (China) - 2:14:34 (Beijing 2022)
Liam Boudin (Australia) - debut - 1:03:02 (Sunshine Coast Half 2022)

text and photos © 2024 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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