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.

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