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Kenyan runner to start favourite for 2024 ASICS Gold Coast Marathon women’s race

Kenya’s Visiline Jepkesho will start as the top fancy in the 2024 ASICS Gold Coast Marathon with eight other women who all know what it’s like to crack the 2:30 barrier.

Indeed, an outstanding field of Japanese, Australian and Ethiopian runners and a challenger from China will be out to keep her honest in her debut Gold Coast run.

Jepkesho (34), who has won marathons in France, Netherlands and Slovenia, comes into the race with her 2:21:37 PB the best of the field.  But she hasn’t bettered that mark since 2017 and she’ll need to quickly rediscover that form to give Lindsay Flanagan’s 2:24:43 race record a shake.

Japanese runners Rie Kawauchi (PB 2:25:35), Misato Horie (2:25:44) and Shiho Kanshige (2:28:51) will also be out win the race.

Kawauchi took victory in this year’s Nagano Marathon and Kanshige placed third at the 2022 ASICS Gold Coast Marathon while Horie won here in 2016 to become the sixth fastest woman ever on the Gold Coast course with her time of 2:26:40.

Tellingly Horie is also the most recent of the 14 Japanese women who have won this race.

Ethiopia will be well represented by Kumeshi Sichala (2:26:01) and Aynalem Teferi who notched her 2:26:12 PB with a third placing in the 2021 Cape Town Marathon in South Africa.

Meanwhile Australian hopes at being the first local winner since Lauren Shelley’s 2009 triumph rest with two runners who know the course well.

Milly Clark and Sarah Klein have both competed on the Gold Coast many times with Clark winning the ASICS Half Marathon a decade ago in 2014 and running a gallant second to two-time winner Rodah Tanui in 2019, when she finished strongly but ran out of road.

She has a 2:26:59 PB over the marathon distance by virtue of her win in the 2021 Melbourne Marathon.

Klein (39) also knows the taste of marathon victory after winning the 2022 Newcastle Marathon in 2:30:49, and a fourth place in this year’s Milan Marathon indicates she’s running into some serious form at the right time.

A solid result here will extend a deep association of this event that started way back in 2008 with victory in that year’s Southern Cross University 10km Run.

And as if to underline the international status of the women’s marathon, rounding out the top 10 will be China’s Min Liu who ran a 2:29:24 in Wuxi earlier this year. She won the 2023 Beijing Half Marathon and if momentum is with her, she could well be the first Chinese runner, man or woman, to taste victory in any ASICS Gold Coast Marathon event.

ASICS Gold Coast Marathon, Half Marathon and Southern Cross University 10km Run are currently at capacity. There is still an opportunity to be a part of the action and enter the CPL Wheelchair Marathon and 10km Wheelchair event, the Gold Coast Airport 5km, the Gold Coast Bulletin 2km or 4km Junior Dash or the Wheelchair 4km race.

Events Management Queensland proudly delivers the annual Gold Coast Marathon presented by ASICS, Toowoomba Marathon presented by Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport and the biennial Pan Pacific Masters Games and is proudly supported by Experience Gold Coast and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland.

Events Management Queensland acknowledges and pays respect to the Kombumerri people of the Yugambeh language region, the Saltwater People of the Gold Coast, as the traditional owners of the lands and waters upon which we invite and welcome participants from across the globe to experience our events.

Posted in News.