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Flanagan Breaks Gold Coast Marathon CR, Fukuda Takes Men's Race

As Australia's Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon returned for the first time since 2019, Lindsay Flanagan became its first American winner female or male, taking 6 seconds off the course record and over 2 minutes off her PB to take 1st in 2:24:43. Accompanied by dedicated male pacers and a large group of men in a race that never saw a lead women's group congeal, Flanagan went through halfway in 1:11:59 and then sped up even further, clocking her two fastest 5 km splits of the race, 16:52 and 16:47, from 20 to 25 km and 25 to 30 km. The effects of that came down on her after 30 km as she slowed beyond 3:30/km, but with a rally over the last km she held on to just crack Ruth Chebitok's 2018 CR of 2:24:49.

Post-race Flanagan and her coach, Australian NR and Oceania AR holder Benita Johnson, were elated, having just met each other in person a few days before the race after a year of online coaching.

Like Flanagan, 2nd-placer and local favorite Lisa Weightman, the CR holder in Gold Coast's 10 km and half marathon divisions, ran the entire way with only male accompaniment, splitting halfway in 1:12:36 and coming home in 2:25:55, the best-ever by an Australian woman at Gold Coast and the 2nd-best time of her career. 3rd-placer Shiho Kaneshigestarted more conservatively with a 1:14:00 first half, passing American Stephanie Bruce just before 20 km and staying on track to break her 2:28:51 PB until late in the race when she faded to 2:29:12, also a career 2nd-best and her first time sub-2:30 outside Japan.

While the top women all ran separately, a lead group of 4 men shook out by 5 km, with Australian Liam Adams pacing Japan's Jo Fukuda and Akihiro Kaneko, Belgian Amaury Paquet and fellow Aussie Samuel Gebremichael on track to just break 2:10. When Adams dropped off before 20 km Fukuda took over, he and Kaneko quickly dropping the other two and pulling away. Fukuda, whose 2:09:52 best was set on the Gold Coast in 2018, disposed of Kaneko just past 25 km and ran the rest of the way alone, making good on his race logo-themed hair dye job with his first-ever marathon win in 2:10:55. In contrast to the fast women's race, it was the slowest men's winning time since 2010. Kaneko was 2nd in 2:14:25, Paquet taking 3rd in 2:15:45. 

Tokyo Paralympics gold medalist Madison de Rozario fought off Paralympic teammate Christie Dawes to win the women's wheelchair division, her time of 1:46:58 good enough for 3rd overall. The only men to beat her were Jake Lappin, 1st by a wide margin in 1:37:32 and Luke Bailey, just hanging on to 2nd overall in 1:46:01.

(07/03/2022) Views: 400 ‚ö°AMP
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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