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Sara Hall is set to defend her title at the Asics Half Marathon on the Gold Coast July 1

Defending champion Sara Hall and 2:25 marathon runner Laura Thweatt will lead a two-pronged United States attack in the ASICS Half Marathon on the Gold Coast of Australia next Sunday 1 July.  Hall, who won the race last year in 1:10:30, is the top seed and will arrive on the Gold Coast in cracking form following a marathon personal best (PB) of 2:26:20 in Ottawa, Canada last month.  The 35-year-old, who also placed second in the race in 2015, will be striving to better her half marathon PB of 1:09:37 as well as claim the winner’s spoils of AUD $6,000 plus time bonuses. Her compatriot Thweatt, coached by Australian distance running legend Lee Troop (a previous winner of the ASICS Half Marathon), is also in good form having run a 10K PB of 32:20 in Ottawa.  Thweatt is a highly accomplished marathon runner having run 2:28:23 on debut in the New York City Marathon in 2015 and clocking a PB of 2:25:38 in last year’s London Marathon.  With the likely strong competition at the front of the field in good Gold Coast conditions, the 29-year-old may leave next Sunday with a new PB under 1:11:02.  The US duo won’t have it their own way with a Japanese runner out to add to her country’s 22 winners (6 men, 16 women) in the history of the ASICS Half Marathon.  Hanae Tanaka has the fastest half marathon PB in the race (1:09:18 set in 2013) as well as solid form this year highlighted by a sixth placing in the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in March in 2:27:40.  (06/23/2018) ⚡AMP

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