Four of the six athletes representing Australia in the marathon at the upcoming world championships in London will be competing on the Gold Coast on Sunday 2 July in two world-class half marathon races.
The women’s field features two-time Olympic marathoner Jess Trengove who will be using the race as a hit-out after placing 10th in the prestigious London Marathon in a personal best time of 2:27:01 in April.
“I have loved the Gold Coast Half Marathon since my debut over the distance there in 2010 and I am excited to line up against a very strong field,” Trengove said.
“The incredible depth in this year's field will provide a timely opportunity to race hard in the lead up to the London world championships.
“The first big race or hit-out following a marathon inevitably stings but I look forward to the challenge.
“It's a privilege to be able to race on home soil and I hope to make the most of this opportunity.
“I was happy with how I pulled up from the London Marathon in April and the preparation has been going to plan for my next marathon there in seven weeks.”
Joining the South Australian will be Rio Olympic teammate Milly Clark who will be looking to continue her impressive international marathon form in the English capital after finishing 18th in Brazil last year.
The 28-year-old will toe the line on the Gold Coast with a personal best in the half marathon of 1:10.48 run in Cardiff last year at the world half marathon championships, where she placed 13th.
Also in the women’s field will be American duo Sara Hall and Desiree Linden, who will be well and truly setting the pace with the leaders eyeing an opportunity to run a personal best on a fast course.
Hall, wife of retired US marathon star Ryan, recently ran a marathon personal best of 2:28:26 in Tokyo after lowering her half marathon personal best to 1:10:07 in Houston last year.
Two-time Olympian Linden, who finished seventh in the marathon in Rio, has quite the résumé with two second place finishes in Chicago and also at Boston in 2011 running an impressive 2:22.38.
The 33-year-old recently ran seventh in the New York Half Marathon in 1:11:05, just shy of her personal best of 1:10:34 set in 2011.
The men’s race includes two Australian men who will compete in London, one of those being Josh Harris who placed fifth in this race last year.
He is preparing for his first senior Australian race at a major championships after qualifying for London with a personal best run of 2:17.08 in the Lake Biwa Marathon.
Following the race, Harris will venture to Europe to continue his training for the championships which includes a stint at altitude in St. Moritz in Switzerland.
Two-time winner of this race who represented Australia in the marathon at the London Olympics, Jeff Hunt, will also be in the field as he prepares for the marathon in London in August.
The 34-year-old won consecutive Gold Coast half marathon titles in 2010 and 2011 after setting his personal best over the distance of 1:02.44 in 2009 on the same course.
The 26-year-old set his half marathon personal best of 1:05.51 at this race in 2014 and will be amongst a quality field that includes Japanese trio Hiroki Yamagishi, Koji Gokaya and Keita Nagura.
Benson Masya (KEN) 1:01:16 – 1992
Lisa Weightman (AUS) 1:09:00 – 2010