With good conditions forecast, a flat course and a deep list of elite runners, the Gold Coast is set to turn it on for the 38th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday with the men’s and women’s race records under threat.

The men’s race will feature the return of defending champion 42-year-old Kenneth Mungara from Kenya, fresh from a third place and new world masters over 40 record of 2:08:38 in the Milan Marathon in April.

Mungara made headlines last year as the former barber who set a new race, Australian all comers and world over-40 record at the time of 2:08:42.

Mungara will face strong competition within his own Kenyan ranks from Peter Some (pb 2:05:38), Willy Koitile (pb2:08:32), Milton Rotich (pb 2:08:55) and John Cheruiyot (pb 2:08:56) all set to feature in the lead pack.

Some comes into the race with the fastest time in the field – his personal best set when winning the Paris Marathon in 2013.

Another former Gold Coast winner (2013) Yuki Kawauchi from Japan (pb 2:08:14), Beraki Zerea from Eritrea (pb2:08:27), Ser-Od Bat-Ochir from Mongolia (pb 2:08:50) and Birhanu Achamie from Ethiopia (pb 2:09:27) round out the elite men that have all run under 2:10 previously and loom as serious challengers to the Kenyan five.

In the race for the IAAF Oceania Area Marathon Championships, New Zealand’s Paul Martelletti heads the list with a 2:16:49 pb and strong recent form including a win last year in the Manchester Marathon in 2:17:47 and a half marathon pb of 1:04:55 also set last year.

His Kiwi compatriots Ben Ashkettle and Tony Payne will also contend for an Oceania podium finish, while the leading Aussie heading into the race is Antony Rickards from Victoria.

The women’s race record of 2:27:17, set by Japan’s Yukiko Akaba in 2013, will also come under threat with six of the leading contenders profiling pbs under 2:28.

Ethiopians Gulume Chala and Meseret Biru headline the women’s field having both recorded pbs during the past 18 months and are favourites to secure the first win for their country on Gold Coast roads since 2011.

Chala heads into the 42.195km race with a victory at the 2015 Frankfurt Marathon (2:23:12) and second place honours at the Paris Marathon earlier this year while Biru’s win at the Paris Marathon in 2015 places her among the contenders.

Historically, Japanese women have dominated the marquee race, accounting for 13 wins since 1990 including the past four. 2004 Berlin Marathon winner Yoko Shibui (2:19:41), Misato Horie (2:27:57) and 2014 Gold Coast Airport Marathon runner-up Rika Takenaka (nee Shintaku) will look to continue this trend.

While Leah Kiprono (2:27:40) and Agnes Mutune (2:30:13) are both set on becoming the first Kenyan woman to win. 2006 Xiamen International Marathon champion Wei Wei Sun from China is aiming to do the same for her country.

Victoria Beck’s (2:43:45) pursuit for back-to-back IAAF Oceania Area Marathon Championships will be challenged by fellow New Zealanders Katie Kemp (2:42:35) and Alice Mason (2:45:43) as well as Australians Kirsten Molloy (2:43:43), Rachel Glasson (2:47:57) and Clare Geraghty (2:48:35).

Another race within a race will see no less than 19 men and women from around the world make a last ditch attempt to qualify for the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games before the deadline on 11 July. While the IAAF entry standard is 2:19 for men and 2:45 for women, some countries demand faster qualification times.

There will be Olympic aspirants representing Belgium, Cape Verde, Croatia, El Savador, Hungary, Indonesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Sudan, Taiwan and Zambia.

Sunday’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon will also feature the Australian Defence Marathon Championships, Queensland Marathon Championships, Australian and Queensland Masters Athletics Marathon Championships.

The gun will fire to start the 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon race at 7:20am (AEST) on Sunday. Based on race record time, the men’s winner is due to finish at 9:28am (AEST) and the women’s winner at 9:47am (AEST). A live webcast featuring the action can be viewed at goldcoastmarathon.com.au

Race Records
Kenneth Mungara (KEN) 2:08:42 (2015)
Yukiko Akaba (JPN) 2:27:17 (2013)
Top 10 All Time Race Performances
Kenneth Mungara (KEN) 2:08:42 (2015)
Silah Limo (KEN) 2:08:54 (2015)
Evans Ruto (KEN) 2:08:55 (2015)
Silah Limo (KEN) 2:09:14 (2014)
Tewelde Hidru (ERI) 2:09:33 (2015)
Nicholas Manza (KEN) 2:10:01 (2011)
Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:10:01 (2013)
Brad Camp (AUS) 2:10:11 (1989)
Albert Matebor (KEN) 2:10:13 (2011)
Alemayehu Shumye (ETH) 2:10:35 (2012)
Yukiko Akaba (JPN) 2:27:17 (2013)
Risa Takenaka (JPN) 2:28:25 (2015)
Asami Kato (JPN) 2:28:51 (2014)
Erico Asai (JPN) 2:29:29 (1993)
Keiko Nogami (JPN) 2:29:34 (2015)
Alice Ngerechi (KEN) 2:29:48 (2013)
Goitetom Tesema (ETH) 2:30:08 (2011)
Kaori Yoshida (JPN) 2:30:36 (2012)
Rika Shintaku (JPN) 2:30:37 (2014)
Kaori Yoshida (JPN) 2:31:33 (2010)
2016 Elite Field – Men
Kenneth Mungara (KEN) 2:07:36 (Prague, 2011)
Peter Some (KEN) 2:05:38 (Paris, 2013)
Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:08:14 (Seoul, 2013)
Beraki Zerea (ERI) 2:08:27 (Hengshui, 2014)
Willy Koitile (KEN) 2:08:32 (Vienna, 2012)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (MGL) 2:08:50 (Fukuoka, 2014)
Milton Rotich (KEN) 2:08:55 (Casablanca, 2013)
John Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:08:56 (Frankfurt, 2015)
Birhanu Achamie (ETH) 2:09:27 (Rome, 2016)
Abdelhadi El Hachimi* (BEL) 2:11:30 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Chiharu Takada (JPN) 2:10:03 (Fukuoka, 2014)
Abraraw Misganaw (ETH) 2:10:22 (Dubai, 2014)
Tatsunori Hamasaki (JPN) 2:12:12 (Tokyo, 2015)
Jordan Chipangama* (ZAM) 2:11:35 (Duluth, 2015)
Guor Maker* (SSD) 2:12:55 (San Diego, 2012)
Saeki Makino (JPN) 2:15:22 (Seoul, 2015)
Chia-Che Chang* (TWN) 2:16:06 (Pyongyang, 2012)
Byambajav Tseveenravdan* (MGL) 2:16:26 (Seoul, 2016)
Paul Martelletti* (NZL) 2:16:49 (Berlin, 2011)
Shota Jige (JPN) 2:17:06 (Otsu, 2011)
Ben Ashkettle* (NZL) 2:19:16 (Houston, 2014)
Munkhbayar Narandulam* (MGL) 2:19:36 (Beijing, 2015)
Daniel Daly* (CRO) 2:20:36 (Duluth, 2013)
Meng-Tsung Chu* (TWN) 2:21:52 (Hamburg, 2016)
Patrick Nispel (SUI) 2:22:55 (Zurich, 2013)
Agus Prayago* (INA) 2:23:29 (Tokyo, 2016)
Tony Payne (NZL) 2:24:55 (Rotterdam, 2015)
Sergio Dias* (CPV) 1:06:33 (Switzerland, 2013)^
Paul Yak* (SSD) 1:06:17 (Des Moines, 2016)^
Antony Rickards (AUS) 2:23:46 (Melbourne, 2007)
Peter Hallgreen (AUS) 2:26:16 (Melbourne, 2014)
Kenneth Smeby (NOR) 2:28:45 (Eindhoven, 2015)
Dion Finocchiaro (AUS) 2:29:01 (Alexandra Headland, 2015)
Dave Ridley (NZL) 2:29:11 (Sydney, 2014)
Jorge Maravilla* (ESA) 2:26:47 (San Luis, 2015)
*seeking Olympic qualification
^Half marathon personal best times
Oceania Area Marathon Championships
Paul Martelletti* (NZL) 2:16:49 (Berlin, 2011)
Ben Ashkettle* (NZL) 2:19:16 (Houston, 2014)
Tony Payne (NZL) 2:24:55 (Rotterdam, 2015)
Antony Rickards (AUS) 2:23:46 (Melbourne, 2007) – hasn’t entered OAA
Peter Hallgren (AUS) 2:26:16 (Melbourne, 2014) – hasn’t entered OAA
Dion Finocchiaro (AUS) 2:29:01 (Alexandra Headland, 2015)
Dave Ridley (NZL) 2:29:11 (Sydney, 2014)
2016 Elite Field – Women
Yoko Shibui (JPN) 2:19:41 (Berlin, 2004)
Gulume Chala (ETH) 2:23:12 (Frankfurt, 2015)
Meseret Biru (ETH) 2:23:26 (Paris, 2015)
Wei Wei Sun (CHN) 2:25:15 (Beijing, 2002)
Leah Kiprono (KEN) 2:27:40 (Zhengzhou, 2016)
Misato Horie (JPN) 2:27:57 (Nagoya, 2014)
Rika Takenaka (JPN) 2:29:27 (Osaka, 2015)
Agnes Mutune (KEN) 2:30:13 (Frankfurt, 2015)
Hitomi Nakamura (JPN) 2:33:23 (Osaka, 2016)
Yuri Yoshizumi (JPN) 2:37:56 (Sapporo, 2013)
Sakie Ishibashi (JPN) 2:41:27 (Tsuchiura, 2015)
Katarina Janosikova* (SVK) 2:42:57 (New York, 2008)
Katie Kemp (NZL) 2:42:35 (Auckland, 2015)
Kirsten Molloy (AUS) 2:43:43 (Melbourne, 2011)
Victoria Beck (NZL) 2:43:45 (Invercargill, 2010)
Khishigsaikahn Galbadrakh* (MGL) 2:44:16 (Gunsan, 2016)
Timea Merenyi* (HUN) 2:45:11 (Budapest, 2015)
Katalin Garami* (HUN) 2:46:38 (Berlin, 2014)
Alice Mason (NZL) 2:45:43 (Christchurch, 2015)
Rachel Glasson (AUS) 2:47:57 (Boston, 2014)
Clare Geraghty (AUS) 2:48:35 (Melbourne, 2011)
*seeking Olympic qualification
Oceania Area Marathon Championships
Katie Kemp (NZL) 2:42:35 (Auckland, 2015)
Kirsten Molloy (AUS) 2:43:43 (Melbourne, 2011)
Victoria Beck (NZL) 2:43:45 (Invercargill, 2010)
Alice Mason (NZL) 2:45:43 (Christchurch, 2015)
Rachel Glasson (AUS) 2:47:57 (Boston, 2014)
Clare Geraghty (AUS) 2:48:35 (Melbourne, 2011)