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John Hancock Announces Elite US Field for Boston Marathon

BOSTON, MA, January 7, 2015‰ÛÓJohn Hancock Financial today announced
the Elite USA Team for the 119th running of the Boston Marathon on
April 20, 2015. The exceptional team, recruited to compete with a deep
international field, includes the men’s defending champion Meb Keflezighi, as
well as Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila Linden, Amy Hastings, Dathan
Ritzenhein, Nick Arciniaga, Jeffrey Eggleston, and Fernando Cabada. Each member
has competed in Olympic or World Championships and brings strong credentials to
compete in the 119th running of the Boston Marathon.

“We’ve
witnessed performances by many of the world’s best marathoners at Boston, and
seeing more Americans contend in recent years‰ÛÓand ultimately win‰ÛÓalways adds to
the anticipation and the excitement for our runners, our spectators and all of
our audiences,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “The Boston Marathon
is an international event, but as we saw in April 2014, American contenders
can’t help but be buoyed by the strong sense of patriotism which surrounds our
race. We appreciate that our 30-year sponsor John Hancock has supported
Americans who want to run the Boston Marathon and compete on our international
stage against many of the world’s best athletes.”

“We
are thrilled to have Meb back as our defending champion and equally thrilled to
have him surrounded by another exceptionally strong American field, led on the
women’s side by
Shalane Flanagan,said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event
Marketing at John Hancock. “In John Hancock’s
30 years of sponsorship of the Boston
Marathon, we’ve always had the strongest international fields of runners who
have thrilled spectators along the route and viewers from around the globe. To
have an increasingly strong American contingent year after year only adds to
the excitement of this remarkable race, not just for the hometown fans, but the
entire international running community.”

A three-time
Olympian, Meb Keflezighi is one of
America’s most decorated marathoners. In 2014 he broke from the lead pack early
and beat the fastest elite men’s field ever assembled for the Boston Marathon
to become the first U.S. male winner since 1983. Before the start of the race,
Keflezighi wrote

the
names of the victims of the 2013 race day tragedy on his number and said he was
determined and inspired to win to honor all of those affected.

 

“I am so excited to run the 2015 Boston Marathon,”
said Keflezighi. “My win at the 2014 Boston Marathon will always be the most
significant victory of my career. But I still aspire to get the best out of

myself, run personal bests, win races and inspire all
people to get the best out of themselves in running and in life.  There is
no better platform for these goals than the Boston Marathon.” 

 

Keflezighi
is the only American man to have won the Boston and New York City Marathons
(2009) and earned an Olympic Marathon medal (silver, 2004). He has run Boston
two additional times, placing third in 2006 and fifth in 2010. Other career
highlights include winning the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, placing
fourth at the 2012 London Olympic Games Marathon and finishing fourth at the 2014
New York City Marathon.

Three-time
Olympian Shalane Flanagan, who last
year ran the fastest time ever by an American woman on the course (2:22:02), is
also on the John Hancock Elite Team. Leading for most of the way last year, she
was instrumental in pushing ten women to finish under 2:24:00 for the first
time in the history of the sport.

Growing up in the Boston area, Flanagan
was especially concerned with honoring those affected by the 2013 race day
tragedy and her front running proved her intent to win. “Boston brings out the
best in you, because it demands the best of you,” said Flanagan. “I grew up on
the sidelines of this race and from the intimidating course to the fierce
competition, this marathon represents at its very core what it means to run
with everything you have. Last year that’s what I did and this year will
be no different, because this is Boston and that’s just what you do.”

After
Boston, Flanagan placed third at the Berlin Marathon in 2:21:14 and set a U.S.
25K record along the way. In 2013 she finished fourth in Boston and in 2012
Flanagan won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in an event record of 2:25:38 and
went on to finish tenth at the 2012 London Olympic Marathon.
Flanagan holds
North and Central American records in the indoor 3,000m and 5,000m and in the
outdoor 10,000m, 15K and 25K. She won the bronze medal in the 10,000m at the
2008 Olympics, placed second in her 2010 marathon debut in New York City, and
won the bronze medal at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Desiree
Davila Linden
, the fourth fastest
American marathoner of all time, returns to Boston seeking another chance at
the title. In 2011, she narrowly missed winning the race by two seconds, running
a then American course record 2:22:38. Last year at Boston she ran 2:23:54 and
followed in New York City with a hard-earned fifth place against a highly
competitive field. Proving her talent, determination and consistency, Linden
has finished top five in five World Marathon Majors. Additional accomplishments
include finishing tenth at the 2009 World Marathon Championships and second at
the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Speaking about the depth of
competitiveness at last year’s race, Linden said, “The 2014 Boston Marathon
really changed the game for women’s marathoning. Running respectable there and
finishing a distant 10th really kept me hungry all year and raised my own level
of expectations. After a consistent 2014, I’ve built
great momentum and feel like a
breakthrough is possible this spring; I’m honored to once again be a part of
the John Hancock elite field and can’t wait to compete on the streets of
Boston.”

Olympian Amy
Hastings
joins Linden and Flanagan for her Boston debut. At the Chicago
Marathon last year, Hastings finished top American and fifth overall as she matched
her 2:27:03 best from her runner-up 2011 Los Angeles debut. After winning the
2012 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000m, Hastings finished 11th in the
event at the London Olympic Games. She then competed in the event at the 2013
IAAF World Championships 10,000m and finished 14th. Additional
marathon highlights for Hastings include fourth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon
Trials.

Hastings now calls Providence, Rhode Island, home and
is taking advantage of the proximity to the Boston course. “Boston has been on
my race bucket list since I started running and it’s finally happening,”

said Hastings. “The start line is
only a 45-minute drive from my home, so I have been logging miles on the course
to prepare myself for those Newton hills. I can’t wait to get out there and put
all of my hard work to use.”

In the men’s field, three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein joins Keflezighi on the
John Hancock Elite Athlete Team to make his Boston debut. Ritzenhein, who is
coached by 1982 Boston Marathon champion Alberto Salazar, is the third fastest
U.S. marathoner of all time. Career highlights for Ritzenhein include finishing
ninth at the 2008 Olympic Marathon, winning the bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF
World Half Marathon Championships and finishing 13th at the 2012
Olympic Games 10,000m. His 2:07:47 best was recorded with a ninth place, top
American finish at the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

“The Boston Marathon is the most iconic
marathon in the world and I can’t wait to toe the line this year,” said
Ritzenhein. “I have wanted to run Boston for a very long time and I will give
it everything I have on race day. Every runner knows the importance this race
holds and I look forward to April 20th to take to the streets of Boston.”

Nick Arciniaga also returns to
Boston after finishing seventh last year. Arciniaga won the 2013 U.S. Marathon
Championships and is a past member of the U.S. World Championships Marathon
team. Additional career highlights include finishing tenth at the 2014 New York
City Marathon, eighth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, second at the
2011 Houston Marathon, third at the 2010 San Diego Marathon and tenth at the 2008
Boston Marathon.

“It is an honor
to again be a part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete team at the 2015 Boston
Marathon,” said Arciniaga. “I hope we can continue to keep numerous U.S.
athletes at the front of the field.”

Jeffrey Eggleston returns after finishing eighth overall last year at Boston to
round out a strong showing for the U.S. men in the top ten. After Boston, he
finished runner up at the Gold Coast Marathon in a 2:10:52 personal best. He
also won the Virginia Beach, Los Angeles and Las Vegas Rock ‰Û¢n’ Roll Half
Marathons. In 2013, Eggleston was the top American finisher at the IAAF World
Championships Marathon in Moscow, where he placed 13th.  He also was runner up at the 2010 U.S.
Marathon Championships, second at the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon and winner of
the 2012 Woodlands Marathon.

“I’m delighted to
return to Boston,” said Eggleston. “Last year’s race was an historic occasion
that left me inspired, motivated and hungry for more. No race holds more
importance to my future goals. There’s only one Boston!”

Joining the men’s team is Fernando Cabada who had a banner year in 2014 as he improved his
marathon best to 2:11:36 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon with an 11th place finish.
Cabada is a former North and Central
American record holder in the 25K (1:14:21) and a three-time national champion
in the marathon
(2008) and 25K (2006, 2011). Cabada made his marathon
debut in Fukuoka in 2006 with a 2:12:27 finish.

“I am extremely grateful to have another opportunity
to compete in Boston, on a world stage,” said Cabada. “Redemption is what comes
to mind as two years ago in my debut Boston showing I finished 16th after
having some lower leg issues midway through the race. I feel I am at the top of
my game after running a personal best a few months ago in Berlin and I am more
than confident I will do even better at this year’s Boston Marathon. I’m
looking forward to being part of a great American contingent in the race. I can’t
wait for Boston!”

The complete John Hancock
international field for the 2015 Boston Marathon will be announced

in mid-January. This year marks the 30th year of John
Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the legendary race. For additional
information about the Elite Athlete Program and sponsorship, please visit
www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/sportspartnerships.html or follow us @jhboston26 on Twitter.

 

2015 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite USA Team

Shalane

Flanagan

USA

2:21:14 (Berlin, 2014)

Desiree

Davila Linden

USA

2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)

Amy

Hastings

USA

2:27:03 (Chicago, 2014/L.A. 2011)

 

 

 

 

Dathan

Ritzenhein

USA

2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012)

Meb

Keflezighi

USA

2:08:37 (Boston, 2014)

Jeffrey

Eggleston

USA

2:10:52 (Gold Coast, 2014)

Nicholas

Arciniaga

USA

2:11:30 (Houston, 2011)

Fernando

Cabada

USA

2:11:36 (Berlin, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

About
John Hancock Financial and Manulife

John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a
leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in
Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia,
and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies
offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth
management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and
distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries
were C$663 billion (US$591 billion) as at September 30, 2014. Manulife
Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’
on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance
companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States.
John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products,
including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care
insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional
information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

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