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Past Champions to Run with Masses at Boston Marathon

Joan Samuelson, Lisa Rainsberger, Gelindo
Bordin, Amby Burfoot among those to run Boston Marathon, while six
Champions to race in B.A.A. 5K.

 

FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, April 7, 2015

 

BOSTON ‰ÛÓ The Boston Athletic Association
(B.A.A.) announced today that several champions of the Boston Marathon®
will return to participate in events surrounding the 119th Boston
Marathon, to be held on Monday, April 20, 2015. Champions
Lisa Rainsberger (USA, 1985), Gelindo Bordin (ITA, 1990), Joan
Samuelson (USA, 1979 and 1983), and Amby Burfoot (USA, 1968) will join
30,000 entrants in this year’s running of the world’s oldest annual
marathon.

 

In addition, Morio Shigematsu (JPN, 1965),
Jaqueline Gareau (CAN, 1980), Geoff Smith (GBR, 1984 and 1985), Greg
Meyer (USA, 1983), Lorraine Moller (NZL, 1984), and Rainsberger will all
run the B.A.A. 5K on Saturday, April 18, to kick off
Boston Marathon weekend with 10,000 other participants.

 

Each year, the B.A.A. invites several champions
to celebrate the anniversary of significant victories. They will be
feted at a Champions’ Breakfast held in their honor on Sunday, April 19.

 

Rainsberger, 53, is the last American woman to
win the Boston Marathon’s open division, having claimed victory in
2:34:06 at the 1985 Boston Marathon. Rainsberger ran uncontested to win
her first attempt at the Boston Marathon, defeating
the field by more than 8 minutes. In 2015 she plans to celebrate the
30th anniversary of her win by racing both the Boston Marathon and
B.A.A. 5K.

 

Bordin, 56, is the only male in history to win
both the Olympic Games Marathon and the Boston Marathon. A resident of
Biella, Italy, he won the 1988 Olympic Games Marathon in Seoul, South
Korea, running 2:10:32. His 2:08:19 victory in Boston
in 1990 made him the only champion in the men’s open division to
represent Italy and the most recent champion in the men’s open division
to represent a European nation.

 

Samuelson, 57, is a two-time Boston Marathon
champion and winner of the inaugural women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984.
Samuelson has run each of the past four Boston Marathons, winning her
age division in 2014 (2:52:10), 2013 (2:50:29), and
2011 (2:51:29). The native of Maine completed the 2012 Boston Marathon
with her daughter Abby in 3:28:08. Samuelson is also a John Hancock
Elite Team Ambassador.

 

Burfoot, 68, returns to Boston a year after
finishing the race in 4:42:48. In 2013, Burfoot commemorated the 45th
anniversary of his 1968 victory, which made him the Boston Marathon’s
first American champion in 11 years. A Mystic, Conn.,
resident, Burfoot was coached by the late John J. Kelley, the first,
and currently lone, B.A.A. Running Club member to win the Boston
Marathon (1957). He will once again race the Boston Marathon this year.

 

Shigematsu, 74, won the Boston Marathon in 1965
at the age of 24, and is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his
victorious race from Hopkinton to Boston. With his win in 1965,
Shigematsu ended a ten year draught since a Japanese runner
had won the Boston Marathon, leading four athletes from his native
country in the top five. Less than two months after winning the Boston
Marathon, he set a then-world record of 2:12:00 at the Polytechnic
Marathon in England. Shigematsu plans to celebrate
his return to Boston by competing in the B.A.A. 5K on April 18.

 

Gareau, 62, will also run the B.A.A. 5K,
celebrating the 35th anniversary of her Boston Marathon win. In 1980,
Gareau became the first ‰ÛÓand only‰ÛÓ woman from Canada to win the Boston
Marathon, setting a course record of 2:34:28. Ten years
ago, in 2005, Gareau served as the race’s Grand Marshal, and was given
the opportunity to run across the finish line and break the finish tape
in a special ceremony. Gareau was a 1984 Olympian, and also finished
second at the Boston Marathon in both 1982 and
1983.

 

Smith, 61, of Great Britain, is a two-time
winner of the Boston Marathon being honored for both his 1984 and 1985
triumphs. After winning the 1984 contest in 2:10:34 –while still a
senior at Providence College– Smith returned to defend
his title in 2:14:05. A two-time Olympian, Smith is one of the few
athletes to have run both a sub-four minute mile and a sub-2:10
marathon. Smith now resides in Massachusetts.

 

Celebrating the ten year anniversary of her 2005
victory is Cheri Blauwet, a two-time champion in the push rim
wheelchair division. Blauwet won the 2004 Boston Marathon while still a
medical student at Stanford University, breaking free
in the Newton Hills and going on to win in 1:39:53. She successfully
retained her title in 2005, claiming victory in 1:47:45. Blauwet is also
a Paralympic medalist, and lives and works in the Boston area.

 

A longtime Boston resident, Bill Rodgers is a
four-time Boston Marathon champion and is also a John Hancock Elite Team
Ambassador. This year marks the 40th anniversary of his 1975 win, as
well as the 35th anniversary of his 1980 victory.
Throughout the year, Rodgers participates in many health and wellness
initiatives, and makes appearances at numerous races. He was the grand
marshal of the 2014 Boston Marathon, riding in a pace car ahead of the
lead runners and heralding to spectators along
the course that thousands of runners will soon be coming.

 

Also competing in the B.A.A. 5K will be Meyer,
59, the 1983 Boston Marathon winner who is also a coach for principal
sponsor John Hancock Financial’s Employee Training Team for the Boston
Marathon. He will serve as the Finish Line announcer
for race day.

 

Lorraine Moller, 59, of New Zealand, will
participate in the B.A.A. 5K as well. She won the 1984 Boston Marathon
in 2:29:28, and is a four-time Olympian.

 

Sara Mae Berman, Jack Fultz, Roberta (Bobbi)
Gibb, Nina Kuscsik, and Uta Pippig are among other Boston Marathon
winners who will be in Boston for the 119th Boston Marathon.

 

A number of champions will try to earn another
coveted olive wreath at this year’s Boston Marathon. Defending men’s
open division champion Meb Keflezighi of California returns to Boston as
a member of John Hancock’s Elite Athlete Team,
looking to become the first repeat American winner since Bill Rodgers.
Ernst van Dyk of South Africa, the defending men’s push rim wheelchair
division winner, and Tatyana McFadden of Illinois, who is going for her
third straight title in the women’s push rim
wheelchair division, will also take the starting line in Hopkinton.

 

Men’s open division winners Wesley Korir (2012)
and Lelisa Desisa (2013), as well as women’s open division champions
Sharon Cherop (2012) and Caroline Kilel (2011) are also part of the John
Hancock Elite Athlete Team seeking another Boston
Marathon victory.

 

 

About the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.)

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic
Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a
healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s
Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and
the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive
charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the
principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock
Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World
Marathon Majors, along with the international marathons in Tokyo,
London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More than 60,000 runners
will participate in B.A.A. events in 2015. The 119th Boston Marathon
will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015. For more information
on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.

 

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