Hanson’s Women’s Team to Tour Boston Course Feb 15-17


Hansons-Brooks Distance Project to Return to Boston Marathon

Women’s Team to Scout Boston Marathon and U.S. Olympic Team Trials Courses in Preparation for 2007 and 2008.

Boston, Mass. – With the Boston Athletic Association hosting the 2007 USA Women’s Marathon Championship as part of the Boston Marathon on April 16, and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women’s Marathon on the day before the 112th Boston Marathon, the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project women’s team is now set to make their official Boston debut. The team’s five women – Desiree Davila, Yolanda Flamino, Dot McMahan, Kelly Stewart, and Melissa White – will be visiting Boston on February 15-17 to train on the traditional Boston Marathon course, and to tour the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials route, which consists of multiple loops in Boston’s Back Bay and into Cambridge.

Over the past seven years, the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project of Rochester, Mich., has emerged as the preeminent marathon training group in the nation. Nowhere was this status more obvious than at the 2006 Boston Marathon, when men from the Hansons program took the city by storm, placing fourth, 10th, 11th, 15th, 18th, 19th and 22nd. The Hansons team was a large part of an American resurgence at last year’s Boston Marathon: a race where five Americans placed among the Top 10.

All five Hansons-Brooks women will return in two months to compete in the 2007 Boston Marathon. White (2:39:21 PR), McMahan (2:43:27 PR) and Flamino (2:45:19 PR) have already run U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifying standards, while Davila (debut) and Stewart (2:58:21 PR) will be attempting to qualify for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Boston. The women will be competing for overall Boston Marathon prize money and a separate prize money purse for U.S. women.

Accompanying the team to Boston this week will be Hansons-Brooks co-founders Keith and Kevin Hanson. The brothers, who own a chain of running shoe stores in Michigan, founded the Distance Project in 2000 with the goal of giving something back to the sport. They now own several houses for the team, and provide travel, coaching and part-time jobs for 22 athletes.

As a part of its American Development Program, the B.A.A. is devoted to assisting top American marathoners to visit Boston and train on the courses where they will soon be competing for the 2007 national championship and the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. Also as a part of the American Development Program, the B.A.A. sponsored a men’s group from the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, as well as seventh place 2006 Boston Marathon finisher Peter Gilmore of California, as they competed at the Ohme-Hochi 30K Road Race in Japan earlier this month. All of these athletes are expected to compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Men’s Marathon in the fall of this year in New York City.

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and 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 Services. In 2006, the Boston Marathon launched – along with the Flora London Marathon also in April – the World Marathon Majors series. Other events in the series include the Berlin-Marathon, The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon.

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