Top Americans Meb & Ryan Hall to Run Boston






BOSTON, MA, December
18, 2009‰ÛÓIn celebration of its 25th anniversary as the principal sponsor of the
Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today announced the signing of top
Americans, Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall, for the 114th running of
the race on April 19, 2010.

Keflezighi and Hall have proven themselves as two of
the best distance runners of all time. They have the talent and credentials to
challenge Boston’s world-class field as they each seek to become the first male
American winner since Greg Meyer in 1983. At previous Boston Marathons, each
has placed third: Hall in 2009 and Keflezighi in 2006.

Fresh from his historic marathon win in New York City
is Keflezighi, a two-time Olympian and American record holder in the 10,000m. Keflezighi
won the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon and holds multiple
national titles.

“Boston has a great tradition not only to the running
community but also to the rest of the world,” said Keflezighi. “It has always
been my ultimate goal to win the Boston Marathon.”

This has been a banner year for Keflezighi who improved
his personal best to 2:09:15 with his New York City win and also claimed
national titles in cross country, seven miles, half marathon and the marathon.

“Winning in New York was a huge personal triumph and
the victory belongs to my family and support team,” said Keflezighi. “I am glad
I can help move the continued resurgence of U.S. distance running to the next
level. I am living the American dream and feel blessed.”

Hall carries his own impressive qualifications as the
second fastest American marathoner of all time with a 2:06:17 personal best. Only
former world record holder Khalid Khannouchi has posted a faster U.S. mark. Hall
holds American records in the 20K and half marathon. He was first at the 2007
U.S. Olympic Trials, shattering the event record by more than a minute, and
went on to place 10th at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon.

 “As soon as I finished the 2009 Boston Marathon, I
knew I wanted to be back for the 2010 race,” said Hall. “The energy of the crowds
far exceeded my expectations, the course was even more challenging than I
anticipated, I hurt more than I have hurt in any other race, yet participating
in the Boston Marathon was thrilling beyond my greatest expectations.”

Last year Hall was the aggressive early leader taking
a seasoned field through 5K in world record pace. He stayed with the leaders
throughout the race, but Deriba Merga of Ethiopia prevailed as the winner.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to come back as part
of the John Hancock Elite team and try to master the course that mastered me
last year,” added Hall. “I will be one year stronger this April and more
importantly one year smarter.”

Both men train with Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes,
California, and have been longtime residents of the state. Hall is originally
from Big Bear Lake and graduated from Stanford as a three-time All American in
cross country and NCAA champion in the 5,000m. Keflezighi is from San Diego and
graduated from UCLA as a four time NCAA champion. In head-to-head marathon
competition, Hall has out run Keflezighi 2-1. In their respective third place
finishes at Boston, Hall ran a 2:09:40 in 2009 and Keflezighi ran a 2:09:56 in

With necessary experience on the course and plenty of
motivation to become the first American champion in 27 years, the
Keflezighi-Hall match up should prove exciting. “Meb and Ryan are among the
very best and brightest stars in U.S. distance running,” said Guy Morse,
executive director of the B.A.A. “Meb has led the resurging American men since
he won the silver medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and Ryan’s full
potential at the marathon distance is yet to be realized. We look forward to
providing the stage for both of them to continue their success and development.”

“John Hancock is committed to securing the strongest
fields of runners from around the world for the Boston Marathon each year. It
is an added bonus to have Meb and Ryan, two outstanding U.S. runners, as top
contenders in the field for the 2010 race,” said Jim Boyle, President of John
Hancock Financial Services. “We know they will only add excitement to what is
always a thrilling race. Marathoning is a global sport and the prominence of
U.S. runners among the world’s elite is a terrific development for fans and for
the sport.”


John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation

Manulife Financial
is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of
customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife
Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United
States, the Company 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
Financial and its subsidiaries were
billion (US$407.1 billion) as at September 30, 2009. Manulife
Financial Corporation trades as ‰Û¢MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‰Û¢945′
on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at


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



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