John Hancock Announces Elite Field for Boston Marathon


43 Elite Athletes from Around
the World Invited for 115th Running on April 18

Boston Champions, International
Champions and Top Americans Lead the Team

BOSTON, MA, February 10,
2011‰ÛÓIn its 26th year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon,
John Hancock Financial today announced the elite field for the 115th
running of the Boston Marathon on April 18.  A complete field list

Reigning champions Robert Kiprono
Cheruiyot and Teyba Erkesso will defend their titles, but will be fiercely
challenged by one of the fastest and deepest men‰Ûªs and women‰Ûªs fields
ever assembled for the Boston Marathon.  

Cheruiyot ran a stunning 2:05:52
course record last year over the difficult Boston course.  In April
he will face top contenders that include past and present marathon champions
of New York City, Chicago, Seoul, Amsterdam, Houston, Xiamen, Torino, Eindhoven,
Phoenix, Monaco, Gyeongju, Milan and Nairobi.  

Geoffrey Mutai leads the line-up
as the second fastest man in the world last year with a 2:04:55 best. Joining
him are 2:06 men including top American Ryan Hall, Gilbert Yegon, Tadese
Tola, Evans Cheruiyot and 2010 Seoul course record holder Sylvester Teimet.

Challenging this group are the 2010
New York City champion Gebregziabher Gebremariam, the newly crowned Houston
course record holder Bekana Daba and 2010 Boston runner-up Tekeste Kebede.

International newcomers to the course
include Philip Sanga, Feleke Cherkos, Deressa Edae, Stephen Kibiwot, Peter
Kamais and 2011 Xiamen winner Robert Kipchumba.  Returning to Boston
are Moses Kigen Kipkosgei, Shadrack Kiplagat and American talent Antonio
Vega.  Irish Olympian Alistair Cragg and Kenyan Moses Mosop will make
their marathon debuts.  

On the women‰Ûªs side, the historic
race in Boston has been decided over the past three years by three seconds
or less.  Last year Teyba Erkesso maintained a three second lead to
the finish as she held off a charging Tatyana Pushkareva.  This year‰Ûªs
race likely will prove just as competitive with 16 women in the field holding
times of 2:26:20 or better.  

Past champions Salina Kosgei, Dire
Tune and four-time winner Catherine Ndereba join Erkesso and Pushkareva.
 The experienced trio will contest a highly competitive race that
includes 2010 international marathon champions, top Americans and talented

Chasing the Boston champions are
2010 international marathon winners including Sharon Cherop, who edged
Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene to win Toronto by one second, and Caroline Kilel,
who won Frankfurt after a duel with Dire Tune.  Carpi champion Hellen
Mugo is on the team and she joins Amsterdam winner Alice Timbilili.

Challenging the group are top Americans
Kara Goucher, who finished third in Boston in 2009, and Desiree Davila,
the fastest American of 2010 with her fourth place finish in Chicago, and
Olympian Blake Russell. International competitors include New Zealand Olympian
Kim Smith, former Russian national record holder Galina Bogomolova and
young talent Merima Mohammed from Ethiopia.

Werknesh Kidane and Florence Kiplagat
also bring significant credentials to the race.  Kidane is a multiple
junior and senior World Cross Country champion (2 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze)
and Kiplagat, who will make her marathon debut, is a World Half Marathon
and World Cross Country champion.  Both women are married to men in
the field: Kidane is married to Gebregziabher Gebremariam and Kiplagat
is married to Moses Mosop.

Additional talent includes Silvia
Skvortsova, Teyba Naser, Woynishet Girma and Yuliya Ruban.

‰ÛÏThroughout our more than two decade-long
sponsorship of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock has each year honored
its commitment to bring the world’s top runners to the race and ensure
that the historic Boston Marathon remains among the world’s most premier
sporting events,‰Û said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event Marketing
at John Hancock. ‰ÛÏThis year‰Ûªs field once again is filled with outstanding
runners who no doubt will provide the millions of spectators and viewers
with yet another thrilling contest. We are counting down the days to April

‰ÛÏCompetitive excellence has been
the touchstone for the Boston Marathon for over a century, both among our
full field of runners and the magnificent field of professional runners
from around the world recruited by John Hancock,‰Û said Tom Grilk, B.A.A.
Executive Director.  ‰ÛÏJohn Hancock Financial’s sponsorship of our
premier event over the last 26 years — including support of professional
marathoners ‰ÛÒ has resulted in pre-race excitement, competitive races,
and historic performances.”

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