John Hancock Announces Elite USA Team for Boston 118

BOSTON, MA, January 7, 2014‰ÛÓJohn Hancock Financial today announced
the Elite USA Team for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon on
April 21, 2014. The exceptional U.S. team, recruited to compete with a deep
international field, includes Desiree Davila Linden, Shalane Flanagan, Amy
Hastings, Serena Burla, Adriana Nelson, Dathan Ritzenhein, Meb Keflezighi, Brett
Gotcher, Jason Hartmann, Nick Arciniaga and Jeffrey Eggleston.


Each member of the team has competed for the U.S. in
Olympic or World Championships and brings strong credentials to compete in



Desiree Davila Linden returns to Boston ready to race
and seek the title. In 2011, she narrowly missed winning by two seconds, as she
set a 2:22:38 American course record. In 2012, Linden finished second at the
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and most recently placed fifth at the 2013 Berlin

“It is an honor to be included in the
2014 John Hancock elite field,” said Linden. “The Boston Marathon was home for
both my debut and my breakthrough marathon. It seems to be an atmosphere that
brings out the best in me, and I’m looking forward to being back out there in
2014. In light of the tragic events in 2013‰ÛÓand I’m not unique in this
respect‰ÛÓthe Boston Marathon brought out the best in so many runners on the
course that day as they showed both courage and compassion. I look forward to sharing
the road and the journey in 2014 as we run together from Hopkinton to Boston
and show the strength and resilience of the running community.”

Olympian Shalane Flanagan, who finished fourth last year in Boston, also
returns for the win. In 2012 she won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in an
event record of 2:25:38 and finished 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. 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

“In my career, I’ve never felt my running take on a
more personal meaning than it will to prepare for this year’s race,” said
Flanagan. “The 2014 Boston Marathon will be run with overwhelming honor,
passion and joy. Each step we take closer to the finish line is a victory in
and of itself. It’s hard to express what it means to

return this particular year to the place where I grew
up and compete. In one word, I guess it would be ‘pride’. I and many in the
field will be fueled by those who were affected by the tragedy and will be
running for those who can not.”

Olympian Amy Hastings will join Linden and Flanagan
for her Boston 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 Olympic Trials Marathon and runner up in her exceptional marathon
debut in Los Angeles.

Serena Burla is in the field after placing second at
the competitive Amsterdam Marathon this past October. In 2012 she finished
third at the Seoul International Marathon and has been runner up at the U.S.
Half Marathon Championships twice. Burla is a cancer survivor and
was diagnosed with a malignant soft-tissue tumor in
her hamstring in 2010. After radical surgery and a positive recovery, Burla has
defied the odds to again perform as one of America’s best marathoners.

Adriana Nelson had an impressive 2013 as she won the
U.S. Half Marathon Championships and finished top American at the New York City
Marathon. In 2007 she debuted at the marathon distance and narrowly missed
winning in Chicago by three seconds.

In the men’s field, three-time Olympian Dathan
Ritzenhein joins 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.

“I am very excited to be running the
2014 Boston Marathon,” said Ritzenhein. Like all serious marathoners, Boston to
me is ‰Û¢the race’, and I can’t wait to toe the line on April 21st. Growing
up with idols such as Greg Meyer and Alberto Salazar makes me want to add my
name to this historic race.”

Meb Keflezighi, a three-time Olympian, joins
Ritzenhein and brings experience to the team. He placed fifth in Boston in 2010
and third in 2006. Keflezighi finished fourth at the 2012 London Olympic
Marathon after winning the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. Other major accomplishments
include winning the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon and
winning the 2009 New York City Marathon.

“It is always a great honor to
compete in the prestigious Boston Marathon,” said Keflezighi. This year’s race
will have special significance for all of us because of the tragedy that
occurred last year. I am honored to be amongst the 36,000 runners that are
running the 2014 Boston Marathon to demonstrate the spirit of the marathon. I
am training hard and smart to be healthy and fit enough to compete for a
victory. Let’s visualize our goals in our months of training and race with a
united purpose on April 21st.”

Bret Gotcher is making his
Boston Marathon debut and is another strong contender in the field. Gotcher finished
fifth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. He was top American at the 2013
Wharf to Wharf race, is a past national champion in the 20K, and has competed
for the U.S. on World Cross Country and Half Marathon teams. Gotcher won the
gold medal at the 2003 Junior Pan American Games 10,000m and earned All
American status at Stanford University.

Always the strategist, Jason
Hartmann knows how to run the challenging Boston terrain and take on the best
runners in the world. Hartmann finished fourth in 2012 and 2013.
“I had the opportunity to become
part of the historic legacy the past two years,” said Hartmann. “And now I look
forward to running the Boston Marathon to improve upon my past performances. My
expectations are for me to leave it all out on the course, no matter the
elements.” Hartmann won the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon and has competed for
the U.S. on World Cross Country and Half Marathon teams.

Nick Arciniaga and Jeffrey
Eggleston round out the men’s U.S. elite team. Arciniaga recently won the U.S.
Marathon Championships held this past October at the St. Paul Twin Cities
Marathon. He is a past member of the U.S. World Championships Marathon team,
finished eighth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic

Trials Marathon, was runner up
at the 2011 Houston Marathon, and third at the 2010 San Diego Marathon. Arciniaga
brings experience to the Boston Marathon course, having finished tenth in 2008.

Jeffrey Eggleston was the top
American finisher at the 2013 IAAF World Championships Marathon in Moscow,
where he placed 13th overall. Last year he also won the Chicago Half
Marathon. Eggleston was runner up at the 2010 U.S. Marathon Championships,
second at the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon and winner of the 2012 Woodlands

“The group of
U.S. runners which has committed to the 2014 Boston Marathon is exceptional,”
said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “The team reflects both principal
sponsor John Hancock’s recruitment success in assembling the best available
Americans, and the athletes’ desire to run Boston in what certainly will be a
special year for the race and the City.”

“It is
fitting that we present the strongest American field in our nearly 30 years of
sponsorship of the Boston Marathon. These exceptional athletes personify the
meaning of strength, commitment and support. These are the same attributes that
so many in our community displayed last April 15 and have continued to
demonstrate in the weeks and months since,”
Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event Marketing at John Hancock.

The complete John Hancock international
field for the 2014 Boston Marathon will be announced in late January. This year
marks the 29th year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the
legendary race. For additional information about the Elite Athlete Program and
sponsorship, please visit or follow us @jhboston26 on Twitter.

2014 Boston Marathon John
Hancock Elite USA Team


Davila Linden


2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)




2:25:38 (Houston, 2012)




2:27:03 (Los Angeles, 2011)




2:28:01 (Amsterdam, 2013)




2:28:52 (London, 2008)








2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012)




2:09:08 (Houston, 2012)




2:10:36 (Houston, 2010)




2:11:06 (Chicago 2010)




2:11:30 (Houston, 2011)




2:12:03 (Chicago, 2012)


About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial

Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based
financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the
United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and
primarily as 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
C$575 billion (US$559 billion) as at September 30, 2013. Manulife Financial
Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the
SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

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, 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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