Marathon World Record Holder Kimetto to Run Boston









For Release:
Embargoed until 10 a.m. 12 January


Mary Kate Shea

Phone: (617) 596-7382





John Hancock Financial Announces 2017 Boston
Marathon International Elite Field

 44 Elite Athletes from
10 Countries
Invited for 121st Running on April 17


BOSTON, MA ‰ÛÓ In its 32nd year as
principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today announced
the elite field for the 121st
Boston Marathon on April 17. A complete field list
follows. (Photo by Jane Monti/Race Results Weekly)


Six Boston Marathon champions
and 15 top U.S. runners will challenge an exceptional men’s and women’s
international field. Combined, the team has won Olympic and IAAF World
Championships medals as well as 89 global marathons, including 22 Abbott World
Marathon Majors. There will be 19 Olympians in the field.

Marathon world-record-holder Dennis
leads a field of nine men who have lifetime bests under 2:05:30. Kimetto
is a Chicago and Tokyo champion and set the world marathon standard with his
2:02:57 Berlin win in 2014. Kimetto also holds the world 25K record. Close on
his heels will be seasoned runners and fellow Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai, Patrick
and Sammy Kitwara. Mutai finished
second to Kimetto in the 2014 Berlin race, is a London and Amsterdam champion
and earned the silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships. Makau is a
former marathon world-record-holder, two-time Berlin and Fukuoka winner, and
champion in Rotterdam and Frankfurt. Kitwara has run six half marathons under
one hour and is coming off a December win in Taipei.

Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu
of Ethiopia will work with
countrymen Yemane Tsegay, Dino Sefir and Sisay Lemma as he seeks to defend his
title. Tsegay finished third in Boston last year, claimed the silver medal at
the 2015 IAAF World Championships Marathon and has nine global marathon wins,
including winning Fukuoka this past December. Sefir and Lemma are new to the
Boston course. Sefir holds 2016 wins in Ottawa and Barcelona. Lemma won
Frankfurt and Vienna in 2015.

additional Kenyans will be in the mix. Wesley
, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion is joined by Wilson Chebet, a three-time Amsterdam winner and Rotterdam winner,
who has finished second and third in



 Rising talents Geoffrey Kirui, who won the bronze
medal in the 10,000m at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships and Daniel Salel, the 2016 B.A.A. Half
Marathon champion, also seek a podium finish in their Boston debuts.

Olympians Yared Asmeron of Eritrea, Cutbert Nyasango of Zimbabwe, and Eric Gillis of Canada also are in the
field. Highlights of Asmeron’s career include finishing eighth at the 2004
Olympic Games and fourth at the 2007 IAAF World Championships. Nyasango holds
his country’s national record and finished seventh at the 2012 Olympic Games
Marathon. Gillis, a three-time Olympian, most recently placed tenth at the 2016
Rio Olympic Games Marathon.


elite men previously announced include 2014 Boston Marathon winner and 2004
Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi,
2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Galen
, 2016 Olympian Jared Ward,
four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, Shadrack Biwott and Sean Quigley.  

added to the U.S. team is Luke Puskedra,
who finished fourth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and was the
top American at the 2015 Chicago Marathon with a fifth place finish.

the women’s side, John Hancock has assembled a talented field with nine women
holding personal best times under 2:23:23. Two-time IAAF World Championships
gold medalist Edna Kiplagat is one
of the most accomplished women in the field. Kiplagat is a London, New York
City and Los Angeles champion and won the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series
in 2013-2014. Last year she finished third in Tokyo and second in Chicago,
running a 2:22:36 and 2:23:28 respectively. Countrywomen Gladys Cherono, the 2015 Berlin winner and 2014 IAAF World Half
Marathon Championships gold medalist, joins Kiplagat, as does 2015 Boston,
Prague and Las Vegas champion Caroline

Valentine Kipketer, Joyce Chepkirui,
and Brigid Kosgei round out the Kenyan team. Kipketer is a past
winner of Amsterdam and Mumbai; Chepkirui is an Amsterdam and two-time Honolulu
winner; and Kosgei won Honolulu and Milan in 2016.

Ethiopia, 2016 champ Atsede Baysa as
well as 2014 Boston Marathon winner and course-record-holder Buzunesh Deba are back to race. They
will be joined by countrywoman and young talent Ruti Aga who won the silver medal in the 5,000m at the 2012 World
Junior Championships and last year finished second in Vienna and third in

Olympian Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia,
who is a two-time New York City winner and two-time Boston runner-up returns
after placing 12th at the 2016 Olympic Marathon. She will be joined
by Rose Chelimo of Bahrain, who
finished eighth at the 2016 Olympic Marathon; three-time Olympian Diane Nukuri of Burundi who most
recently finished fifth at the New York City Marathon; Kellys Arias, who holds the Colombian national record; and Rachel Hannah, the fastest Canadian
marathoner of 2016.

announced elite women from the U.S. include four-time Olympian and 10,000m
Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan,
who recently finished sixth at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon; two-time
Olympian Desiree Linden, who
finished seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon; 2015 Pan Am Games Marathon
silver medalist Lindsay Flanagan;
two-time Pittsburgh winner Clara
; Tallahassee and Twin Cities winner Esther Atkins
; and making her debut is track standout, Jordan Hasay, the 2016 Ten Mile National Champion.

Added to the U.S.
women’s field are Olympian Blake Russell
and Liz Costello who is making her
marathon debut. Russell is a winner of the Twin Cities Marathon, a four-time
top-20 finisher in World Cross Country Championships, the top American finisher
at the 2008 Olympic Games Marathon, and most recently finished third at the
2015 Los Angeles Marathon. Costello, an All-American at Princeton University,
finished fourth in the 10,000m at the 2015 Pan American Games and last year
placed sixth in the 10,000m at the U.S. Olympic Trials.






“We are excited that the elite race for the 121st
running of the Boston Marathon will showcase many of the most accomplished
runners in the world,” said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event
Marketing at John Hancock. “During our 32 years of sponsorship, we have hosted
more than 750 elite athletes from 47 countries, and each year they run a
strategic and exciting race for the spectators in Boston and fans around the
globe. We look forward to cheering on the elites and the thousands of runners
who will join them as they race over the world’s most historic marathon

“As evidenced by the returning champions and top
Americans who have already been announced, today’s release of the full field
reveals an incredible amount of talent heading to Boston,” said B.A.A. Chief
Executive Officer Tom Grilk. “Tactics are of crucial importance on the Boston
Marathon course, where the right combination of speed, smarts, and willpower
can help a victor emerge from the world’s best runners. April’s race will be
exciting to watch and John Hancock is to be commended for bringing the world’s
best to Boston once again.”

For additional
information about the John Hancock Elite Athlete Program and sponsorship,
please visit
or follow us @jhboston26 on Twitter. A complete field list follows.




2017 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite

Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite Men’s Field


Personal Best Marathon




2:02:57 (Berlin, 2014)




2:03:13 (Berlin, 2014)




2:03:38 (Berlin, 2011)




2:04:28 (Chicago,

Lemi Berhanu



2:04:33 (Dubai, 2016)