John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association Announce Return of Defending Champions for 2019 Boston Marathon
o Desiree Linden, Yuki Kawauchi, Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug set to defend their titles on April 15, 2019
o 2019 Marks the 34th Year of John Hancock’s Principal Sponsorship of the Boston Marathon
BOSTON, MA, December 10, 2018, 10:00 a.m. EST-John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association today announced the return of 2018 Boston Marathon open champions Desiree Linden and Yuki Kawauchi, as well as wheelchair champions Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug for the 123rd running of the race on April 15, 2019. The 2019 Boston Marathon marks the 34th year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the world’s oldest annual marathon.
“At Boston this year, Desiree Linden, Yuki Kawauchi, Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug proved freezing rain and driving wind were no match for the opportunity to be crowned Boston Marathon champions,” said John Hancock Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Goose. “Their perseverance and tenacity led the way for thousands of runners to realize their own dreams. We look forward to welcoming back our champions as well as all participants and spectators for another historic race on Patriots’ Day.”
“Last April Des Linden and Yuki Kawauchi, in the most challenging of weather conditions, etched their names in Boston Marathon history with races that served to inspire people around the world,” said Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk. “In the wheelchair division, Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug both returned to their familiar spots on the podium with resounding victories. Along with John Hancock, we are excited to welcome this quartet of champions back to Boston for the 123rd Boston Marathon.”
About Desiree Linden:
o Desiree Linden, a two-time U.S. Olympian, won the 2018 Boston Marathon in driving rain, wind and near freezing temperatures. Her victory marked the first time in 33 years that an American woman earned the coveted open division title.
o Prior to 2018, Linden had run the Boston Marathon on five different occasions, narrowly missing the title in 2011 by two seconds when she ran a lifetime best of 2:22:38.
o A top-five finisher in eight Abbott World Marathon Majors, additional accomplishments include placing seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon, tenth at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Marathon, second at the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and second in the 10,000m at the 2015 Pan American Games.
“John Hancock takes so much pride in assembling their elite field. They bring together world class athletes with different racing strengths who can create a compelling story out on the roads,” said Linden. “In 2007, I ran my first Boston Marathon; I absolutely fell in love with the event, the course, the city, all of it. I thought I had every experience imaginable racing in Boston, but in 2019 I’m thrilled and proud to have another first as I’ll start the race as the defending Boston Marathon Champion. My 12 years of history in Boston have nothing on the 123 years of the event, but each year has made me love and appreciate it even more, and I can’t imagine racing anywhere else in April.”
About Yuki Kawauchi:
o This year Yuki Kawauchi took on a world class field and in conditions as tough as he is, became the first Japanese winner since 1987 – the same year he was born.
o An international icon for his high-volume, high quality racing, Kawauchi has won over 30 marathons, holds the Japanese 50K national best time and has competed on three IAAF World Championships Marathon teams.
o Kawauchi holds world records for running the most sub-2:12 marathons (26), sub-2:13 (42), sub-2:14 (50), sub-2:15 (57), sub-2:16 (67), sub-2:17 (92), sub-2:18 (77), sub-2:19 (81), and sub-2:20 (83).
“I am pleased to be able to take part in the Boston Marathon again as the returning champion,” said Kawauchi. “My victory in Boston was a moment in my marathon life that I will never forget. I look forward to meeting all my fellow runners in Boston and running together with them.”
About Tatyana McFadden:
o A Boston fan favorite, American Tatyana McFadden returns after winning five of the last six women’s wheelchair crowns in Boston. McFadden had a staggering 15 minute and 22 second margin of victory this year, prevailing through adverse conditions to break the tape in 2:04:39.
o A dominant force on the wheelchair stage, McFadden has won 22 Abbott World Marathon Majors races.
o McFadden is a 17-time Paralympic medalist on the track and competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics, earning a silver medal in cross-country skiing.
“I love coming to Boston,” said McFadden. “It will always hold a special place in my heart. I love the course and the community support. The course is very technical and the elite women’s division continues to grow and get better every year.”
About Marcel Hug:
o Marcel Hug, one of Switzerland’s most accomplished athletes, powered away from ten-time Boston champion Ernst van Dyk to capture this year’s Boston Marathon title.
o As one of only three men in history to have won four consecutive Boston titles, Hug returns seeking a fifth win and the opportunity to better his World Best 1:18:04 that he set at the 2017 Boston Marathon.
o A two-time defending Abbott World Marathon Majors Wheelchair Series champion, with 16 total wins, Hug is also an eight-time Paralympic medalist.
“It means a lot to me to come back to Boston next year to this prestigious and historic marathon,” said Hug. “The best athletes from all over the world will be at the start line. I am the defending champion there; this makes it even more special.”
Additional elite field announcements will roll out over the next month. For more information about the elite athlete program and sponsorship, please visit www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/sportspartnerships.html
About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over CAD$1.1 trillion (US$849 billion) as of June 30, 2018. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com.
One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
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