5 Sub-2:05 Men, 11 sub-2:23 Women & P Past Champions to Contest Boston Marathon (full lists)

John Hancock Announces 2019 Boston Marathon Elite Team

82 Elite Athletes, Including Olympians, Paralympians, World Champions and Abbott World Marathon Majors Winners, from 15 Countries Invited for 123rd Running on April 15

BOSTON, MA, January 10, 2019, 10:00 a.m. EST—John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced the elite international fields for the 123rd Boston Marathon on April 15. Complete field lists follow.

Nine Boston Marathon open champions and seven Boston Marathon wheelchair champions will challenge their respective fields to seek the coveted olive wreath. Combined, the field has won more than 200 international marathons and includes Olympic and Paralympic medalists, IAAF World Championships Marathon medalists and Abbott World Marathon Majors champions.

“John Hancock as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has recruited the world’s best runners to race on this historic course for over three decades,” said John Hancock Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Goose. “This year we welcome back 16 returning champions to challenge an accomplished international field of Olympians, World Champions and Abbott World Marathon Majors winners. We recognize the commitment and hard work it takes to compete at the highest level of the sport and look forward to another compelling race in Boston.”

“Each year, a collection of the world’s best runners descends on the start in Hopkinton with the goal of becoming Boston Marathon champion,” said B.A.A. CEO Tom Grilk. “John Hancock has once again assembled an Elite Team that will ensure a fiercely competitive race. From decorated champions to Olympians, Paralympians and national record holders, we are excited to watch another chapter of Boston Marathon history unfold on Patriots’ Day.”

(Photo of 2018 Boston titlists Yuki Kawauchi and Desi Linden, photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Men’s Field Summary

The field’s success in strategic and tactical championship style racing will prove critical as they run the world’s most historic marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston.

Leading a formidable field of 29 elite open men are: 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan; 2017 Boston and 2017 IAAF World Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya; two-time Boston champion and 2018 TCS New York City Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa of
Ethiopia; 2016 Boston victor Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia; and 2012 Boston champion Wesley Korir of Kenya.

Chasing the champions are 2:04 marathoners Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, a two-time Amsterdam, two-time Honolulu, Seville and Prague champion; Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia, winner of Carpi, Warsaw, Vienna, Frankfurt and Ljubljana; and Solomon Deksisa of Ethiopia, winner of Mumbai and Hamburg.

The Japanese pair of Hiroto Inoue and Hayato Sonoda also join the team. Inoue won the 2018 Asian Games Marathon and Sonada was runner up in Beppu-Oita last year.

From Eritrea, 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medalist and 2016 TCS New York City champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie will be in contention as will countryman Zersenay Tadese, a four-time Olympian, former world record holder in the half marathon and winner of six World Championships titles.

The previously announced American team includes third place finisher last year, Shadrack Biwott; Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein, Abdi Abdirahman, and Jared Ward; as well as Jeffery Eggleston, Elkanah Kibet, Timothy Ritchie, Scott Fauble, Aaron Braun and Brian Shrader.

Among those making their Boston debuts are several men who ran their personal best times in 2018: Rotterdam winner Kenneth Kipkemoi of Kenya; two-time Toronto champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya; and Beirut winner Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco.

Also joining the international field is British Olympian Scott Overall and 2:06 Kenyan marathoners Felix Kandie, the Athens and Prague champion; Festus Talam, a two-time Eindhoven winner; and Philemon Rono, a two-time Toronto champion.

In the men’s wheelchair division, previously announced defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland looks to earn his fifth wheelchair title and is part of a stellar international field featuring 10-time winner Ernst van Dyk of South Africa. In his 19 Boston appearances, van Dyk has placed on the podium all but two times, including ten wins, five runner-ups, and a pair of third place finishes.

Joining Hug and van Dyk are fellow Boston winners Masazumi Soejima and Hiroyuki Yamamoto (both from Japan) as well as former course record holder Joshua Cassidy (Canada). British stars David Weir and Johnboy Smith; Japan’s Hiroki Nishida, Ryota Yoshida, and Kota Hokinoue; Canada’s Tristan Smyth; and Ireland’s Patrick Monahan round out the international men’s field.

American men’s contenders Daniel Romanchuk, Joshua George, Aaron Pike, James Senbeta, Krige Schabort, and Brian Siemann are all entered as well. Romanchuk won the 2018 TCS New York City and Bank of America Chicago Marathons.

Women’s Field Summary

On the women’s elite team, John Hancock has assembled an accomplished field of 22 elite open women, 11 of whom have personal best times under 2:23:00.

Leading the way is 2018 winner Desiree Linden of the United States; two-time World Championships Marathon gold medalist, three-time Abbott World Marathon Majors series winner and 2017 Boston champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya; 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas winner Caroline Rotich of Kenya; and 2012 Boston, Hamburg, Toronto, Torino and Singapore winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya.

Challenging the Boston champions are 2:19 Ethiopian marathoners Aselefech Mergia, a London champion and three-time winner of Dubai; Mare Dibaba, the 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medalist, 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, Bank of

America Chicago Marathon champion, Beijing and two-time Xiamen winner; and Worknesh Degefa, a Dubai champion.

Last year’s second and third place finishers, Sarah Sellers of the United States and Krista DuChene of Canada return to improve their positions. They join Olympic and World Championships silver medalist in the 10,000m, Sally Kipyego of the United States; and previously announced U.S. elites: Jordan Hasay, third at Boston in 2017; Sara Hall, 2017 national champion; Lindsay Flanagan; Becky Wade; and Sarah Crouch.

Joining them will be a trio of Ethiopians: two-time Olympian Meskerem Assefa, winner of Rotterdam and Frankfurt; Olympian Belaynesh Oljira, 2015 World Championships 10,000m bronze medalist; and Marta Megra, a Toronto champion.

Rounding out the field and new to the Boston course are Olympian Betsy Saina of Kenya, a Paris champion; Olympian Eva Vrabcova of the Czech Republic, the bronze medalist in the 2018 European Marathon Championships; Olympian Alyson Dixon of Great Britain; and making her marathon debut is Mary Wacera of Kenya, the World Championships Half Marathon silver medalist in 2014 and bronze medalist in 2016.

In the women’s wheelchair division, Manuela Schar of Switzerland returns to the scene of her course record and world best performance. Schar timed a blistering 1:28:17 from Hopkinton to Boston in 2017, becoming the first woman ever to dip under the 1:30 barrier in Boston. She’ll be joined on the starting line by compatriot Sandra Graf; Madison De Rozario and Eliza Ault-Connell of Australia; Margriet Van Den Broek of the Netherlands; Diane Roy of Canada; and Aline de Rocha of Brazil.

Five-time winner and defending champion Tatyana McFadden fronts the American charge, leading Susannah Scaroni, Amanda McGrory, Arielle Rausin, Katrina Gerhard, and Michelle Wheeler.

2019 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite Men’s Open Field
Name Country PB Name Country PB

Lawrence Cherono Kenya 2:04:06 (Amsterdam, 2018)

Yuki Kawauchi Japan 2:08:14 (Seoul, 2013)
Sisay Lemma Ethiopia 2:04:08 (Dubai, 2018)

Zersenay Tadese Eritrea 2:08:46 (Berlin, 2018)
Lemi Berhanu Ethiopia 2:04:33 (Dubai, 2016)

Abdi Abdirahman USA 2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006)
Solomon Deksisa Ethiopia 2:04:40 (Amsterdam, 2018)

Mohamed Reda Morocco 2:09:16 (Chicago, 2018)
Lelisa Desisa Ethiopia 2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013) El Aaraby
Kenneth Kipkemoi Kenya 2:05:44 (Rotterdam, 2018)    H

ayato Sonoda Japan 2:09:34 (Oita, 2018)
Felix Kandie Kenya 2:06:03 (Seoul, 2017)

Scott Overall Great Britain 2:10:55 (Berlin, 2011)
Geoffrey Kirui Kenya 2:06:27 (Amsterdam, 2016)

Jeffrey Eggleston USA 2:10:52 (Gold Coast, 2014)
Festus Talam Kenya 2:06:13 (Eindhoven, 2017)

Jared Ward USA 2:11:30 (Rio de Janeiro, 2016)
Wesley Korir Kenya 2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012)

Elkanah Kibet USA 2:11:31 (Chicago, 2015)
Philemon Rono Kenya 2:06:52 (Toronto, 2017)

Timothy Ritchie USA 2:11:56 (Sacramento, 2017)
Hiroto Inoue Japan 2:06:54 (Tokyo, 2018)

Shadrack Biwott USA 2:12:01 (New York City, 2016)
Benson Kipruto Kenya 2:07:11 (Seoul, 2018)

Scott Fauble USA 2:12:28 (New York City, 2018)
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie Eritrea 2:07:46 (London, 2016)

Aaron Braun USA 2:12:54 (Houston, 2015)
Dathan Ritzenhein USA 2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012)

Brian Shrader USA 2:13:31 (Sacramento, 2018)

2019 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite Women’s Open Field
Name Country PB
Aselefech Mergia Ethiopia 2:19:31 (Dubai, 2012)
Edna Kiplagat Kenya 2:19:50 (London, 2012)
Mare Dibaba Ethiopia 2:19:52 (Dubai, 2012)
Worknesh Degefa Ethiopia 2:19:53 (Dubai, 2018)
Meskerem Assefa Ethiopia 2:20:36 (Frankfurt, 2018)
Jordan Hasay USA 2:20:57 (Chicago, 2017)
Belaynesh Oljira Ethiopia 2:21:53 (Frankfurt, 2018)
Sharon Cherop Kenya 2:22:28 (Berlin, 2013)
Desiree Linden USA 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)
Marta Megra Ethiopia 2:22:35 (Toronto, 2018)
Betsy Saina Kenya 2:22:56 (Paris, 2018)
Caroline Rotich Kenya 2:23:22 (Chicago, 2012)
Sara Hall USA 2:26:20 (Ottawa, 2018)
Eva Vrabcova Czech Republic 2:26:31 (Berlin, 2018) NR
Sally Kipyego USA 2:28:01 (New York City, 2016)
Krista Duchene Canada 2:28:32 (Toronto, 2013)
Alyson Dixon Great Britain 2:29:06 (London, 2017)
Lindsay Flanagan USA 2:29:25 (Frankfurt, 2018)
Becky Wade USA 2:30:41 (Sacramento, 2013)
Sarah Crouch USA 2:32:27 (Chicago, 2018)
Sarah Sellers USA 2:36:37 (New York City, 2018)
Mary Wacera Kenya 66:29 (Houston, 2016)

2019 Boston Marathon Elite Men’s Wheelchair Field
Marcel Hug Switzerland 1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)
Ernst van Dyk South Africa 1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)
Josh Cassidy Canada 1:18:25 (Boston, 2012)
Masazumi Soejima Japan 1:18:50 (Boston, 2011)
Hiroyuki Yamamoto Japan 1:19:32 (Boston, 2017)
Hiroki Nishida Japan 1:20:28 (Boston, 2017)
Kota Hokinoue Japan 1:20:54 (Seoul, 2013)
Joshua George USA 1:21:47 (Boston, 2017)
Aaron Pike USA 1:22:09 (Boston, 2017)
Ryota Yoshida Japan 1:23:18 (Boston, 2017)
Krige Schabort USA 1:23:44 (Boston, 2012)
James Senbeta USA 1:24:27 (Boston, 2017)
David Weir Great Britain 1:26:17 (Boston, 2016)
Daniel Romanchuk USA 1:26:26 (Boston, 2017)
Brian Siemann USA 1:26:46 (Boston, 2017)
Patrick Monahan Ireland 1:29:10 (Seoul, 2017)
Johnboy Smith Great Britain 1:29:44 (Berlin, 2018)
Tristan Smyth Canada 1:29:53 (Berlin, 2018)

2019 Boston Marathon Elite Women’s Wheelchair Field
Manuela Schar Switzerland 1:28:17 (Boston, 2017)
Amanda McGrory USA 1:33:13 (Boston, 2017)
Susannah Scaroni USA 1:33:17 (Boston, 2017)
Tatyana McFadden USA 1:35:05 (Boston, 2017)
Sandra Graf Switzerland 1:35:44 (Padua, 2008)
Margriet Van Den Broek Netherlands 1:38:33 (Boston, 2017)
Madison De Rozario Australia 1:39:22 (Chicago, 2017)
Katrina Gerhard USA 1:40:34 (Boston, 2017)
Diane Roy Canada 1:40:37 (Beijing, 2008)
Arielle Rausin USA 1:41:26 (Boston, 2017)
Aline de Rocha Brazil 1:41:40 (Duluth, 16)
Eliza Ault-Connell Australia 1:44:13 (Gold Coast, 2018)
Michelle Wheeler USA 1:45:22 (Oita, 2018)

The 2019 Boston Marathon marks the 34th year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the legendary race. For additional information about the elite athlete program and sponsorship, please visit www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/sportspartnerships.html or follow us @jhboston26 and @johnhancockUSA on Twitter.

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$863 billion) as of September 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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