BOSTON, MA – April 11, 2012 – John Hancock Financial will present its elite team of 30 international marathon runners to the media on Friday, April 13th at 10 AM at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. All credentialed media will have the opportunity to interview elite athletes during the event. The 116th running of the race is set for Monday, April 16, 2012.
Reigning champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel will defend their titles, but will be challenged by the fastest men’s and women’s fields ever assembled for the Boston Marathon. With 28 contenders setting their personal best time in the past two years, including eight men under 2:07 and nine women under 2:25, the race will prove highly competitive. Last year Mutai ran an unmatched 2:03:02 World Best on Boston’s certified course, without the aid of pacesetters, and then followed that accomplishment with a course record win in New York City. Mutai is now the fastest marathoner in history, and the only man to ever set course records at Boston and New York in the same year.
On the women’s side, the historic race in Boston has been decided over the past four years by three seconds or less. Last year Caroline Kilel turned in another close race as she traded the lead with American Desiree Davila several times down the finishing stretch of Boylston Street. Kilel ultimately triumphed by two seconds over Davila for the 2:22:36 win, before collapsing in exhaustion.
One of the most popular former champions, Joan Benoit Samuelson, will be in attendance at the press conference, having announced that she will run in this year’s race. Samuelson won the 1979 and 1983 Boston Marathons before winning Olympic Games Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. She also ran the 2011 Boston Marathon, finishing in 2:51:29.
Also in attendance will be Bill Rodgers, Greg Meyer, and Dick and Rick Hoyt.
2012 John Hancock Elite Field* 116th Boston Marathon:
Name Country Personal Best
Geoffrey Mutai Kenya 2:03:02 (Boston, 2011) CR/WB
Gebregziabher Gebremariam Ethiopia 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)
Tadese Tola Ethiopia 2:05:10 (Dubai, 2012)
Levy Matebo Kenya 2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Wilson Chebet Kenya 2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)
Laban Korir Kenya 2:06:05 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Wesley Korir Kenya 2:06:15 (Chicago, 2011)
Bernard Kipyego Kenya 2:06:29 (Chicago, 2011)
David Barmasai Kenya 2:07:18 (Dubai, 2011)
Dickson Chumba Kenya 2:07:23 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Josphat Ndambiri Kenya 2:07:36 (Fukuoka, 2011)
Peter Kamais Kenya 2:07:37 (Xiamen, 2012) CR
Mathew Kisorio Kenya 2:10:58 (New York, 2011)
Jason Hartmann USA 2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010)
Nicholas Arciniaga USA 2:11:30 (Houston, 2011)
Michel Butter Netherlands 2:12:59 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Caroline Kilel Kenya 2:22:36 (Boston, 2011)
Sharon Cherop Kenya 2:22:39 (Dubai, 2012)
Ashu Kasim Ethiopia 2:23:09 (Xiamen, China, 2012)
Firehiwot Dado Ethiopia 2:23:15 (New York City, 2011)
Buzunesh Deba Ethiopia 2:23:19 (New York City, 2011)
Rita Jeptoo Kenya 2:23:38 (Boston, 2006)
Agnes Kiprop Kenya 2:23:54 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Caroline Rotich Kenya 2:24:26 (Boston, 2011)
Georgina Rono Kenya 2:24:33 (Eindhoven, 2011) CR
Alevtina Biktimirova Russia 2:25:12 (Frankfurt, 2005)
Genet Getaneh Ethiopia 2:25:57 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Diana Chepkemoi Sigei Kenya 2:26:53 (Dubai, 2011)
Jemima Jelagat Sumgong Kenya 2:28:32 (Castellon, 2011)
Nadezdha Leonteva Russia 2:31:57 (Moscow, 2011)
CR = Course Record
WB = Worlds Best
*As of April 11 2012
Drops due to injury: Galina Bogomolova, Mamitu Daska, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot
Drop due to visa issues: Frankline Chepkwony
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, John Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United States, while Manulife celebrates its 125th anniversary. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation 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$500 billion (US$491 billion) as at December 31, 2011. 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 manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance.
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