B.A.A. Announces Top American Runners for 2013 Boston Marathon

Contact Info:
Marc Davis (Communications Manager)
Boston Athletic Association
185 Dartmouth Street, 6th Floor
Boston MA 02116
13 JUN 2012
Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila and Kara Goucher to run the 117th Boston Marathon

John Hancock Financial, Principal Sponsor of the Boston Marathon, has recruited elite American marathoners Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila and Kara Goucher to run the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  All three women will represent the U.S. in the Olympic Marathon this summer and the 2013 Boston Marathon will be their first post Olympic marathon.

Please click button below to view video of “Three Women. One Goal. 2013 Boston Marathon”

See Video - Click Here

For Flanagan, who grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, this will mark her Boston debut.

“I watched the Boston Marathon religiously growing up and always dreamed about running from Hopkinton to Boston, racing down Boylston Street to the finish,” said Flanagan. “I finally get the chance to fulfill this dream next April. I can't wait to give Boston everything I have. I know the love and support will be overwhelming and—in typical Boston style—loud. I’m thrilled to become part of this rich Patriots’ Day tradition.” 

Flanagan won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials this past January in an event record of 2:25:38. She holds American records in the indoor 3,000m and 5,000m and in the outdoor10,000m. The indoor records were set in Boston, while the 10,000m record was earned during her bronze medal performance at the 2008 Olympics.

Davila returns to Boston after finishing runner up in 2011 in an American course record of 2:22:38.

“I'm honored and excited to be invited back to Boston as part of the John Hancock elite team,” said Davila. “After coming so close to the ‘W’ in 2011, I've been anxious and excited about returning to Boston and taking another crack at it.” 

Davila is now the third fastest American marathoner of all time, following Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson.  She recently placed second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she qualified for her first Olympic team.

“I no longer consider myself a beginner at the marathon; I've competed in a number of major races, and have slowly become more comfortable with a wide variety of racing tactics,” said Davila.  “The experience from the 2011 Boston Marathon was a big turning point. I now believe I have the tools and the ability to compete and contend for the title at a major marathon. To have that confidence along with a team of coaches that really know how to prepare athletes for the Boston Marathon should pay huge dividends come spring 2013.”

Goucher returns to Boston for the third time after making her second Olympic Team with a third place finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.  At Boston in 2009, she shared the lead until the final meters and finished third. 

“The city of Boston captured my heart when I ran my first Boston Marathon in 2009,” said Goucher.  “The support for the Marathon in Boston is incredible. I didn’t meet my goal of winning in 2009, but the entire city embraced me for trying.” 

In 2011, shortly after giving birth to her son, Colt, Goucher finished fifth at Boston in a personal best 2:24:52, becoming the fourth fastest American marathoner of all time. 

“The Boston Marathon is an historical gem,” said Goucher. “To be a part of this history excites me and drives me to train harder. I absolutely love the city of Boston and its Marathon. They have embraced me as one of their own. This will be my third trip to Boston and I will use my past experiences to help me get it right this time. I'm hoping that the third time will be the charm.”

Flanagan, Davila and Goucher are the first elite athletes announced as part of the John Hancock international team for the 2013 Boston Marathon.  The Company has been principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon for 27 years.

“Shalane, Desiree, and Kara have competed against the most talented women in the world with amazing results,” said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event Marketing at John Hancock. “The Olympics and the 2013 Boston Marathon should be no different.  As individuals these women are fierce competitors, and as a team they prove themselves relentless. With Desiree and Kara previously making the podium in Boston and Shalane winning the Trials, they are sure to provide the millions of Boston Marathon fans with a race to remember.”

“Thanks to John Hancock Financial, which assembles the elite athlete field for us, next year’s Boston Marathon will have a decidedly American feel to it,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “All of us at the B.A.A. and in Boston will be watching the Olympic Marathon this summer, and we’re anxious to see how the Americans fare in London. We wish them luck, and we are already eagerly anticipating the heightened exposure and attention these women will receive as members of Team USA, and the added interest they will bring to the 2013 Boston Marathon next spring.”

John Hancock will host an audio conference call for media with all three athletes on Thursday, June 14 at 12 noon ET.

What:  Audio Conference Call for Running Media
When:  Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 12 noon ET
Who:   Elite Marathoners: Desiree Davila, Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher
Access:   All media invited to call with questions.
Participants toll free US and CA 877.864.2979 and International 706.902.1414 - Conference ID is 89109788
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$512 billion (US$512 billion) as at March 31, 2012. 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.

Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.

B.A.A. Moment 3

1966 - Bobbi Gibb

Although not an official entrant, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Joining the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired, Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. Gibb again claimed the “unofficial” title in 1967 and 1968.