2018 John Hancock Elite Athlete Team

Men

Name Country Personal Best Marathon
Tamirat Tola Ethiopia 2:04:11 (Dubai, 2017)
Lemi Berhanu Ethiopia 2:04:33 (Dubai, 2016)
Lelisa Desisa Ethiopia 2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)
Nobert Kigen Kenya 2:05:13 (Amsterdam, 2017)
Wilson Chebet Kenya 2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)
Evans Chebet Kenya 2:05:30 (Valencia, 2017)
Felix Kandie Kenya 2:06:03 (Seoul, 2017)
Geoffrey Kirui Kenya 2:06:27 (Amsterdam, 2016)
Philemon Rono Kenya 2:06:52 (Toronto, 2017)
Yuki Kawauchi Japan 2:08:14 (Seoul, 2013)
Abdi Nageeye Netherlands 2:08:16 (Amsterdam, 2017) NR
Lusapho April South Africa 2:08:32 (Hannover, 2013)
Arne Gabius Germany 2:08:33 (Frankfurt, 2015) NR
Abdi Abdirahman USA 2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006)
Galen Rupp USA 2:09:20 (Chicago, 2017)
Reid Coolsaet Canada 2:10:28 (Berlin, 2015)
Ryan Vail USA 2:10:57 (London, 2014)
Stephen Sambu Kenya 2:11:07 (Chicago, 2017)
Eric Gillis Canada 2:11:21 (Toronto, 2014)
Elkanah Kibet USA 2:11:31 (Chicago, 2015)
Timothy Ritchie USA 2:11:56 (Sacramento, 2017)
Shadrack Biwott USA 2:12:01 (New York, 2016)
Scott Smith USA 2:12:21 (Frankfurt, 2017)
Andrew Bumbalough USA 2:13:58 (Tokyo, 2017)

Women

Name Country Personal Best Marathon
Aselefech Mergia Ethiopia 2:19:31 (Dubai, 2012)
Deena Kastor USA 2:19:36 (London, 2006) NR
Edna Kiplagat Kenya 2:19:50 (London, 2012)
Buzunesh Deba Ethiopia 2:19:59 (Boston, 2014) CR
Jordan Hasay USA 2:20:57 (Chicago, 2017)
Shalane Flanagan USA 2:21:14 (Berlin, 2014)
Mamitu Daska Ethiopia 2:21:59 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Desiree Linden USA 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)
Madai Perez Mexico 2:22:59 (Chicago, 2006) NR
Caroline Rotich Kenya 2:23:22 (Chicago, 2012)
Gladys Chesir Kenya 2:24:51 (Amsterdam, 2017)
Serena Burla USA 2:26:53 (Osaka, 2017)
Molly Huddle USA 2:28:13 (New York City, 2016)
Krista DuChene Canada 2:28:32 (Toronto, 2013)
Kellyn Taylor USA 2:28:40 (Houston, 2015)
Kellys Arias Colombia 2:29:36 (Hamburg, 2016) NR
Jessica Draskau Petersson Denmark 2:30:07 (Chicago, 2015)

NR = National Record
CR = Course Record

2018 Elite Team Field Facts

The 2018 John Hancock Elite Athlete Team includes 41 athletes:
24 men and 17 women

The top 10 women have run under 2:23:30

The top 10 men have run under 2:08:14

These athletes have won more than 100 global marathons in the following cities:

  • Amsterdam, Athens, Beppu-Oita, Betsukai, Boston, Chicago, Chitose, Daegu, Danzhou, Dubai, Duluth, Frankfurt, Fukuchiyama, Ehime, George, Gold Coast, Hamburg, Hannover, Hofu, Honolulu, Houston, Ibusuki, Jacksonville, Kitakami, Kitakyushu, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kurobe, Kyoto, La Rochelle, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Luxor, Marshfield, Matsuyama, Moscow, Nagano, Naha City, New York City, Oslo, Perth, Prague, Quad Cities, Rotterdam, Sacramento, Saga, Saitama, Sapporo, San Diego, St. Paul, Sydney, Taipei City, Tokushima, Toronto, Tsuchiura, Warsaw, Xiamen, and Zurich.

Countries:

  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Denmark
  • Ethiopia
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • South Africa
  • United States

John Hancock has invited over 800 elite athletes from 48 countries during the Company’s 33 years as principal sponsor.

6 Champions:

Buzunesh Deba holds the Boston Marathon women’s course record of 2:19:59

Winners of 17 Abbott World Marathon Majors in the field:

There are 19 Olympians in the field

5 Olympic medals won:

IAAF World Championships Marathon Medals:


5 National Records: Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, United States

2018 Elite Team Men's Elite Summary

Three Boston Marathon champions lead the race for the men’s title. Kenyan Geoffrey Kirui returns after winning Boston last year and earning the gold medal at the IAAF World Marathon Championships. He is joined by champions Lemi Berhanu (2016) and Lelisa Desisa (2015,2013), both of Ethiopia.

Chasing the trio are 2017 World Championships Marathon silver medalist Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia, and 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Galen Rupp of the United States. Both men hold Olympic medals in the 10,000m, and Rupp earned a bronze medal in the marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Kenyan men making their Boston debut include several who ran under 2:07 last year: Nobert Kigen, Evans Chebet, and Felix Kandie. All have finished on the podium in international marathons.

Also strengthening the Kenyan presence are Philemon Rono, who won the 2017 Toronto Marathon, setting the Canadian all-comers record; Wilson Chebet, who has finished as high as runner-up in Boston, and Stephen Sambu, the 2013 and 2014 B.A.A. Distance Medley champion.

From the U.S., Olympian Abdi Abdirahman joins Rupp to challenge, as does Shadrack Biwott, who finished fourth in Boston last year; Elkanah Kibet, the top American at the 2017 World Championships Marathon; Timothy Ritchie, the 2017 U.S. National Marathon Champion; Ryan Vail, Scott Smith and Andrew Bumbalough.

Canadian Olympians Reid Coolsaet, the second fastest Canadian marathoner of all time, and Eric Gillis, tenth at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Marathon, will also vie for the title, as will Dutch Olympian Abdi Nageeye, who set a national marathon record this past year.

German Olympian and national record holder Arne Gabius is in the field, as is South African Olympian Lusapho April and Japanese elite Yuki Kawauchi. Kawauchi has won over 30 marathons and finished ninth in the 2017 World Championships Marathon.

2018 Elite Team Women's Elite Summary

On the women’s elite team, John Hancock has assembled an accomplished field of 20 women, ten of whom have personal best times under 2:23:30.

Leading the way is defending Boston champion and two-time World Championships Marathon gold medalist Edna Kiplagat of Kenya. Challenging Kiplagat are a trio of Ethiopians: Aselefech Mergia, a London and three-time Dubai winner; Buzunesh Deba, the Boston Marathon course record holder, and Mamitu Daska, a Dubai, Houston and two-time Frankfurt champion.

Kenyans Caroline Rotich, the 2015 Boston Marathon champion, and countrywoman Gladys Chesir, who makes her Boston debut after finishing runner-up in Amsterdam, will also contend for the title.

The U.S. team includes four of the fastest U.S. marathon women of all time: Deena Kastor, Jordan Hasay, Shalane Flanagan and Desiree Linden.  Kastor, the national record holder, is a London and Chicago champion and earned the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Marathon. Hasay finished third in both Boston and Chicago last year. Flanagan won the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon and owns an Olympic silver medal in the 10,000m. Linden has finished in the top five in seven Abbott World Marathon Majors and missed winning Boston by just two seconds in 2011.

Joining the U.S. Team are Molly Huddle, the American record holder in the 10,000m, 5K, 10-Mile, 20K and Half Marathon; Serena Burla, who finished 10th and 11th at the 2015 and 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon, respectively; and Kellyn Taylor, who won a 2015 Pan American bronze medal in the 5,000m.

National marathon record holders Kellys Arias of Colombia and Madai Perez of Mexico will be in the mix, as will Krista Duchene, the second fastest Canadian marathoner in history, and Olympian Jessica Draskau Petersson of Denmark.

2018 Elite Team Uniform Guide