2018 John Hancock Elite Athlete Team
|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)|
|Dathan Ritzenhein||USA||2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012)|
|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|
|Kentaro Nakamoto||Japan||2:08:35 (Beppu-Oita, 2013)|
|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)|
|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)|
|Eunice Kirwa||Bahrain||2:21:17 (Nagoya, 2017) NR|
|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)|
|Jessica Augusto||Portugal||2:24:25 (London, 2014)|
|Gladys Chesir||Kenya||2:24:51 (Amsterdam, 2017)|
|Serena Burla||USA||2:26:53 (Osaka, 2017)|
|Sara Hall||USA||2:27:21 (Frankfurt, 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 46 athletes:
26 men and 20 women
The top 10 women have run under 2:23:00
The top 10 men have run under 2:08:00
These athletes have won more than 100 global marathons in the following cities:
- Amsterdam, Asuncion, Athens, Beppu-Oita, Betsukai, Boston, Chicago, Chitose, Daegu, Danzhou, Dubai, Duluth, Frankfurt, Fukuchiyama, George, Gold Coast, Hamburg, Hannover, Hofu, Honolulu, Houston, Ibusuki, Incheon, Jacksonville, Kitakami, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kurobe, Kyoto, Lanzhou, La Rochelle, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Luxor, Macau, Marshfield, Matsuyama, Moscow, Nagano, Nagoya, Naha City, New York City, Oslo, Perth, Prague, Quad Cities, Rotterdam, Sacramento, Saga, Saitama, Sapporo, San Diego, St. Paul, Sydney, Tokushima, Toronto, Tsuchiura, Warsaw, Xiamen, and Zurich.
- 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 Past Champions:
- Edna Kiplagat (2017)
- Geoffrey Kirui (2017)
- Lemi Berhanu (2016)
- Caroline Rotich (2015)
- Lelisa Desisa (2015, 2013)
- Buzunesh Deba (2014)
Buzunesh Deba holds the Boston Marathon women’s course record of 2:19:59
Winners of 17 Abbott World Marathon Majors in the field:
- Geoffrey Kirui: 2017 World Championships, 2017 Boston
- Edna Kiplagat: 2017 Boston, 2014 London, 2013 & 2011 World Championships, 2010 New York City
- Shalane Flanagan: 2017 New York City
- Galen Rupp: 2017 Chicago
- Lemi Berhanu: 2016 Boston
- Lelisa Desisa: 2015 & 2013 Boston
- Caroline Rotich: 2015 Boston
- Buzunesh Deba: 2014 Boston
- Aselefech Mergia: 2010 London
- Deena Kastor: 2006 London, 2005 Chicago
There are 23 Olympians in the field
There are six Olympic medalists in the field:
- Marathon Silver: Eunice Kirwa, 2016
- Marathon Bronze: Galen Rupp, 2016; Deena Kastor, 2004
- 10,000m Silver: Galen Rupp, 2012; Shalane Flanagan, 2008
- 10,000m Bronze: Tamirat Tola, 2016
IAAF World Championships Marathon Medals:
- Marathon Gold: Geoffrey Kirui, 2017; Edna Kiplagat, 2015, 2013
- Marathon Silver: Tamirat Tola, 2017; Edna Kiplagat, 2017; Lelisa Desisa, 2013
- Marathon Bronze: Eunice Kirwa, 2015; Aselefech Mergia, 2009
6 National Records: Bahrain, 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., Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein and Abdi Abdirahman join 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 elites Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto. Kawauchi has won over 30 marathons and finished ninth in the 2017 World Championships Marathon, while Nakamoto was the first Japanese finisher at the 2012 Olympic Games Marathon and sixth overall.
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 2:23:00.
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.
Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa, the 2016 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, will contend as will Kenyans Caroline Rotich, the 2015 Boston Marathon champion, and countrywoman Gladys Chesir, who makes her Boston debut after finishing runner-up in Amsterdam.
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; Sara Hall, the 2017 U.S. National Marathon Champion; 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. Jessica Augusto of Portugal and Jessica Draskau Petersson of Denmark – both Olympians – will also be on the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and will make their Boston Marathon debuts.