FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOHN HANCOCK FINANCIAL ANNOUNCES TOP AMERICAN RYAN HALL
TO RUN 2009 BOSTON MARATHON
Olympian and U.S. Trials Champion Ryan Hall seeks American win in Boston
BOSTON, MA, November 18, 2008-In its 24th year as the principal sponsor of
the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today announced the signing of
Olympic marathoner and American half marathon record holder Ryan Hall for
the 113th running of the race on April 20, 2009.
The fastest American marathoner in 2007 and 2008, Hall has quickly proven
himself as one of the best distance runners in the world. He seeks to
become the first American winner of the race since Grey Meyer in 1983.
"I am grateful to have the opportunity to compete on the John Hancock elite
team at the 2009 Boston Marathon," said Hall. "The Boston Marathon is the
granddaddy of the World Marathon Majors, to win here would mean as much to
me as winning any marathon in the world, including the Olympic Games. To
win in Boston would show the world that American distance running is indeed
back to the days of Salazar, Beardsley, and Rodgers. I hope that I can
contribute to bringing American marathoning back to the forefront. There is
no better place to do that than Boston. What is done in Boston lives on for
A 2005 Stanford graduate and three-time All American, Hall quickly found
his greatest potential on the roads. In late 2006, he set the American 20K
record at the World Championships and in early 2007 broke the 21-year old
American half marathon record at the U.S. Championships. His 59:43 win
marked the first time an American had ever broken the one-hour barrier.
Turning to the marathon, Hall made his debut on the London course in 2007
and stayed with the African leaders until the final miles. His 2:08:24 was
the fastest debut ever by an American. A few months later at the U.S.
Olympic Trials, he set a course record as he cruised to a nearly two-minute
lead over one of the best U.S. fields ever assembled.
Continuing his meteoric rise Hall returned to London in advance of the
Olympics and ran a remarkable 2:06:17, making him the second fastest
American of all time. At the Olympics Hall placed 10th, and although he had
some disappointment in that showing, he is young and eager to build on his
"Ryan's Boston Marathon debut will be a highly anticipated performance
throughout the sports world," said Executive Director Guy Morse, of the
Boston Athletic Association, which oversees the race. "As an American
Olympian recruited by our principal sponsor John Hancock Financial, his
commitment to race in Boston, combined with his record of outstanding
performances, are indicators that he will add great excitement to the 113th
Boston Marathon as he challenges some of the world's best athletes on the
world's most famous course."
Hall is married to professional runner Sara Bei Hall and the couple resides
in Mammoth Lakes, California. The Halls are active with charitable groups
such as Team World Vision. They worked on a campaign this year, "More
Precious than Gold," that raised nearly a million dollars to help bring
clean water wells and irrigation systems to poor communities in Zambia.