FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOHN HANCOCK FINANCIAL ANNOUNCES
TOP AMERICANS MEB KEFLEZIGHI AND RYAN HALL
TO RUN 2010 BOSTON MARATHON AND SEEK AMERICAN WIN
BOSTON, MA, December 18, 2009-In celebration of its 25th anniversary as the
principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today
announced the signing of top Americans, Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall, for
the 114th running of the race on April 19, 2010.
Keflezighi and Hall have proven themselves as two of the best distance
runners of all time. They have the talent and credentials to challenge
Boston's world-class field as they each seek to become the first male
American winner since Greg Meyer in 1983. At previous Boston Marathons,
each has placed third: Hall in 2009 and Keflezighi in 2006.
Fresh from his historic marathon win in New York City is Keflezighi, a
two-time Olympian and American record holder in the 10,000m. Keflezighi won
the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon and holds multiple
"Boston has a great tradition not only to the running community but also to
the rest of the world," said Keflezighi. "It has always been my ultimate
goal to win the Boston Marathon."
This has been a banner year for Keflezighi who improved his personal best
to 2:09:15 with his New York City win and also claimed national titles in
cross country, seven miles, half marathon and the marathon.
"Winning in New York was a huge personal triumph and the victory belongs to
my family and support team," said Keflezighi. "I am glad I can help move
the continued resurgence of U.S. distance running to the next level. I am
living the American dream and feel blessed."
Hall carries his own impressive qualifications as the second fastest
American marathoner of all time with a 2:06:17 personal best. Only former
world record holder Khalid Khannouchi has posted a faster U.S. mark. Hall
holds American records in the 20K and half marathon. He was first at the
2007 U.S. Olympic Trials, shattering the event record by more than a
minute, and went on to place 10th at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon.
"As soon as I finished the 2009 Boston Marathon, I knew I wanted to be back
for the 2010 race," said Hall. "The energy of the crowds far exceeded my
expectations, the course was even more challenging than I anticipated, I
hurt more than I have hurt in any other race, yet participating in the
Boston Marathon was thrilling beyond my greatest expectations."
Last year Hall was the aggressive early leader taking a seasoned field
through 5K in world record pace. He stayed with the leaders throughout the
race, but Deriba Merga of Ethiopia prevailed as the winner.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity to come back as part of the John Hancock
Elite team and try to master the course that mastered me last year," added
Hall. "I will be one year stronger this April and more importantly one year
Both men train with Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes, California, and
have been longtime residents of the state. Hall is originally from Big Bear
Lake and graduated from Stanford as a three-time All American in cross
country and NCAA champion in the 5,000m. Keflezighi is from San Diego and
graduated from UCLA as a four time NCAA champion. In head-to-head marathon
competition, Hall has out run Keflezighi 2-1. In their respective third
place finishes at Boston, Hall ran a 2:09:40 in 2009 and Keflezighi ran a
2:09:56 in 2006.
With necessary experience on the course and plenty of motivation to become
the first American champion in 27 years, the Keflezighi-Hall match up
should prove exciting. "Meb and Ryan are among the very best and brightest
stars in U.S. distance running," said Guy Morse, executive director of the
B.A.A. "Meb has led the resurging American men since he won the silver
medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and Ryan's full potential at the
marathon distance is yet to be realized. We look forward to providing the
stage for both of them to continue their success and development."
"John Hancock is committed to securing the strongest fields of runners from
around the world for the Boston Marathon each year. It is an added bonus to
have Meb and Ryan, two outstanding U.S. runners, as top contenders in the
field for the 2010 race," said Jim Boyle, President of John Hancock
Financial Services. "We know they will only add excitement to what is
always a thrilling race. Marathoning is a global sport and the prominence
of U.S. runners among the world's elite is a terrific development for fans
and for the sport."