2019 John Hancock Elite Athlete Team
For the 2019 Boston Marathon, John Hancock has assembled one of its deepest and most accomplished fields to date: 47 Elite runners from 9 countries, including 9 former champions, Olympians, World Champions, and Abbott World Marathon Majors winners.
Birthday: 20 September 1985
Bib# F6 ASSEFA
11Oct15 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 6th 2:25:11
28Oct18 Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 1st 2:20:36
11Mar18 Nagoya International Marathon 1st 2:21:45
Making it to the podium on 11 marathons, Olympian Meskerem Assefa has won Rotterdam, Houston, and Frankfurt twice, including last year where she improved her best time to 2:20:36.
Birthday: 16 March 1984
Bib# F9 CHEROP
20Apr15 Boston Marathon 5th 2:26:05
29Sep13 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2nd 2:22:28
16Apr12 Boston Marathon 1st 2:31:50
As the 2012 Boston Marathon champion, Cherop returns to Boston for the sixth time. She is one of the most experienced marathon runners and has run ten marathons under 2:26:05. In 21 career marathons, she has missed finishing top five only twice.
Birthday: 22 August 1989
Bib# F22 CROUCH
07Oct18 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 6th 2:32:37
14Jan18 Chevron Houston Marathon 7th 2:35:2
08 Feb 15 Tallahassee Marathon 1st 2:46:59
Making her marathon debut at 22 years old at the 2011 New York Marathon, Sarah Crouch has continued to be a top performer. She also finished top 13 in the past five Chicago marathons, placing top American and 6th overall last year.
Birthday: 28 October 1990
Bib# F2 DEGEFA
25Jan19 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2nd 2:17:41 NR
26Jan18 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 4th 2:19:53
20Jan17 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 1st 2:22:36
Making her debut with a win in the 2017 Dubai Marathon, Worknesh Degefa became the fourth fastest women’s marathoner in history after her Ethiopian national marathon record of 2:17:41 in Dubai this past January.
Birthday: 20 October 1989
Bib# F5 DIBABA
14Aug16 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Marathon 3rd 2:24:30
30Aug15 Beijing IAAF World Championships Marathon 1st 2:27:35
12Oct14 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 1st 2:25:37
As one of Ethiopia’s most accomplished marathon runners, Mare Dibaba has earned an Olympic medal, a World Championships medal and 11 podium finishes. Her 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medal was the first-ever for Ethiopia.
Country: Great Britain
Birthday: 24 September 1978
Bib# F18 DIXON
06Aug17 London IAAF World Championships Marathon 18th 2:31:36
23Apr17 Virgin Money London Marathon 14th 2:29:06
15Apr18 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Marathon 6th 2:38:19
Breaking 2:30 for the first time at the 2015 Berlin Marathon, Alyson Dixon went on to place 18th at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon. One year later, she finished 28th at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Birthday: 09 January 1977
Bib# F17 DUCHENE
16Apr18 Boston Marathon 3rd 2:44:20
14Aug16 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Marathon 35th 2:35:29
12Apr15 Rotterdam Marathon 3rd 2:29:38
As one of Canada’s all-time most successful marathon runners, DuChene is the third fastest in history. She passed many front runners in Boston last year, earning her a podium position. She’s also the first Canadian woman in 20 years to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon.
Birthday: 29 September 1990
Bib# F12 ESHETU
20Jan19 Chevron Houston Marathon 1st 2:23:28
08Apr18 NN Rotterdam Marathon 2nd 2:26:56
14Jan18 Chevron Houston Marathon 1st 2:24:51
As a three-time Houston Marathon winner, Eshetu is one of the most prolific marathoners in the field, with eight career wins and 19 podium finishes.
Birthday: 24 January 1991
Bib# F19 FLANAGAN
17Apr17 Boston Marathon 11th 2:34:44
30Oct16 Frankfurt Marathon 4th 2:29:28
18Jul15 Toronto Pan American Games Marathon 2nd 2:36:30
As one of nine American women to break 2:30, Flanagan says that “The Boston Marathon is the most prestigious marathon in the world.” She won the silver medal at the 2015 Pan American Games Marathon and finished 11th in the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Birthday: 15 April 1983
Bib# F14 HALL
26Feb17 Tokyo Marathon 6th 2:28:26
27May18 Ottawa Marathon 3rd 2:26:20
03Dec17 California International Marathon 1st 2:28:10
With her first career win at the 2017 U.S. National Championships, Sara Hall just keeps improving. Last year alone, she earned personal bests in three distances: the marathon, half marathon, and 10-mile.
Birthday: 21 September 1991
Bib# F7 JORDAN
08Oct17 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 3rd 2:20:57
17Apr17 Boston Marathon 3rd 2:23:00
04 Sep17 U.S. 20K National Championships 1st 66:35
Jordan Hasay broke the American women’s debut marathon record when she finished third at the 2017 Boston Marathon. She then went on to finish third at the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where she ran the second fastest time ever by an American woman.
Birthday: 15 November 1979
Bib# F4 KIPLAGAT
17Apr17 Boston Marathon 1st 2:21:52
10Aug13 Moscow IAAF World Championships Marathon 1st 2:25:44
27Aug11 Daegu IAAF World Championships 1st 2:28:43
As one of the most accomplished marathoners in the world, Edna Kiplagat won the gold medal twice at the IAAF World Championships Marathon, won the London and New York City Marathons, and won the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series Championships three times.
Birthday: 19 December 1985
Bib# F16 KIPYEGO
06Nov16 TCS New York City Marathon 2nd 2:28:01
03Aug12 London Olympic Games 10,000m 2nd 30:26.37
27Aug11 Daegu IAAF World Championships 10,000m 2nd 30:50.04
Qualifying for the 2011 IAAF World Championships team representing Kenya in the 10,000 meters, Kipyego earned a silver medal. She then won the silver medal in the 10,000m at the 2012 Olympic Games. Kipyego made her marathon debut in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, finishing runner-up in 2:28:01.
Birthday: 26 July 1983
Bib# F1 DES
16Apr18 Boston Marathon 1st 2:39:54
14 Aug 16 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Marathon 7th 2:26:08
18Apr11 Boston Marathon 2nd 2:22:38
Desiree Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, persisted through freezing rain last year to become the first American woman to win the race in 33 years. Linden is a two-time Olympian and one of the fastest American marathoners of all time.
Birthday: 24 September 1984
Bib# F21 MCCORMACK
14Aug16 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Marathon 20th 2:31:22
11Oct15 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 13th 2:33:15
16Aug14 Zurich Marathon 10th 2:31:46
As one of Ireland’s most accomplished and versatile runners, three-time Olympian Fionnuala McCormack won the gold medal at the 2011 and 2012 European Cross Country Championships. She also finished 20th at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon with a personal best 2:31:22.
Birthday: 17 December 1988
Bib# F24 NGUGI
24Jun18 B.A.A. 10K 1st 31:55
26Mar16 Cardiff IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 3rd 67:54
29Mar15 Copenhagen IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 2nd 67:44
Making her marathon debut this year in Boston, Mary Ngugi has proven herself to be a worthy opponent, winning the silver medal at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships as well as winning the B.A.A. Half Marathon twice.
Birthday: 13 May 1984
Bib# F11 ROTICH
20Apr15 Boston Marathon 1st 2:24:55
12May13 Prague Marathon 1st 2:27:00
06Dec09 Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon 1st 2:29:47
As the 2015 Boston Marathon champion, Caroline Rotich returns for another attempt at the podium. Reflecting on her 2015 win, she says “that moment was years in the making and remains the most pivotal moment of my career.”
Birthday: 30 June 1988
Bib# F10 SAINA
08Apr18 Schneider Elect Paris Marathon 1st 2:22:56
12Aug16 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games 10,000m 5th 30:07.78
30Jun12 African Athletics Championships 10,000m 3rd 32:48.36
Despite some early setbacks in 2017, Saina proved she can go the distance with a win at the Paris Marathon. She’s also shown incredible strength in the 10,000m distance.
Birthday: 10 July 1991
Bib# F23 SELLERS
04Nov18 TCS New York City Marathon 18th 2:36:37
16Apr18 Boston Marathon 2nd 2:44:04
16Sep17 Huntsville Marathon 1st 2:44:27
Shocked that she was the runner up in the 2018 Boston Marathon, Sellers claims, “Placing second wasn’t a remote possibility in my world.” But her talent was proven as she outran many of the world's best marathoners in difficult weather conditions.
Birthday: 09 February 1989
Bib# F20 WADE
22Apr18 Virgin Money London Marathon 11th 2:35:01
08Oct17 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 10th 2:35:46
08Dec13 California International Marathon 1st 2:30:41
Having traveled around the world and written a book about her running adventures in many countries, Becky Wade is focused on improving her personal best, set in her debut win at the 2013 California International Marathon.
Abdihakem "Abdi" Abdirahman
Birthday: 01 January 1977
Bib# 19 ABDI
17Apr17 Boston Marathon 6th 2:12:45
06Nov16 TCS New York City Marathon 3rd 2:11:23
14Jan12 Houston U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials 3rd 2:09:47
Abdi Abdirahman made his marathon debut in 2004 and remains one of America’s most accomplished runners. He’s a four-time Olympian, a four-time U.S. National Champion in the 10,000m, and has won national titles in the 10K, 10-Mile, 20K and the half marathon.
Birthday: 13 September 1994
Bib# 4 LEMI
29Sep18 Hengshui Lake International Marathon 1st 2:08:51
21Aug16 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Marathon 13th 2:13:29
18Apr16 Boston Marathon 1st 2:12:45
Lemi Berhanu has won Zurich, Dubai, Warsaw, Xiamen, Hengshui and Boston. After his 2016 championship he said, “Winning Boston has been the highlight of my career.” Berhanu returns to Boston for redemption after not finishing the race the past two years.
Birthday: 19 February 1985
Bib# 27 BIWOTT
04Nov18 TCS New York City Marathon 9th 2:12:52
16Apr18 Boston Marathon 3rd 2:18:35
17Apr17 Boston Marathon 4th 2:12:08
Shadrack Biwott broke through at Boston last year, improving on his fourth-place finish in 2017 to third in 2018. He’s a four-time All American, a member of the Hansons-Brooks Team, and placed seventh at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Birthday: 07 August 1988
Bib# 2 CHERONO
21Oct18 TCS Amsterdam Marathon 1st 2:04:06 CR
10Dec17 Honolulu Marathon 1st 2:08:27 CR
15Oct17 TCS Amsterdam Marathon 1st 2:05:09
Winner of six marathons and the fastest man in the 2019 Boston Marathon field, Cherono brings both speed and strength to his Boston debut. He earned a course record win and personal best at the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon (2:04:06).
Birthday: 11 March 1994
Bib# 5 DEKSISA
21Oct18 TCS Amsterdam Marathon 3rd 2:04:40
29Apr18 HASPA Hamburg Marathon 1st 2:06:34
21Jan18 Mumbai Marathon 1st 2:09:34
Finishing on the podium in all his marathons except one, Deksisa won both the Hamburg Marathon and the Mumbai Marathon this past year. He is most proud of his third-place finish at the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon, where he earned a personal best 2:04:40.
Birthday: 14 January 1990
Bib# 6 LELISA
04Nov18 TCS New York City Marathon 1st 2:05:59
20Apr15 Boston Marathon 1st 2:09:17
15Apr13 Boston Marathon 1st 2:10:22
Desisa is the only Ethiopian man to have won the Boston Marathon twice and he’s “dreaming of crossing the finish line first for the third time.” He won the 2018 TCS New York Marathon and has recorded eight podium finishes in Abbot World Marathon Majors events.
Birthday: 01 October 1984
Bib# 22 EGGLESTON
20Apr15 Boston Marathon 12th 2:14:17
04Jun17 San Diego Marathon 1st 2:21:17
21May17 Lima Marathon 1st 2:15:25
Jeffrey Eggleston has represented the U.S. at three IAAF World Championships Marathons, notably finishing 13th in 2013. He has run Boston twice and hopes to improve both time and place.
Birthday: 12 November 1989
Bib# 20 EL AARABY
07Oct18 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 11th 2:09:16
25Feb18 Tokyo Marathon 11th 2:09:18
11Nov18 Beirut Marathon 1st 2:10:41
Mohamed Reda El Aaraby transitioned from the track to the roads in 2015 and has consistently improved across distances. He's run ten half marathons under 64:40, and last year in 2017, he ran three marathons, including the London IAAF World Championships Marathon. Last year he recorded solid results of both time and place in Tokyo and Chicago and won the Beirut Marathon, which also served as the World Military Championship Marathon.
Birthday: 05 November 1991
Bib# 28 FAUBLE
04Nov18 TCS New York City Marathon 7th 2:12:28
29Oct17 Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 9th 2:12:35
In 2018, Scott Fauble set personal bests in the indoor 5,000m, the 5K, the 25K, the half marathon and the marathon. At the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, he finished second American and seventh overall.
Birthday: 06 January 1993
Bib# 14 INOUE
25Feb18 Tokyo Marathon 5th 2:06:54
06Aug17 London IAAF World Championships Marathon 26th 2:16:54
25Aug18 Asian Games Marathon 1st 2:18:22
As the 2018 Asian Games Marathon gold medalist, Inoue’s win was the first for Japan in the event in 32 years. He was top Japanese and eighth overall at the 2017 Tokyo Marathon and then was fifth in 2018 in a personal best of 2:06:54.
Birthday: 10 April 1987
Bib# 8 KANDIE
24Sep17 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 4th 2:06:13
21Oct18 Scotia Bank Toronto Marathon 3rd 2:08:30
19Mar17 Seoul Dong-A International Marathon 2nd 2:06:03
After winning the 2014 Athens Marathon, Felix Kandie said he first began to understand the dynamics of running a marathon. Since then, he’s continued to improve, finishing top three in five additional marathons.
Birthday: 05 March 1987
Bib# 1 YUKI
16Apr18 Boston Marathon 1st 2:15:58
06Aug17 London IAAF World Championships Marathon 9th 2:12:19
25Sep16 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 13th 2:11:03
In 2018, Kawauchi became the first Japanese winner of the Boston Marathon in 31 years. Additionally, he has won over 30 career marathons and has competed on Japanese national teams, including three IAAF World Marathon Championships.
Birthday: 02 June 1983
Bib# 25 KIBET
07Oct18 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 13th 2:12:35
16Apr18 Boston Marathon 8th 2:23:37
106Aug17 London IAAF World Championships Marathon 16th 2:15:14
This past year, Elkanah Kibet was 8th in Boston and 13th in Chicago. In 2017 he was top American and 16th overall at the IAAF World Championships Marathon.
Birthday: 02 August 1984
07Oct18 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 4th 2:05:57
08Apr18 NN Rotterdam Marathon 1st 2:05:44
05May13 Steinmetz Gaborone Marathon 3rd 2:17:41
Kenneth Kipkemoi is a half marathon specialist, running ten half marathons under 60:24, with a personal best of 59:01. Last year, he won the Rotterdam Marathon and placed fourth in Chicago.
Birthday: 17 March 1991
Bib# 15 KIPRUTO
21Oct18 Scotiabank Toronto Marathon 1st 2:07:24
18Mar18 Seoul Marathon 3rd 2:07:11
15Oct17 Gongju Marathon 2nd 2:07:21
Crowned the 2018 Toronto Marathon champion, Benson Kipruto has finished on the podium in four out of his five marathons. In his five career marathons he has four podium finishes.
Birthday: 16 February 1993
Bib# 11 KIRUI
16Apr18 Boston Marathon 2nd 2:18:23
06Aug17 London IAAF World Championships Marathon 1st 2:08:27
17Apr17 Boston Marathon 1st 2:09:37
As the 2017 London IAAF World Championships Marathon winner, Kirui solidified his prowess in strategic non-paced racing. After winning the 2017 Boston Marathon and being runner up in 2018, we’re all asking, will Kirui win another Boston title?
Birthday: 15 November 1982
Bib# 9 KORIR
18Apr16 Boston Marathon 4th 2:14:05
20Apr15 Boston Marathon 5th 2:10:49
16Apr12 Boston Marathon 1st 2:12:40
In one of the hottest Boston Marathons on record, with temperatures soaring to 85 degrees, Wesley Korir won the 2012 race. To him, his Boston win was the biggest racing accomplishment of his life.
Birthday: 12 December 1990
Bib# 3 LEMMA
08Oct17 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 4th 2:11:01
06May18 Volkswagen Prague Marathon 2nd 2:07:02
28Oct18 Volkswagen Ljubljana Marathon 1st 2:04:58
Lemma ran three marathons in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, finishing top five in all but one race. This year, he’s hoping to win his first Abbott World Marathon Majors event in Boston.
Country: Great Britain
Birthday: 09 February 1983
Bib# 23 OVERALL
23Apr17 Virgin Money London Marathon 19th 2:16:54
27Sep15 BMW Berlin Marathon 10th 2:11:24
25Sep11 BMW Berlin Marathon 5th 2:10:55
Olympian Scott Overall says that his proudest moment was finishing the 2011 Berlin Marathon. That’s because his time of 2:10:55 qualified him to gain selection to the 2012 Olympic Games in his home town of London.
Birthday: 07 August 1987
Bib# 26 RITCHIE
04Nov18 TCS New York City Marathon 13th 2:15:22
03Dec17 California International Marathon 1st 2:11:56
06Oct13 Twin Cities Marathon 6th 2:14:50
Decisively winning the 2017 California International Marathon, Ritchie claimed his first national title. In his spare time, Ritchie coaches the cross country team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Birthday: 30 December 1982
Bib# 17 RITZ
20Apr15 Boston Marathon 7th 2:11:20
24Aug08 Beijing Olympic Games Marathon 9th 2:11:59
11Oct09 Birmingham IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 3rd 1:00:00
Three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein is the fourth fastest U.S. marathoner of all time. His career highlights include finishing second at the 2007 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and 9th at the 2008 Olympic Games Marathon.
Birthday: 08 February 1991
Bib# 12 RONO
22Oct17 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 1st 2:06:52(CR)
16Oct16 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 1st 2:08:26
17Apr16 Haspa Hamburg Marathon 2nd 2:07:20
In 2013, Philemon Rono won the Kenyan Cross Country Championships, finishing two places ahead of 2017 World and Boston Marathon champion, Geoffrey Kirui. He’s also won the Toronto Marathon, not once, but twice.
Birthday: 22 July 1991
Bib# 29 SHRADER
03Dec18 California International Marathon 6th 2:13:31
In 2014, Brian Shrader won the U.S. 12K national championships in an American Record of 34:11. He has continued to improve his personal bests in multiple events in 2018, including the half marathon (65:26) and marathon (2:13:31).
Birthday: 05 April 1989
Bib# 21 SONODA
02Dec18 Fukuoka Marathon 5th 2:10:31
25Aug18 Asian Games Marathon 4th 2:19:04
04Feb18 Beppu-Oita Marathon 2nd 2:09:34
Hayato Sonoda has two career wins, the 2015 Kumamoto Marathon and the 2016 Austin Marathon. He ran three marathons last year and placed top five every time. In February, he was runner-up at the Beppu-Oita Marathon.
Birthday: 01 January 1982
Bib# 18 TADESE
16Sep18 BMW Berlin Marathon 5th 2:08:46
06Oct12 Kavarna IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 1st 1:00:19
20Aug04 Athens Olympic Games 10,000m 3rd 27:22.57
As a four-time IAAF World Half Marathon gold medalist, an All-African gold medalist and the world half marathon record holder from 2010-2018, Zersenay Tadese is the most accomplished Eritrean athlete of all time.
Birthday: 20 October 1994
Bib# 10 TALAM
04Nov18 TCS New York City Marathon 8th 2:12:40
08Oct17 Eindhoven Marathon 1st 2:06:13
09Oct16 Eindhoven Marathon 1st 2:06:26
In his marathon debut, Festus Talam won the 2016 Eindhoven Marathon in 2:06:26. The next year, he defended his title, finishing with a personal best of 2:06:13. This past fall he finished eighth at the competitive TCS New York City Marathon.
Birthday: 09 September 1988
Bib# 24 WARD
4Nov18 TCS New York City Marathon 10th 2:12:24
21Aug16 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games 6th 2:11:30
13Feb16 Los Angeles U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials 3rd 2:13:00
Jared Ward finished third in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, saying that “running for [his] country was very empowering.” In 2017 he was tenth in Boston and 12th in New York City. He finished top American and sixth overall at the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon.
Defending Champs: Des and Yuki
They overcame brutal weather, a world-class field, and the odds to break the tape at the 2018 Boston Marathon. In 2019, they return to defend their titles.
Defending Champs: Tatyana and Marcel
They were already Boston Marathon champions. In 2018, they became legends. We can’t wait to see what Tatyana and Marcel have in store for 2019.
U.S. Elite Team
In 2018, Americans nabbed podium spots in every division. We’re proud to support the U.S. Elite Team as they battle to do it again this year.
International Elite Team
They come from 15 different countries, but they share one goal. Meet the world-class field ready to make their mark in 2019.