John Hancock Announces Elite USA Team for 2013 Boston Marathon

        John Hancock Announces Elite USA Team for 2013 Boston Marathon

PR Newswire

BOSTON, Jan. 8, 2013

BOSTON, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --John Hancock Financial today announced
the Elite USA Team for the 117^th running of the Boston Marathon on April 15,
2013. The strong U.S. team, recruited to compete with a deep international
field, includes Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, Jason Hartmann,
Fernando Cabada, Serena Burla, Stephanie Rothstein, and Alissa McKaig. The
group joins previously announced Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan.

Watch the USA Team video now >>

Ryan Hall has run Boston three times and set an American course record of
2:04:58 with his fourth place finish in 2011. He also placed third in 2009 and
fourth in 2010. Hall is a two-time Olympian and holds the North and Central
American records in the 20K, the Half Marathon and the 30K. Most recently he
finished second at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

"Boston, as with so many other marathoners, holds a special place in my heart
and mind," said Hall. "I go back this year eager to experience all that Boston
has to offer: the epic crowds, the challenging course, but mainly to be a part
of and make history. Having been a part of the fastest marathon ever run on
the planet in 2011, I know what is possible at Boston and what can be done on
that course. I believe that each time I race Boston I get to know the course
better and learn how to race it smarter. I am sure that this year's race will
be my best yet."

Meb Keflezighi, a three-time Olympian, placed fifth in Boston in 2010 and
third in 2006. Most recently Keflezighi finished fourth at the 2012 London
Olympic Marathon after winning the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. Other major
accomplishments include winning thesilver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic
Marathon and winning the 2009 New York City Marathon.

"As I come towards the end of my running career, there are still a few goals I
want to achieve; winning the Boston Marathon is one of them," said Keflezighi.
"The fans and crowds in Boston are amazing! Both times I've run the Boston
Marathon I was cheered on enthusiastically. I hope the third time is the
charm!"

Abdi Abdirahman, a four-time Olympian, is best known for his 10,000m prowess.
He competed in that event at the Olympics for the U.S. in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
In 2008, he won the U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000m. Abdirahman has finished top
five at both the Chicago and New York City Marathons and most recently
finished third at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon.

"I'm so happy to be running the Boston Marathon this spring," said Abdirahman.
"It is one of the greatest and oldest marathons in the world and it has long
been a dream of mine to run here."

Joining Hall, Keflezighi and Abdirahman on the John Hancock Elite Team is
Jason Hartmann and Fernando Cabada.

Jason Hartmann had the U.S. performance of the year at Boston in 2012, placing
fourth overall. Competing against the fastest field ever assembled for the
event, including 2:03:02 defending champ Geoffrey Mutai, Hartmann ran a
strategic race in the extreme heat and steadily moved up through the pack.

"To be able to be a part of the Boston Marathon history was life changing for
me," said Hartmann. "My expectation this year is to place as high as I can,
and even better than last time."

Fernando Cabada holds his own worthy credentials as the North and Central
American record holder in the 25K. He improved his marathon personal best with
a seventh place finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and later in the
year won the Los Angeles Half Marathon. He has competed on three World
Championship teams for the U.S.

On the women's side, previously announced Olympians Kara Goucher and Shalane
Flanagan will lead rising stars Serena Burla, Stephanie Rothstein and Alissa
McKaig.

Kara Goucher has run Boston twice. She finished third in 2009 and fifth in
2011, in a personal best 2:24:52. That mark ranks her as the fourth fastest
American marathoner of all time. A two-time Olympian, Goucher most recently
placed third at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and 11^th at the London
Olympic Marathon.

Shalane Flanagan is a three-time Olympian and holds North and Central American
records in the indoor 3,000m and 5,000m and in the outdoor10,000m. Her 10,000m
record was earned during her bronze medal performance at the 2008 Olympics.
Flanagan was also runner up in her 2010 marathon debut in New York City and
bronze medalist at World Cross Country in 2011. Last year she won the U.S.
Olympic Marathon Trials in an event record 2:25:38 and finished tenth at the
London Olympic Marathon.

Serena Burla brings her own compelling story to Boston. An All-American at
Missouri University, Burla was diagnosed with a malignant soft-tissue tumor in
her hamstring in 2010, shortly after finishing runner up at the U.S. National
Half Marathon Championships behind winner Flanagan. After radical surgery and
a positive recovery, Burla defied the odds to again finish runner up at the
2011 U.S. Half Marathon Championships. She then had a break-through marathon
race in early 2012 with a 2:28:27 third place finish in Seoul, Korea.

Stephanie Rothstein recently made the podium at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon
with a strong third-place finish. She also ran to third at the Houston
Marathon in 2011, where she set her 2:29:35 personal best. Rothstein has
proven she knows how to run against international fields on challenging
courses. A member of the World Half Marathon U.S. team in 2010, Rothstein
finished top American.

Alissa McKaig finished eighth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in only
her third marathon. A member of the American team for the 2011 World Cross
Country Championships, McKaig helped the team earn the bronze medal. She also
competed for the U.S. at the 2011 World Marathon Championships in Daegu,
Korea. This past December, McKaig won the Jacksonville Half Marathon.

The complete John Hancock international field for the 2013 Boston Marathon
will be announced in mid-January.

"For nearly 30 years now, John Hancock, as principal sponsor, has continually
recruited the world's top runners to the historic Boston Marathon. This year
we are proud to include an exceptionally talented U.S. Team in our elite
field," said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event Marketing at John
Hancock. "The fans who line our course each spring have embraced and adopted
runners from all over the globe year after year and it's always nice for them
to also cheer on athletes from the 'home team'. This year's field again will
be as deep, fast and competitive as ever and we expect it will provide
spectators and millions of television and online viewers with another
spectacular race. The countdown to April 15th continues."

"Held annually on Patriots' Day since 1897, the Boston Marathon is an
international event with deep American roots. We are proud to welcome
America's finest marathoners this year - Olympians and rising stars alike - to
challenge some of the best runners that the world has to offer," said Tom
Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director." Through the continued support of our
principal sponsor, John Hancock Financial Services, and its excellence in
recruiting athletes, these outstanding runners will all inspire us all when
they come to Boston this April."

The 2013 Boston Marathon marks the 28^th year of John Hancock's landmark
sponsorship of the legendary race. For additional information about the Elite
Athlete Program and sponsorship, please visit
www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/sportspartnerships.html or follow us
@jhboston26 on Twitter.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading
Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia,
Canada and the United States.

Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily
as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers
clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management
services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution
partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries
were C$515 billion (US$523 billion) as at September 30, 2012. Manulife
Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under
'945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at
manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the
largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range
of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, fixed
products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college
savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about
John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com, and on Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn and YouTube.

SOURCE John Hancock Financial

Website: http://www.johnhancock.com
Contact: Brian Carmichael, +1-617-663-4748, bcarmichael@jhancock.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.