December 11, 2017
BOSTON, MA – John Hancock today announced its strongest U.S. Elite Team since
its principal sponsorship began in 1986. The team, recruited to compete against an accomplished
international field, will challenge for the coveted olive wreath on Patriots’ Day, April 16, 2018.
Four-time Olympian and 2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan headlines the
field along with two-time Olympic medalist and 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion
Galen Rupp. Joining them are Olympians Desiree Linden, Dathan Ritzenhein, Abdi Abdirahman,
Deena Kastor, and Molly Huddle, the latter of whom is the North American 10,000m record holder.
Also returning to Boston are Jordan Hasay and Shadrack Biwott. Hasay placed third at the 2017
Chicago Marathon, and set the American marathon debut record at Boston this year when she ran 2:23:00.
Biwott finished as the second American and fourth overall in Boston this year. Serena Burla, Ryan
Vail, Sara Hall, Scott Smith, Kellyn Taylor, and Andrew Bumbalough will also compete on the John
Hancock U.S. Elite Team at the 122 nd running of the Boston Marathon.
“The 2018 John Hancock U.S. Elite Team represents a dedicated group of athletes who have consistently
challenged themselves to compete with great success on the world stage,” said John Hancock Chief
Marketing Officer Barbara Goose. “We are honored to invite this team to the Boston Marathon to lead
30,000 runners along the world’s most historic marathon route.”
“In the Boston Marathon’s 122-year history, one will be hard pressed to find a more accomplished
American field than the one John Hancock has established for 2018,” said Tom Grilk, CEO of the B.A.A.
“With Olympic medalists, Abbott World Marathon Majors winners, American record holders and more,
this will be the most decorated U.S. fields in Boston Marathon history. Many familiar faces return to the
roads leading to Boston, while others will be making their long-awaited debuts. And of course, it will be
especially engaging for local fans to welcome Marblehead’s own Shalane Flanagan back to follow up her magnificent triumph in New York.”
John Hancock U.S. Elite Team Highlights:
Shalane Flanagan is the newly crowned New York City Marathon champion, racing to the first U.S.
women’s title since 1977. A four-time Olympian, Flanagan holds American records in the indoor 3,000m
and 5,000m and in the10K, 15K and 25K. She won the silver medal in the 10,000m at the 2008 Olympics
and won the bronze medal at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Flanagan was the
2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion and then finished ninth in the 2012 Olympic Marathon.
Last year she was third at the 2016 Trials and sixth at the 2016 Olympic Marathon in Rio de Janeiro.
Galen Rupp returns to Boston after finishing runner-up this year. He secured a commanding win at the
2017 Chicago Marathon in October. Last year, Rupp won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic
Marathon; at the 2012 Olympic Games, Rupp won the silver medal in the 10,000m. He holds four
American records: indoor 3,000m, 5,000m, and two-mile, and the outdoor 10,000m. Rupp ran and won
his first marathon at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Accomplished in the 10,000m, Rupp won
the national championship in that event from 2009 until 2016.
Desiree Linden, a two-time Olympian, returns to Boston after finishing fourth this year. At the 2016 U.S.
Olympic Trials she finished second and then was seventh at the Olympics. A top-five finisher in seven
Abbott World Marathon Majors, Linden narrowly missed winning Boston in 2011 by two seconds.
Additional accomplishments include placing second at the 2010 Chicago Marathon, tenth at the 2009
IAAF World Marathon Championships, second at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and second in
the 10,000m at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Dathan Ritzenhein is the third fastest U.S. marathoner of all time with a 2:07:47 personal best. Career
highlights for the three-time Olympian include finishing ninth at the 2008 Olympic Marathon, winning
the bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and finishing 13 th at the 2012
Olympic Games 10,000m. This year he won the U.S. 25K National Championships.
Abdi Abdirahman placed sixth at the 2017 Boston Marathon, and earned the Masters Division title. He
also finished seventh in New York City this year. In 2016, he finished as the top American and third
overall at the New York City Marathon. Abdirahman is a multiple national champion in the 10,000m,
10K, 10-mile and Half Marathon. He placed third in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, but did not
finish the Olympic Marathon due to injury.
Deena Kastor is a three-time Olympian and the U.S. record holder in the marathon and the half
marathon. Kastor won the 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, the 2005 Chicago Marathon, the
2006 London Marathon, and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. She has earned 18 national titles
across various distances and won two silver medals at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
Molly Huddle is a has earned more than 20 national championship titles on the track and roads. She set the American 10,000m record of 30:13.17 with her sixth-place finish at the 2016 Olympics. Huddle is a
three-time winner of the B.A.A. 5K, and set an American record of 14:50 at the event in 2015. She has
also won the New York City Half Marathon the past three years. In her marathon debut, she ran to a third
place at the 2016 New York City Marathon.
Jordan Hasay set an American debut record of 2:23:00 with her third-place finish in Boston this year.
She improved her time by two minutes at the Chicago Marathon, finishing third in 2:20:57. An 18-time
All-American at the University of Oregon, Hasay won the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships
1500m silver medal. She also won USA National Championship titles at 15K and 20K on the roads in
Shadrack Biwott finished as the second American and fourth overall at this year’s Boston Marathon.
Only his University of Oregon teammate Galen Rupp finished higher with a second-place finish. Biwott
finished seventh at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and fifth at the 2016 New York City Marathon with
a personal best time of 2:12:01.
Serena Burla finished 10 th and 11 th at the 2015 and 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon,
respectively. Burla set her personal best marathon this year in Osaka, running 2:26:53. In 2013, she
finished runner-up at the Amsterdam Marathon. A cancer survivor, Burla was diagnosed with synovial
sarcoma in her right hamstring. She had part of her right hamstring removed in 2010, and had another
malignant tumor removed this year after the World Championships.
Sara Hall ran three marathons in 2017: She won the U.S. National Marathon Championships, set a
personal best time at the Frankfurt Marathon (finishing fifth in 2:27:21), and placed sixth at the Tokyo
Marathon. She is married to Ryan Hall, who holds the American course record of 2:04:58 at the Boston
Ryan Vail ran to an eighth-place finish at the BMW Berlin Marathon this year against a highly
competitive field. A four time U.S. World Cross Country team member, Vail’s highest finish was 17 th in
2013. He earned his best marathon time of 2:10:57 with a tenth place at the 2014 London Marathon.
Scott Smith ran the fourth fastest U.S. marathon time this year (2:12:21) with his eighth-place
finish in Frankfurt. He represented the U.S. at the 2012 IAAF Half Marathon Championships and
the 2015 IAAF World Marathon Championships.
Kellyn Taylor, the 2015 Pan American bronze medalist in the 5,000m, has run four marathons with
impressive results. At the 2015 Houston Marathon she finished sixth, and followed that performance up
with a sixth place at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. This year she placed 13 th at the Virgin
Money London Marathon and eighth at the New York City Marathon.
Andrew Bumbalough has represented the United States twice in cross country and twice on the track in
international championships. He won the USA 5K National Championship in 2013, and placed fifth at the
New York City Half Marathon in 2015. He made his marathon debut in Tokyo this year, finishing as the
top American, and followed that up with a 13 th place finish at the Chicago Marathon.
2018 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite USA Team
Deena Kastor 2:19:36 (London, 2006) @DeenaKastor
Jordan Hasay 2:20:57 (Chicago, 2017) @JordanHasay
Shalane Flanagan 2:21:14 (Berlin, 2014) @ShalaneFlanagan
Desiree Linden 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011) @des_linden
Serena Burla 2:26:53 (Osaka, 2017) @serena_burla
Sara Hall 2:27:21 (Frankfurt, 2017) @SaraHall3
Molly Huddle 2:28:13 (New York City, 2016) @MollyHuddle
Kellyn Taylor 2:28:40 (Houston, 2015) @kellyn_taylor
Dathan Ritzenhein 2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012) @djritzenhein
Abdi Abdirahman 2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006) @Abdi_runs
Galen Rupp 2:09:20 (Chicago, 2017) @G_Rupp
Ryan Vail 2:10:57 (London, 2014) @ryanvail
Shadrack Biwott 2:12:01 (New York, 2016) @skiptoob
Scott Smith 2:12:21 (Frankfurt, 2017) @scott_n_ready
Andrew Bumbalough 2:13:58 (Tokyo, 2017) @abumbalough