John Hancock Announces 2019 Boston Marathon Elite Field

82 Elite Athletes, Including Olympians, Paralympians, World Champions and Abbott World Marathon Majors Winners, from 15 Countries Invited for 123rd Running on April 15

Press Release with edits by

BOSTON, MA, January 10, 2019, 10:00 a.m. EST—John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced the elite international fields for the 123rd Boston Marathon on April 15. Complete field lists follow.

Nine Boston Marathon open champions and seven Boston Marathon wheelchair champions will challenge their respective fields to seek the coveted olive wreath. Combined, the field has won more than 200 international marathons and includes Olympic and Paralympic medalists, IAAF World Championships Marathon medalists and Abbott World Marathon Majors champions.

“John Hancock as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has recruited the world’s best runners to race on this historic course for over three decades,” said John Hancock Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Goose. “This year we welcome back 16 returning champions to challenge an accomplished international field of Olympians, World Champions and Abbott World Marathon Majors winners. We recognize the commitment and hard work it takes to compete at the highest level of the sport and look forward to another compelling race in Boston.”

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“Each year, a collection of the world’s best runners descends on the start in Hopkinton with the goal of becoming Boston Marathon champion,” said B.A.A. CEO Tom Grilk. “John Hancock has once again assembled an Elite Team that will ensure a fiercely competitive race. From decorated champions to Olympians, Paralympians and national record holders, we are excited to watch another chapter of Boston Marathon history unfold on Patriots’ Day.”

Men’s Field Summary

The field’s success in strategic and tactical championship style racing will prove critical as they run the world’s most historic marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston.

Leading a formidable field of 29 elite open men are: 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan; 2017 Boston and 2017 IAAF World Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya; two-time Boston champion and 2018 TCS New York City Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa of

Ethiopia; 2016 Boston victor Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia; and 2012 Boston champion Wesley Korir of Kenya.

Chasing the champions are 2:04 marathoners Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, a two-time Amsterdam, two-time Honolulu, Seville and Prague champion; Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia, winner of Carpi, Warsaw, Vienna, Frankfurt and Ljubljana; and Solomon Deksisa of Ethiopia, winner of Mumbai and Hamburg.

The Japanese pair of Hirohito Inoue and Hayato Sonada also join the team. Inoue won the 2018 Asian Games Marathon and Sonada was runner up in Beppu-Oita last year.

From Eritrea, 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medalist and 2016 TCS New York City champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie will be in contention as will countryman Zersenay Tadese, a four-time Olympian, former world record holder in the half marathon and winner of six World Championships titles.

The previously announced American team includes third place finisher last year, Shadrack Biwott; Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein, Abdi Abdirahman, and Jared Ward; as well as Jeffery Eggleston, Elkanah Kibet, Timothy Ritchie, Scott Fauble, Aaron Braun and Brian Shrader.

Among those making their Boston debuts are several men who ran their personal best times in 2018: Rotterdam winner Kenneth Kipkemoi of Kenya; two-time Toronto champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya; and Beirut winner Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco.

Also joining the international field is British Olympian Scott Overall and 2:06 Kenyan marathoners Felix Kandie, the Athens and Prague champion; Festus Talam, a two-time Eindhoven winner; and Philemon Rono, a two-time Toronto champion.

Women’s Field Summary

On the women’s elite team, John Hancock has assembled an accomplished field of 22 elite open women, 11 of whom have personal best times under 2:23:00.

Leading the way is 2018 winner Desiree Linden of the United States; two-time World Championships Marathon gold medalist, three-time Abbott World Marathon Majors series winner and 2017 Boston champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya; 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas winner Caroline Rotich of Kenya; and 2012 Boston, Hamburg, Toronto, Torino and Singapore winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya.

Challenging the Boston champions are 2:19 Ethiopian marathoners Aselefech Mergia, a London champion and three-time winner of Dubai; Mare Dibaba, the 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medalist, 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion, Beijing and two-time Xiamen winner; and Worknesh Degefa, a Dubai champion.

Last year’s second and third place finishers, Sarah Sellers of the United States and Krista DuChene of Canada return to improve their positions. They join Olympic and World Championships silver medalist in the 10,000m, Sally Kipyego of the United States; and previously announced U.S. elites: Jordan Hasay, third at Boston in 2017; Sara Hall, 2017 national champion; Lindsay Flanagan; Becky Wade; and Sarah Crouch.

Joining them will be a trio of Ethiopians: two-time Olympian Meskerem Assefa, winner of Rotterdam and Frankfurt; Olympian Belaynesh Oljira, 2015 World Championships 10,000m bronze medalist; and Marta Megra, a Toronto champion.

Rounding out the field and new to the Boston course are Olympian Betsy Saina of Kenya, a Paris champion; Olympian Eva Vrabcova of the Czech Republic, the bronze medalist in the 2018 European Marathon Championships; Olympian Alyson Dixon of Great Britain; and making her marathon debut is Mary Wacera of Kenya, the World Championships Half Marathon silver medalist in 2014 and bronze medalist in 2016.

2019 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite Men’s Open Field

Name Country PB
Lawrence Cherono Kenya 2:04:06 (Amsterdam, 2018)
Sisay Lemma Ethiopia 2:04:08 (Dubai, 2018)
Lemi Berhanu Ethiopia 2:04:33 (Dubai, 2016)
Solomon Deksisa Ethiopia 2:04:40 (Amsterdam, 2018)
Lelisa Desisa Ethiopia 2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)
Kenneth Kipkemoi Kenya 2:05:44 (Rotterdam, 2018)
Felix Kandie Kenya 2:06:03 (Seoul, 2017)
Geoffrey Kirui Kenya 2:06:27 (Amsterdam, 2016)
Festus Talam Kenya 2:06:13 (Eindhoven, 2017)
Wesley Korir Kenya 2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012)
Philemon Rono Kenya 2:06:52 (Toronto, 2017)
Hiroto Inoue Japan 2:06:54 (Tokyo, 2018)
Benson Kipruto Kenya 2:07:11 (Seoul, 2018)
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie Eritrea 2:07:46 (London, 2016)
Dathan Ritzenhein USA 2:07:47 (Chicago, 2012)
Yuki Kawauchi Japan 2:08:14 (Seoul, 2013)
Zersenay Tadese Eritrea 2:08:46 (Berlin, 2018)
Abdi Abdirahman USA 2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006)
Mohamed Reda Morocco 2:09:16 (Chicago, 2018)
El Aaraby
Hayato Sonoda Japan 2:09:34 (Oita, 2018)
Scott Overall Great Britain 2:10:55 (Berlin, 2011)
Jeffrey Eggleston USA 2:10:52 (Gold Coast, 2014)
Jared Ward USA 2:11:30 (Rio de Janeiro, 2016)
Elkanah Kibet USA 2:11:31 (Chicago, 2015)
Timothy Ritchie USA 2:11:56 (Sacramento, 2017)
Shadrack Biwott USA 2:12:01 (New York City, 2016)
Scott Fauble USA 2:12:28 (New York City, 2018)
Aaron Braun USA 2:12:54 (Houston, 2015)
Brian Shrader USA 2:13:31 (Sacramento, 2018)

2019 Boston Marathon John Hancock Elite Women’s Open Field

Name Country PB
Aselefech Mergia Ethiopia 2:19:31 (Dubai, 2012)
Edna Kiplagat Kenya 2:19:50 (London, 2012)
Mare Dibaba Ethiopia 2:19:52 (Dubai, 2012)
Worknesh Degefa Ethiopia 2:19:53 (Dubai, 2018)
Meskerem Assefa Ethiopia 2:20:36 (Frankfurt, 2018)
Jordan Hasay USA 2:20:57 (Chicago, 2017)
Belaynesh Oljira Ethiopia 2:21:53 (Frankfurt, 2018)
Sharon Cherop Kenya 2:22:28 (Berlin, 2013)
Desiree Linden USA 2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)
Marta Megra Ethiopia 2:22:35 (Toronto, 2018)
Betsy Saina Kenya 2:22:56 (Paris, 2018)
Caroline Rotich Kenya 2:23:22 (Chicago, 2012)
Sara Hall USA 2:26:20 (Ottawa, 2018)
Eva Vrabcova Czech Republic 2:26:31 (Berlin, 2018) NR
Sally Kipyego USA 2:28:01 (New York City, 2016)
Krista Duchene Canada 2:28:32 (Toronto, 2013)
Alyson Dixon Great Britain 2:29:06 (London, 2017)
Lindsay Flanagan USA 2:29:25 (Frankfurt, 2018)
Becky Wade USA 2:30:41 (Sacramento, 2013)
Sarah Crouch USA 2:32:27 (Chicago, 2018)
Sarah Sellers USA 2:36:37 (New York City, 2018)
Mary Wacera Kenya 66:29 (Houston, 2016)

2019 Boston Marathon Elite Men’s Wheelchair Field

Marcel Hug Switzerland 1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)
Ernst van Dyk South Africa 1:18:04 (Boston, 2017)
Josh Cassidy Canada 1:18:25 (Boston, 2012)
Masazumi Soejima Japan 1:18:50 (Boston, 2011)
Hiroyuki Yamamoto Japan 1:19:32 (Boston, 2017)
Hiroki Nishida Japan 1:20:28 (Boston, 2017)
Kota Hokinoue Japan 1:20:54 (Seoul, 2013)
Joshua George USA 1:21:47 (Boston, 2017)
Aaron Pike USA 1:22:09 (Boston, 2017)
Ryota Yoshida Japan 1:23:18 (Boston, 2017)
Krige Schabort USA 1:23:44 (Boston, 2012)
James Senbeta USA 1:24:27 (Boston, 2017)
David Weir Great Britain 1:26:17 (Boston, 2016)
Daniel Romanchuk USA 1:26:26 (Boston, 2017)
Brian Siemann USA 1:26:46 (Boston, 2017)
Patrick Monahan Ireland 1:29:10 (Seoul, 2017)
Johnboy Smith Great Britain 1:29:44 (Berlin, 2018)
Tristan Smyth Canada 1:29:53 (Berlin, 2018)


2019 Boston Marathon Elite Women’s Wheelchair Field

Manuela Schar Switzerland 1:28:17 (Boston, 2017)
Amanda McGrory USA 1:33:13 (Boston, 2017)
Susannah Scaroni USA 1:33:17 (Boston, 2017)
Tatyana McFadden USA 1:35:05 (Boston, 2017)
Sandra Graf Switzerland 1:35:44 (Padua, 2008)
Margriet Van Den Broek Netherlands 1:38:33 (Boston, 2017)
Madison De Rozario Australia 1:39:22 (Chicago, 2017)
Katrina Gerhard USA 1:40:34 (Boston, 2017)
Diane Roy Canada 1:40:37 (Beijing, 2008)
Arielle Rausin USA 1:41:26 (Boston, 2017)
Aline de Rocha Brazil 1:41:40 (Duluth, 16)
Eliza Ault-Connell Australia 1:44:13 (Gold Coast, 2018)
Michelle Wheeler USA 1:45:22 (Oita, 2018)


The 2019 Boston Marathon marks the 34th year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the legendary race. For additional information about the elite athlete program and sponsorship, please visit or follow us @jhboston26 and @johnhancockUSA on Twitter.


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