John Hancock saved the Boston Marathon in 1986. As its first professional sponsor, John Hancock Financial Services, under the thoughtful eye of the colorful David D’Alessandro, helped push the iconic marathon in to the modern world of road running. I love the elite Ambassador program, as John Hancock reminds us that past champions and Olympic champions deserve our respect and admiration.
BOSTON, MA, March 29, 2018–John Hancock today announced its Elite Athlete Ambassador Team for the 2018 Boston Marathon to be held on April 16.
Boston Marathon champions Meb Keflezighi, Tatyana McFadden, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Greg Meyer will join Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor, Becca Pizzi and Dick and Rick Hoyt as ambassadors for this year’s race.
“Our ambassadors are athletes who represent the very best of what being a champion means both on and off the roads,” said John Hancock Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Goose. “From meeting race participants to sharing life stories, our ambassadors provide inspiration during race week and throughout the year at John Hancock sponsored events.”
Ambassadors will cheer on the 30,000 participants racing from Hopkinton to Boston on Patriots’ Day and attend media, community and race week events, including making appearances at the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo and surprising race participants at weekend “meet and greets” near the finish line. All ambassadors will attend the John Hancock Elite Athlete press conference on April 13 at 10 a.m. at the Fairmont Copley.
Meb Keflezighi: The 2014 Boston Marathon champion, Keflezighi is a four-time Olympian and one of America’s most accomplished runners. He is the only American man to have won the Boston and New York City Marathons (2009) and earned an Olympic Marathon medal (silver, 2004). Meb will run this year’s race non-competitively as part of Team MR8 to benefit the Martin Richard Foundation.
Tatyana McFadden: A Boston Athletic Association invited push rim wheelchair elite racer this year, McFadden is one of the most decorated athletes of all time. She won four gold medals at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio and has multiple wins at the Boston, New York, Chicago and London Marathons.
Bill Rodgers: Four-time Boston Marathon champion (1975, 1978-80) and four-time New York City Marathon champion (1976-79), Rodgers continues to inspire runners of all ages and abilities. Rodgers also won the Fukuoka Marathon and is a former world record holder in the 25K.
Joan Benoit Samuelson: The first woman to win Olympic gold in the marathon, Samuelson is a two-time Boston Marathon winner and Chicago Marathon winner. In 1979, as a 21-year-old college senior, Samuelson won the Boston Marathon and set an American best (2:35:15). In 1983, she won again, setting a world standard of 2:22:43.
Greg Meyer: The 1983 Boston Marathon champion, Meyer won the 1980 Detroit and the 1982 Chicago Marathons and set ten U.S. road racing records and two world records (15K, Ten Mile) during his career. He is the coach of the John Hancock Employee Running Program for the Boston Marathon.
Ryan Hall: American record holder in the 20K, 30K and half marathon, Hall also owns the U.S. course record on the Boston Marathon course (2:04:58). He won the 2007 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and finished runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. At the 2008 Olympic Games Marathon, he finished 10th.
Deena Kastor: A three-time Olympian, Kastor won the bronze medal in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics. The U.S. record holder in the marathon (2:19:36), Kastor has won 18 national titles across various distances and earned two silver medals at the World Cross Country Championships. She won the 2005 Chicago Marathon, the 2006 London Marathon, and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. Kastor will race with the John Hancock Elite Team at this year’s Boston Marathon.
Becca Pizzi: In 2016 and 2018, Becca Pizzi ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days as part of the World Marathon Challenge. Not only was she the first American woman to ever complete the challenge, she won 13 of the 14 marathons and holds the course record. Becca has run over 50 marathons, including 20 Boston Marathons.
Dick and Rick Hoyt: The Hoyts have raced together in more than 1,100 sporting events, including 32 Boston Marathons. Over three decades they have inspired race participants and fans with their determination and willpower to defy all expectations. Rick continues to race with Bryan Lyons, keeping his Boston Marathon streak currently at 35.
The 2018 Boston Marathon marks the 33rd year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the legendary race.
For additional information about this year’s elite team running the race, please visit www.johnhancockmarathonhub.com
For more information about the elite athlete program and sponsorship, please visit www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/sportspartnerships.html or follow us @jhboston26 and @johnhancockusa on Twitter.
About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers’ needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over $1.04 trillion (US$829.4 billion) as of December 31, 2017. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com.
One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10.7 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. We also offer advice through Signator, a network of independent financial advisors. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.