Elmwood School Celebrates 20 Years of Adopt-a-Marathoner Program
Athletes Discuss Kenyan Culture and Training
Hopkinton - Today the John Hancock ‘Adopt-a-Marathoner’ program celebrated its 20th anniversary with nearly 600 students from Hopkinton’s Elmwood Elementary School greeting and meeting top Kenyan marathon runners in the Elmwood School gymnasium. John Hancock’s ‘Adopt-a-Marathoner’ program gives students an opportunity to learn first hand about Kenya’s culture and about the lifestyles of the country’s talented marathon runners. A Kenyan has won either the men’s or women’s open race (and sometimes both) in the last 20 years of the Boston Marathon.
The Kenyan runners at the event were led by Boston Marathon defending champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel. "It's great to see young children so enthusiastic and eager to learn about another country and its people," Mutai said. The 19-member Kenyan marathon team will participate in the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, 2012.
“For twenty years the Hopkinton clinic has been part of John Hancock’s overall commitment to develop innovative youth programs, which strive to teach children about the benefits of health and fitness,” said Rob Friedman, Assistant Vice President of Sponsorship and Event Marketing, John Hancock. “This event also serves as an opportunity to thank the elite Kenyan athletes who have represented their country well at the Marathon. You can always feel the excitement and energy as the children cheer on these world-class runners.”
The annual event began in 1992 when 150 Elmwood students welcomed three-time Boston Marathon champion Ibrahim Hussein and his Kenyan teammates. Since the program’s inception, Hopkinton school officials have documented a marked increase in participation in their interscholastic track and cross-country teams, which now are among the most competitive in the state. More than 11,000 students, teachers, administrators and other Hopkinton community members have participated in the event since it began.
“We are always looking for ways to promote the benefits of education and athletics,” said Hopkinton School Superintendent Jonathan Landman. “For twenty years, this annual event has offered a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about another culture and why it is important to develop a strong work ethic in sports and in school.”
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. In 2012, John Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United States, while Manulife celebrates its 125th anniversary. 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$500 billion (US$491 billion) as at December 31, 2011. 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, LinkedIn and YouTube.
For more info visit John Hancock’s Boston Marathon site www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/index.html or on Twitter @jhboston26.