BOSTON, MA – John Hancock today announced its Elite Athlete Ambassador Team for the 2019 Boston Marathon to be held on April 15.
Boston Marathon champions Meb Keflezighi, Tatyana McFadden, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Greg Meyer and Uta Pippig will join Shalane Flanagan, Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor, Becca Pizzi and Team Hoyt as ambassadors for this year’s race.
“As Patriots’ Day nears, we welcome our 2019 Elite Ambassador Team for the Boston Marathon,” said John Hancock Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Goose. “Through their mentorship and inclusiveness, these accomplished athletes inspire runners of all ages and abilities during race week and throughout the year at John Hancock sponsored events. The team has become an integral part of our community.”
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 Runner’s Seminar at the Expo, surprise “meet and greets” near the finish line, and at the John Hancock Elite Athlete press conference on April 12 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).
Tatyana McFadden: A Boston Athletic Association invited wheelchair elite racer this year and the defending champion, 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. This year she will run the race in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her 1979 win.
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.
Uta Pippig: The first woman to officially win the Boston Marathon three consecutive times (1994-96), Pippig is also a three-time Berlin Marathon champion (1990, 92, 95). She competed for Germany at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and gained U.S. citizenship in 2004. Pippig has been a coach of Team Hoyt.
Shalane Flanagan: A four-time Olympian Flanagan ran the fastest time (2:22:02) ever by an American woman at the 2014 Boston Marathon. She won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games 10,000m and in the Olympic Games Marathon was sixth in 2016 and ninth in 2012. Flanagan won the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon and holds multiple American records.
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.
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 21 Boston Marathons.
Team Hoyt: Dick and Rick Hoyt 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 36.