Elite Athlete Field Facts & Notes

The 2017 John Hancock Elite Athlete Team includes 38 athletes.

These athletes have won more than 80 global marathons in the following cities:
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Daegu, Dubai, Duluth, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Honolulu, Houston, Jacksonville, Lake Biwa, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Macau, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, New York City, Ottawa, Paris, Pittsburgh, Porto, Prague, Quad Cities, Rotterdam, Sacramento, Saitama, San Diego, St. Paul, Seoul, Tallahassee, Taipei, Tokyo, Vienna, Warsaw, Xiamen, and Zurich.

9 Countries:
Bahrain, Burundi, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya, United States, Zimbabwe

20Men and 18 Women

6 Past Champions:
Lemi Berhanu Hayle (2016), Atsede Baysa (2016), Meb Keflezighi (2014), Buzunesh Deba (2014), Caroline Rotich (2015), Wesley Korir (2012)

Buzunesh Deba holds the Boston Marathon women’s course record of 2:19:59

Winners of 15 Abbott World Marathon Majors in the field:
Atsede Baysa (Boston 2016; Chicago 2012 and 2010)
Lemi Berhanu Hayle (Boston 2016)
Caroline Rotich (Boston 2015)
Gladys Cherono (Berlin 2015)
Meb Keflezighi (Boston 2014 and New York City 2009)
Buzunesh Deba (Boston 2014)
Edna Kiplagat (London 2014; Moscow 2013; Daegu 2011; New York City 2010)
Wesley Korir (Boston 2012)
Emmanuel Mutai (London 2011)

Emmanuel Mutai has finished five of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors, the Olympic Games Marathon and the World Championships Marathon.

There are 18 Olympians in the field

There are two Olympic medalists in the field:
Galen Rupp (bronze, 2016; silver, 2012) and Meb Keflezighi (silver, 2004).

Edna Kiplagat is a two-time World Championships Marathon gold medalist and a two-time Abbott World Marathon Majors Series champion.

Five women have run under 2:22:40

Five men have run under 2:05

The top ten women have run under 2:24:42

The top ten men have run under 2:07:30

Men’s Summary

2016 Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia will work with countrymen Yemane Tsegay, Dino Sefir and Sisay Lemma as he seeks to defend his title. In addition to his Boston win, Hayle has won Zurich, Dubai, Warsaw and Xiamen. Tsegay finished third in Boston last year, claimed the silver medal at the 2015 IAAF World Championships Marathon and has nine global wins. Sefir holds 2016 wins in Ottawa and Barcelona. Lemma won Frankfurt and Vienna in 2015.

Close on their heels are Emmanuel Mutai and Sammy Kitwara. Mutai is a London and Amsterdam champion and earned the silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships. He has finished five of six Abbott World Marathon Majors, the Olympic Games Marathon and the World Championships Marathon. Kitwara has run six half marathons under one hour and is coming off a December win in Taipei.

The U.S. elite team is led by 2014 Boston Marathon winner and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi. He is joined by 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Galen Rupp, 2016 Olympian Jared Ward, four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, and top Americans Luke Puskedra, Shadrack Biwott and Sean Quigley.

Additional strong contenders for the coveted olive wreath include Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion; Wilson Chebet, a three-time Amsterdam winner and Rotterdam winner; Geoffrey Kirui, winner of the bronze medal in the 10,000m at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships and Daniel Salel, the 2016 B.A.A. Half Marathon champion.

Olympians Yared Asmerom of Eritrea, Suguru Osako of Japan, and Cutbert Nyasango of Zimbabwe also are in the field. Asmerom is the fastest Eritrean marathoner of all time. Osako holds five Japanese national records on the track. Nyasango, a three-time Olympian, is his country’s national record holder in the marathon.

Women’s Summary

On the women’s side, two-time IAAF World Championships gold medalist Edna Kiplagat is one of the most accomplished women in the field. Kiplagat is a London, New York City and Los Angeles champion and won the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series in 2013-2014 and in 2010-2011. Countrywomen Gladys Cherono, the 2015 Berlin winner and 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships gold medalist, joins Kiplagat, as does 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas champion Caroline Rotich.

Valentine Kipketer, Joyce Chepkirui, and Brigid Kosgei round out the Kenyan team. Kipketer is a past winner of Amsterdam and Mumbai; Chepkirui is an Amsterdam and two-time Honolulu winner; and Kosgei won Honolulu and Milan in 2016.

From Ethiopia, 2016 Boston Marathon champion Atsede Baysa as well as 2014 Boston Marathon winner and course-record-holder Buzunesh Deba are back to race. They will be joined by countrywoman Ruti Aga who won the silver medal in the 5,000m at the 2012 World Junior Championships.

Elite women from the U.S. include two-time Olympian Desiree Linden, who finished seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon, and Blake Russell the top American at the 2008 Olympic Games Marathon. The duo will be joined by 2015 Pan American Games Marathon silver medalist Lindsay FlanaganTallahassee and Twin Cities winner Esther Atkins; and making their debuts are 2016 U. S. Ten Mile Champion Jordan Hasay and Liz Costello, who finished fourth in the 10,000m at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Additional talent includes Rose Chelimo of Bahrain, who finished eighth at the 2016 Olympic Marathon; three-time Olympian Diane Nukuri of Burundi, who recently finished fifth at the 2016 New York City Marathon; and Rachel Hannah, the fastest Canadian marathoner of 2016.