BOSTON, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In their 26th year as the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today announced the return of top American Ryan Hall, for the 115th running of the race on April 18, 2011.
Hall has proven himself as one of the best distance runners of all time and has shown he can compete successfully with Boston's world-class fields. After finishing third in 2009, Hall returned to Boston this past April and set a new U.S. course record with his 2:08:41 fourth-place finish.
Hall is the second fastest American marathoner of all time with a 2:06:17 personal best and currently holds the American record in the half marathon. The Stanford University graduate was first at the 2007 U.S. Olympic Trials and went on to place 10th at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon.
"I am excited to be part of the John Hancock elite team for the third year in a row. I can't wait to be back in Hopkinton in April ready to test myself over the most historic marathon course in America," said Hall. "I love the Boston Marathon and hope that both my experience training on and racing in the Boston Marathon will lead to something very special in the 2011 race."
In the 2010 race, Hall dictated the pace to the lead pack and his hard work helped Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot set a new course record of 2:05:52. Hall's strong closing miles put him within 2 seconds of a podium position as he led the U.S. men to three spots in the top ten.
"Regardless of the day's results, all of us who take on the unique journey of covering the 26.2 trying miles to Boylston Street can all say we partook in history," added Hall. "I am training with eager anticipation for the opportunity that the Boston Marathon offers, believing that all things are possible. What better place to break through than in Boston?"
With necessary experience on the course and added motivation to become the first American champion since Greg Meyer won in 1983, Hall returns determined to seek the win. "Ryan's performances at the last two Boston Marathons prove that he runs to win every time he toes the starting line," said B.A.A. Executive Director Guy Morse. "He is an inspired and highly motivated individual, and we can look forward to an exciting marathon and another competitive race from him in April."
"As it is each year, John Hancock remains committed to securing the strongest fields of runners from around the world for the Boston Marathon. We're very pleased to have Ryan return to Boston again this year, not only as the top U.S. runner, but also as part of what will be an elite global field for the 2011 race," said Jim Boyle, President of John Hancock Financial Services. "Ryan and the other elite runners every year provide spectators and viewers with a thrilling race. While marathoning is a global sport, the growing prominence of U.S. runners among the world's elite has been a terrific development for fans and for the sport."
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. 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. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$474 billion (US$460 billion) as at September 30, 2010.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial may be found on the Internet at www.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, fixed and variable 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 www.johnhancock.com.
SOURCE John Hancock