BOSTON, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock Financial today announced the Elite USA Team for the 117 th running of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. The strong U.S. team, recruited to compete with a deep international field, includes Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, Jason Hartmann, Fernando Cabada, Serena Burla, Stephanie Rothstein, and Alissa McKaig. The group joins previously announced Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan.
Ryan Hall has run Boston three times and set an American course record of 2:04:58 with his fourth place finish in 2011. He also placed third in 2009 and fourth in 2010. Hall is a two-time Olympian and holds the North and Central American records in the 20K, the Half Marathon and the 30K. Most recently he finished second at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
" Boston, as with so many other marathoners, holds a special place in my heart and mind," said Hall. "I go back this year eager to experience all that Boston has to offer: the epic crowds, the challenging course, but mainly to be a part of and make history. Having been a part of the fastest marathon ever run on the planet in 2011, I know what is possible at Boston and what can be done on that course. I believe that each time I race Boston I get to know the course better and learn how to race it smarter. I am sure that this year's race will be my best yet."Meb Keflezighi, a three-time Olympian, placed fifth in Boston in 2010 and third in 2006. Most recently Keflezighi finished fourth at the 2012 London Olympic Marathon after winning the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. Other major accomplishments include winning the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon and winning the 2009 New York City Marathon. "As I come towards the end of my running career, there are still a few goals I want to achieve; winning the Boston Marathon is one of them," said Keflezighi. "The fans and crowds in Boston are amazing! Both times I've run the Boston Marathon I was cheered on enthusiastically. I hope the third time is the charm!" Abdi Abdirahman, a four-time Olympian, is best known for his 10,000m prowess. He competed in that event at the Olympics for the U.S. in 2000, 2004 and 2008. In 2008, he won the U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000m. Abdirahman has finished top five at both the Chicago and New York City Marathons and most recently finished third at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. "I'm so happy to be running the Boston Marathon this spring," said Abdirahman. "It is one of the greatest and oldest marathons in the world and it has long been a dream of mine to run here."