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Elite field announced for Marathon

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  March 12, 2009 07:39 PM

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Four past champions, the course record holder, and Olympians lead the field of 29 athletes for 113th running of the Boston Marathon as John Hancock Financial announced the elite international field today.

In its 24th year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today announced its elite team of 29 marathon runners set for the 113th running of the race on Monday, April 20.

Headlining the field is four time champion and course record holder Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya, defending women’s champion Dire Tune of Ethiopia, and former champions Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia and Timothy Cherigat of Kenya. Challenging the champions are Olympians Ryan Hall, Brian Sell and Kara Goucher of America; Deriba Merga and Gashaw Asfaw of Ethiopia and Salina Kosgei of Kenya, as well as additional Olympians and winners of international marathons.

“John Hancock Financial once again has the honor and pleasure of bringing the world's top runners to the Boston Marathon, one of the world's premier road races,” said John D. DesPrez III, President and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial. “We have an outstanding field led by our defending men’s and women’s champions, and filled with an outstanding group of runners who will provide them with a worthy challenge.

“As we continue to support this great race for the 24th year and fulfill our commitment to the city of Boston and surrounding communities, we are pleased that the Boston Marathon provides such a tremendous positive economic effect on the region, particularly during the challenging economic times that we face now. This race will generate a direct and indirect economic impact estimated at $95 million for Boston and the region.”

"Our event's principal sponsor, John Hancock Financial, again has assembled a world-class field, providing exciting match-ups and compelling races," said Boston Athletic Association Executive Director Guy Morse. "From Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot going for his fifth victory to U.S. Olympians Ryan Hall, Kara Goucher and Brian Sell carrying the mantle for the Americans, the 113th edition of the Boston Marathon promises first class, competitive races from start to finish and also features a field of 25,000 motivated participants.”

Men’s Open Field

  • Ryan Hall, USA
  • Evans Cheruiyot, Kenya
  • Deriba Merga, Ethiopia
  • Daniel Rono, Kenya
  • Benjamin Maiyo, Kenya
  • Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Kenya
  • Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, Kenya
  • Gudisa Shentema, Ethiopia
  • Gashaw Asfaw, Ethiopia
  • Stephen Kiogora, Kenya
  • Solomon Molla, Ethiopia
  • Timothy Cherigat, Kenya
  • Lee Troop, Australia
  • Elijah Sang, Kenya
  • Brian Sell, USA
  • Grigoriy Andreev, Russia
  • Iaroslav Musinschi, Moldova
  • Abebe Dinkesa, Ethiopia

    Women’s Open Field

  • Galina Bogolomova, Russia
  • Bezunesh Bekele, Ethiopia
  • Salina Kosgei, Kenya
  • Dire Tune, Ethiopia
  • Helena Kirop, Kenya
  • Lidiya Grigoryeva, Russia
  • Atsede Habtamu, Ethiopia
  • Kara Goucher, USA
  • Alice Timbilili, Kenya
  • Shuru Deriba, Ethiopia
  • Elva Dryer, USA

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    Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
    • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
    • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
    • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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