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(18-Dec) -- Jordan Hasay and Sara Hall will join defending champions Desiree Linden and Tatyana McFadden on the starting line of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, part of the event's elite American field. John Hancock, the financial services company which manages and bankrolls the race's top athletes on behalf of the Boston Athletic Association, reported earlier today that Hasay and Hall would be part of a 29-athlete elite American field in both the runner and wheelchair athlete divisions.
"American distance running has never been stronger, and we're honored to support this talented U.S. elite team to showcase their dedication and passion for being the best of class," said John Hancock chief marketing officer Barbara Goose in a prepared statement. "With defending champions Des Linden and Tatyana McFadden leading the way, all runners are sure to persevere in the world's most historic race. We'll be cheering for everyone on Patriots' Day."
Hasay, 27, whose 2:23:00 marathon debut in Boston in 2017 remains the fastest-ever by an American woman, also signed up for the 2018 edition of the race but was unable to start due to a stress reaction in her heel. She had backed up her Boston performance with a 2:20:57 in Chicago in October, 2017, but has not run a marathon since. Hasay was the 2017 USA 15-K and 20-K road running champion.
Hall, 35, was the 2017 USA marathon champion and is the only American athlete in history with national road racing titles from the mile to the marathon. She ran a personal best 2:26:20 at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon last May, but dropped out of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon last October after running 25 kilometers with a "tweaked" peroneal, according to her official Twitter account.
"Unfortunately the marathon exposes (weaknesses) and I wasn't able to run through it," she tweeted.
Also among the elite women are Lindsay Flanagan, 27 (2:29:25 PB); Becky Wade, 29 (2:30:41); Sarah Crouch, 29 (2:32:37); and Sarah Sellers, 27 (2:36:37). Sellers was the surprise Boston Marathon runner-up last after more than half of the race's invited field dropped out due to bone-chilling cold accompanied by lashing rain. She was most recently 18th at the TCS New York City Marathon last month.
McFadden, 29, is one of six elite wheelchair athletes contracted by Hancock on the women's side. She is a five-time Boston Marathon champion and won the 2018 edition of the race. She has won 22 marathons life-to-date in the Abbott World Marathon Majors series. Both a winter and summer paralympian, she has won 17 Paralympic medals. Her rivals will be Susannah Scaroni, Amanda McGrory, Arielle Rausin, Katrina Gerhard, and Michelle Wheeler.
In the men's competition, Olympians Abdi Abdirahman, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Jared Ward lead the way. Abdirahman, 41, was the race's masters (veterans) champion in both 2017 and 2018 and has a personal best of 2:08:58. Ritzenhein, 35, is a three-time Olympian and former USA 5000m record holder with a career best of 2:07:47. Ward, 30, finished sixth at the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon and has a personal best of 2:11:30. Most recently, he was the top American at the TCS New York City Marathon last month, finishing sixth overall in 2:12:24.
Another seven men round out the elite American field in the runners' division: Jeffrey Eggleston, 34 (2:10:52 PB); Elkanah Kibet, 35 (2:11:31); Timothy Ritchie, 31 (2:11:55); Shadrack Biwott, 33 (2:12:01); Scott Fauble, 27 (2:12:28); Aaron Braun, 31 (2:12:54); and Brian Shrader, 27 (2:13:31). Ritchie was the 2017 USA marathon champion, and Biwott finished third at Boston in 2018 (fourth in 2017) and was fifth in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon.
The men's wheelchair field is led by 20 year-old up and coming star Daniel Romanchuk who won both the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon last October and November, respectively. He was third at Boston in 2018. In addition to reigning champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland, Romanchuk will face American elites Josh George, Aaron Pike, James Senbeta, Krige Schabort and Brian Siemann.
"The 123rd Boston Marathon features an elite American field that mixes both seasoned veterans and those making their Boston debut," said Tom Grilk, CEO of the Boston Athletic Association through a media release. "Olympians, podium finishers, and some of the fastest Americans in history will all toe the line in Hopkinton on Patriots' Day, aiming to reach the famed Boylston Street finish out in front. We are eager to welcome America's best to Boston in 2019, and especially look forward to the return of our two defending American champions in Desiree Linden and Tatyana McFadden."
The Boston Marathon is one of the six commercial races of the Abbott World Marathon Majors along with the marathons in Berlin, Chicago, London New York, and Tokyo.