The Elite USA Team for the 2013 Boston Marathon was announced by sponsor John Hancock Financial on Tuesday, led by Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi on the men's side, and women Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan.
The Americans will compete against a typically deep international field (even more so in a non-Olympic year) in the famous race from Hopkinton to Boston on Monday, April 13, the 117th running of the event. Along with Hall and Keflezighi, all three members of the U.S. Olympic marathon team will be included, with Abdi Abdirahman also named to the team. Jason Hartmann, Fernando Cabada, Serena Burla, Stephanie Rothstein and Alissa McKaig round out Team USA.
Both Hall and Abdirahman were forced out of the marathon in the London Games because of injuries, while 37-year-old Meb finished in fourth place. Keflezighi, winner of the 2009 New York City marathon, placed fifth in Boston in 2010 and third in 2006.
"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!"
Hall, who announced Renato Canova as his new coach in December (previously, God was Hall's coach), set the American course record at Boston with a 2:04:58 in 2011, good for a fourth-place finish.
"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."
More likely than one of the men winning, however, is one of the American women threatening the medal stand, led by Goucher and Flanagan. Goucher will be looking to improve on her third-place finish from 2009, while Flanagan, a Marblehead, Mass. native who won U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston a year ago, will be making her Boston debut.
Among those from the international field aiming to continue their dominance will be defending champions Wesley Korir (men's) and Sharon Cherop (women's),