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Champions Return for 2014 Boston

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced that several former champions of the Boston Marathon® will return to participate in events surrounding the 118th Boston Marathon, to be held on Monday, April 21, 2014. Champions Joan Benoit Samuelson (ME; 1979, 1983), Amby Burfoot (CT; 1968), and Gelindo Bordin (ITA; 1990) will join 36,000 entrants in this year’s running of the world’s oldest annual marathon.

In addition, Bill Rodgers (MA; 1975, 1978-1980) will serve as the grand marshal of the race while Greg Meyer (MI; 1983) will serve as the finish line announcer. Jack Fultz (MA; 1976) is the Training Advisor for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team and Uta Pippig (CO; 1994-1996) is running the B.A.A 5K on Saturday, April 19, along with Meyer and a record field size of 10,000 entrants.

Samuelson, 56, is a two-time Boston champion and the first-ever women’s Olympic Marathon champion, winning gold at the 1984 Olympic Games in 2:24:52. Her time of 2:50:29 in the 2013 Boston Marathon was the fastest marathon ever run by a woman in the 55-59 age group. A resident of Freeport, ME, Samuelson entered last year’s race on the 30th anniversary of her 1983 victory with a goal of running faster than 2 hours, 52 minutes, 43 seconds, less than one minute slower for each year since her Boston victory. Her 2:22:43 win in 1983 was a world best performance at that time. She is a John Hancock Elite Athlete Team Ambassador and one of the sport’s most recognizable and popular personalities.

Burfoot, 67, is one of more than 4,500 participants in this year’s Boston Marathon who reached the half marathon checkpoint or later in last year’s race but were unable to cross the Boylston Street finish line. His recorded 40K split was 4:11:25. In 2013, Burfoot commemorated the 45th anniversary of his 1968 victory, which made him the Boston Marathon’s first American champion in 11 years. A Mystic, CT resident, Burfoot was coached by the late John J. Kelley, the first, and currently lone, B.A.A. Running Club member to win the Boston Marathon (1957).

Bordin, 55, is the only male in history to win both the Olympic Games Marathon and the Boston Marathon. A resident of Biella, Italy, he won the 1988 Olympic Games Marathon in Seoul, South Korea, running 2:10:32. His 2:08:19 victory in Boston in 1990 made him the only champion in the men’s open division to represent Italy and the most recent champion in the men’s open division to represent a European nation.

Rodgers, 66, will serve as the grand marshal for the 2014 Boston Marathon. A longtime Boston resident, Rodgers is a four-time Boston champion. He will ride in a pace car ahead of the lead runners, heralding to spectators along the course that thousands of runners will soon be coming. The B.A.A. has reserved the grand marshal role as a position of recognition and honor. Rodgers is also a John Hancock Elite Team Ambassador and participates in health and wellness initiatives for the company throughout the year. Last year’s grand marshals were Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb and Sara Mae Berman, Boston champions and pioneers of women’s marathon running.

Meyer, 58, will serve as the finish line announcer at this year’s Boston Marathon, along with Dan Roche, Sports Anchor/Reporter for CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV News. Meyer, of Belmont, MI, is the most recent American champion of the men’s open division of the Boston Marathon, having won the 1983 race in 2:09:00. Since 2012, he has served as a coach for principal sponsor John Hancock Financial’s Employee Training Team for the Boston Marathon. This year, he will also run the B.A.A. 5K on Saturday, April 19. B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk was the finish line announcer at the Boston Marathon from 1979 through 2013. This year, Grilk will be present at the start line in Hopkinton on race morning and will return to Boston in the afternoon.

Fultz, 65, is the Training Advisor for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team of runners in this year’s Boston Marathon. Fultz’s 1976 victory came in 100-plus degree (Fahrenheit) heat, on a day now known as the “run for the hoses.” This year, DFMC celebrates its 25th year and includes hundreds of athletes with a goal of raising $5.3 million (USD) for cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. To date, DFMC has raised more than $61 million (USD) to enable leading-edge medical science initiatives conducted through Dana-Farber’s Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. Dana-Farber was among the first organizations accepted by the B.A.A. into its Boston Marathon Official Charity Program in 1990.

Pippig, 48, is running this year’s B.A.A. 5K. She won three consecutive Boston titles, including the Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996. A native of Germany, Pippig now resides in Longmont, CO. Many other Boston Marathon champions, pioneers, and significant figures in race history will also be in town to participate in Boston Marathon weekend in a number of ways.

The 2014 B.A.A. 5K will be held on Saturday, April 19 at 8:00 a.m., two days prior to the Boston Marathon. A record field size of 10,000 entrants will participate in the event, which starts and finishes at historic Boston Common.

Defending champions Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia (men’s open division) and Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya (women’s open division), members of John Hancock’s Elite Athlete Team, will look to repeat as champions, as will Hiroyuki Yamamoto, of Japan (men’s push rim wheelchair division), and Tatyana McFadden, of Champaign, Ill. (women’s push rim wheelchair division).