BOSTON (CBS) – Three of America’s top women runners have already committed to race in the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila and Kara Goucher will all take part in the 117th Boston Marathon in 2013, announced John Hancock Financial — the race’s principal sponsor — on Wednesday.
All three will also participate in the Olympic games this summer in London.
For Flanagan, it will mark her Boston Marathon debut. a very special event for the Marblehead native.
“I watched the Boston Marathon religiously growing up and always dreamed about running from Hopkinton to Boston, racing down Boylston Street to the finish,” Flanagan said in a release. “I finally get the chance to fulfill this dream next April. I can’t wait to give Boston everything I have. I know the love and support will be overwhelming and—in typical Boston style—loud. I’m thrilled to become part of this rich Patriots’ Day tradition.”
It will also mark the return for Davila, who finished in second in the 2011 Boston Marathon with an American course record of 2:22:38.
“I’m honored and excited to be invited back to Boston as part of the John Hancock elite team,” said Davila. “After coming so close to the ‘W’ in 2011, I’ve been anxious and excited about returning to Boston and taking another crack at it.”
Davila is now the third fastest American marathoner of all time, following Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson.
“I no longer consider myself a beginner at the marathon; I’ve competed in a number of major races, and have slowly become more comfortable with a wide variety of racing tactics,” said Davila. “The experience from the 2011 Boston Marathon was a big turning point. I now believe I have the tools and the ability to compete and contend for the title at a major marathon. To have that confidence along with a team of coaches that really know how to prepare athletes for the Boston Marathon should pay huge dividends come spring 2013.”
2013 will be Goucher’s third Boston Marathon. She finished third in 2009, and returned in 2011 shortly after giving birth to her son, Colt. Goucher finished fifth in 2011 with a personal best 2:24:52 to become he fourth fastest American marathoner of all time.
“The city of Boston captured my heart when I ran my first Boston Marathon in 2009,” said Goucher. “The support for the Marathon in Boston is incredible. I didn’t meet my goal of winning in 2009, but the entire city embraced me for trying.”
“The Boston Marathon is a historical gem,” said Goucher. “To be a part of this history excites me and drives me to train harder.”