BOSTON (CBS) — The first American man to win the Boston Marathon in over 30 years will be back in 2015 to defend his crown.
Meb Keflezighi headlines the pack of elite USA runners for the 119th Boston Marathon announced by John Hancock Financial on Wednesday, which also included Marblehead native Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila Linden, Amy Hastings, Dathan Ritzenhein, Nick Arciniaga, Jeffrey Eggleston, and Fernando Cabada.
“I am so excited to run the 2015 Boston Marathon,” said Keflezighi. “My win at the 2014 Boston Marathon will always be the most significant victory of my career. But I still aspire to get the best out of myself, run personal bests, win races and inspire all people to get the best out of themselves in running and in life. There is no better platform for these goals than the Boston Marathon.”
Keflezighi became the first U.S. male winner since 1983 last year, finishing the race in 2:08:37. Before the start of the race, Keflezighi wrote the names of the victims of the 2013 race day tragedy on his number and said he was determined and inspired to win to honor all of those affected.
Keflezighi also ran Boston two additional times, placing third in 2006 and fifth in 2010, and is the only American man to have won the Boston and New York City Marathons (2009).
Flanagan, a three-time Olympian, ran the fastest time ever by an American woman on the course (2:22:02) in last year’s marathon, finishing seventh after spending the first 17 miles of the race in front of the pack. Growing up in the Boston area, Flanagan was especially concerned with honoring those affected by the 2013 race day tragedy and her front running proved her intent to win.
“Boston brings out the best in you, because it demands the best of you,” said Flanagan. “I grew up on the sidelines of this race and from the intimidating course to the fierce competition, this marathon represents at its very core what it means to run with everything you have. Last year that’s what I did and this year will be no different, because this is Boston and that’s just what you do.”
Also returning for the 2015 Boston Marathon is Desiree Davila Linden, who in 2011, narrowly missed winning the race by two seconds with a then American course record time of 2:22:38. Last year she finished the race in 2:23:54 and followed in New York City with a hard-earned fifth place.
Making her Boston debut in 2015 will be Olympian Amy Hastings, who was the top American and fifth overall in last year’s Chicago Marathon. After winning the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000m, Hastings finished 11th in the event at the London Olympic Games. Additional marathon highlights for Hastings include a fourth place finish at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
Hastings now calls Providence, Rhode Island, home and is taking advantage of being so close to the upcoming challenge.
“Boston has been on my race bucket list since I started running and it’s finally happening,” said Hastings. “The start line is only a 45-minute drive from my home, so I have been logging miles on the course to prepare myself for those Newton hills. I can’t wait to get out there and put all of my hard work to use.”
Nick Arciniaga also returns to Boston after finishing seventh last year. Arciniaga won the 2013 U.S. Marathon Championships and is a past member of the U.S. World Championships Marathon team.
“It is an honor to again be a part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete team at the 2015 Boston Marathon,” said Arciniaga. “I hope we can continue to keep numerous U.S. athletes at the front of the field.”
Jeffrey Eggleston will also be back after finishing eighth overall last year.
“I’m delighted to return to Boston,” said Eggleston. “Last year’s race was a historic occasion that left me inspired, motivated and hungry for more. No race holds more importance to my future goals. There’s only one Boston!”
Joining the men’s team in 2015 is Fernando Cabada, who finished 11th in the Berlin Marathon in 2014. Cabada made his marathon debut in Fukuoka in 2006 with a 2:12:27 finish.
The complete John Hancock international field for the 2015 Boston Marathon will be announced in mid-January.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the 119th Boston Marathon on CBSBoston.com and WBZ-TV — the exclusive local broadcast home of the Boston Marathon!
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