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Posted: January 10, 2007

Athletics: World Marathon Majors Leaders To Run Boston

From David Monti

© 2006 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya and Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, the point leaders of the 2006/2007 World Marathon Majors competition, will line up at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, when the series resumes, organizers announced today.

Cheruiyot, 28, is the defending Boston Marathon champion and course record holder (2:07:14). He has 50 points in the Majors by virtue of his 2006 victories at both Boston and the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon last October (athletes receive 25 points for a win). Prokopcuka, 30, was second at Boston last year and won the ING New York City Marathon last November for the second time. She has accumulated 40 points in the series (second place finishers receive 15 points). The 2006/2007 series concludes after the ING New York City Marathon on November 4, and the overall male and female winners will divide a $1 million purse.

"Robert and Jelena are two of the premier marathoners in the world, as evidenced by their current standing atop the World Marathon Majors leaderboard," said Guy Morse, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon. "The constitution of the elite athlete field makes Boston one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events of the spring. Like the rest of the community, we appreciate John Hancock’s ongoing support."

John Hancock Financial Services is in its 22nd year as the major sponsor of the Boston Marathon and provides the funding for the elite field, including the prize money purse which is over half a million dollars.

"By bringing top runners like Robert and Jelena back to the race year after year, John Hancock helps ensure the Boston Marathon remains one of the world's premier road races now and in the future," said John D. DesPrez III, President and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial Services in a prepared statement. "In addition, beyond being an annual sign of spring in the Boston area, the Boston Marathon also has a tremendous positive effect on the region, generating a direct and indirect economic impact of an estimated $95 million annually, and John Hancock is proud to play its part in this event."

The Boston Marathon is the longest running marathon in the world, first held in 1897. Race champions include most of the sport's greatest runners: Bill Rodgers, Rosa Mota, Ingrid Kristiansen, Toshihiko Seko, Fatuma Roba, Cosmas Ndeti, Joan Samuelson and Catherine Ndereba. The event will host the U.S. Women's Marathon Championships this year.

PHOTOS: at the 2006 Boston Marathon. Jelena Prokopcuka at the 2004 Boston Marathon.

WEBSITES: Boston Marathon: World Marathon Majors:

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