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Mayor Walsh Joins Boston Marathon Legend Bill Rodgers and Olympic Marathoners Desiree Linden and Eric Gillis to Reveal 2017 Boston Marathon Street Banners

Boston Marathon Sponsorship Event Highlights John Hancock's "Make it Your Moment" Theme and "#BeBoston" Hashtag

BOSTON, March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In a brief program on Boylston Street this morning, Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined elite marathoners Bill Rodgers, Desiree Linden and Eric Gillis to help race sponsor John Hancock reveal its 2017 street banners, and celebrate both the history of the race and the thousands of unique personal moments created through involvement in it. Following the ceremony, roughly 500 banners will be installed around Boston in celebration of the race which will be run this year on April 17.

To see the designs: http://www.johnhancock.com/resources/zip/2017-street-banners.zip 

In a departure from the photographic style of recent Boston Marathon banners, this year's are illustrated, giving a nod to legacy banners from years ago. The outline sketch on each of the eight banner designs represents the history that has defined the race, while vibrant, full color indicates the "now" moment. Thematically they are about the Boston Marathon journey – from what inspires someone to choose Boston, to how one prepares to get there, and what is experienced when the day comes.

John Hancock's 2017 Boston Marathon theme, "Make it Your Moment," speaks to the thousands of unique experiences that have shaped the course of the race throughout history, and continue to do so. The hashtag, #BeBoston, celebrates all that the iconic race and the City represent. So many moments make up a marathon– a runner's grueling training schedule, a fundraiser's climbing donation total, a spectator's race day traditions. All are uniquely personal, but when viewed together, they embody what it means to #BeBoston.

"The Boston Marathon has come to represent the strength, resilience and goodwill of the people of Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "It embodies not only every moment that has made up the history of the race, but also the special spirit of our City. I thank John Hancock for their partnership in ensuring that the Boston Marathon continues to be one of the world's best."

"We are pleased to be partnering with the Boston Athletic Association for the 32nd year to hold the 121st Boston Marathon," said James Gallagher, executive vice president and general counsel, John Hancock. "Whatever the achievement – running and raising funds for non-profits, handing out thousands of finisher medals, supporting long training runs – the collective experiences of everyone connected to the Boston Marathon embody what it means to be Boston, and makes it a celebration for all."  

Four-time Boston Marathon champion "Boston Bill" Rodgers has raced competitively in the top echelon of his sport for more than a quarter century. He won Boston in 1975 and then was a three-peat winner from 1978-80, and also won the New York City Marathon four times.

Two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner Desiree Linden missed winning Boston in 2011 by two seconds. She's returning this year to finish the job. Eric Gillis is a three-time Olympian from Canada and is looking forward to his first Boston Marathon this year.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were $977 billion (US $728 billion) as at December 31, 2016. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments,  401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

SOURCE John Hancock