So I didn't realize it until last night but, if I ever met Meb Keflezighi in real life I would legit freak out. I was just explaining to my boyfriend how awesome I think he is and started tearing up a little bit. Maybe I was tired from my long run but I think it's mostly that Meb has become a staple in my running life.
So today I'm counting down the 5 reasons that Med Keflezighi rocks! (I may also throw in some fun facts too!)
1. He has shown is running prowess over and over.
Meb is known as a consistent and smart marathoner and those words come with a high value in marathoning. He is the ONLY marathoner to win the Boston Marathon, the NYC Marathon, and medal at the Olympics. He has been winning and acheiving for over a decade!
2. His love of his family and his faith
I love that one of the reasons he wanted to go to the Olympics was so that his youngest could have a real memory of him running at the Olympics. His clear love of his family and his strong faith (I'm not religious but I love people who are genuine, awesome and beyond nice, and clearly have a deep faith) are always showcased at the end of every race. I love that in his post race interview at the Olympics had his daughters with him, I'm sure he needed those smiling faces after such a tough race.
3. He is the BEST running ambassador
Born in East-Africa, he came here as a child, didn't run until middle school and then through hardwork, determination and perseverance he became one of the TOP marathon runners in the world. On the way he has inspired millions to lace up and took up the role of running ambassador during the running slump in 2000. Not only is he super impressive, when you see interviews or read his writing you can't help but just want to be friends with him.
4. His unwavering American Spirit
He is NEVER shy of his love to America and wears the red, white and blue with pride. Even though at Rio some commentators said some obnoxious words, he IS the example of the American spirit. Hardworking, self-made and can perserve through adversity. So much love!
5. His unwavering spirit to achieve and inspire
So if I had slipped and fallen at the finish line of a race, I probably wouldn't have had the courage to do pushups and then cross the finish line smiling, but that's what Meb does. After having a tough race and feeling sick for half of it, he did some pushups, got himself up and smiled and waved across the finish line at the olympics. THAT is someone special!
So other fun Meb facts:
- His marathon PR is 2:08:37, an average pace of 4:54/mile.
- He set the Men's American 10,000m record in 2001 which stood until 2010.
- He helped establish the MEB foundation, Maintainig Excellent Balance, which promotes health and fitness for school age youth.
- Meb won the Jesse Owens Award as the USATF Athlete of the Year
- In 2011, Sony released a special-edition Meb Keflezighi 2GB W Series Walkman MP3 Player. It came pre-loaded with audio tips, along with a booklet containing tips on running, nutrition, stretching and more.
- On July 2, 2014, a limited-edition ‘Meb 8S’ ElliptiGO was released to commemorate his 2014 Boston Marathon victory. The bike features his motto “Run To Win” and his signature, along with a patriotic-themed paint job.
- You can also learn more about Meb by reading one of his books!
So I think we can agree Meb is one awesome guy and an inspiring runner. He is a hardworking and gifted runner and also just seems like the nicest guy ever and I hope one day to get to shake his hand.