By Running Journal,
Meb Keflezighi, American Olympian, was the featured speaker at the luncheon meeting Saturday, May 4, in Alburquerque, New Mexico, at the annual meeting of the Road Runners Club of America and was honored as the RRCA’s Open Male Road Runner of the Year.
It was also Meb’s birthday and he was greeted with a rousing singing of “Happy Birthday” by delegates representing running clubs across America.
Keflezighi has had a remarkable running career, winning a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics despite being ranked 39th of the 200 best marathoners in the world. Seventy days later he finished second in the New York City Marathon. In 2009, he won the New York City Marathon. Injuries nearly derailed his career but he has come back strong, running a PR 2:09:13 at the 2011 New York City Marathon, then won the U. S. Olympic Trials marathon 69 days later. He was the only U.S. finisher in the 2012 London Olympic Games, finishing fourth.
He called the RRCA award “a great honor.” He urged runners to “be the best you can be every day” and spoke of his determination in the 2012 Olympic marathon. He said he received the “wrong drink” during the race and suffered stomach cramps and actually considered dropping out around 13-14 miles. He citied the importance of representing the USA and his family in his determination to keep going and began picking off runners. He was in “19th or 20th place” when he began his drive to finish and picked off numerous runners as he “dug deep” to finish.
Meb is the author of “Run to Overcome,” the story of his journey from the most destitute beginnings in Ersitrea. He is the founder of the MEB Foundation (Maintaining Excellent Balance) to promote health, education and fitness.