“Meb” Shoots For A Win At The Boston Marathon

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: April 13, 2006

LOS ANGELES — Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi (pronounced Kef-lez-ghee), the Olympic silver medalist in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, will be racing for the gold in the Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006.

Based on previous accomplishments, Meb has a great chance to become the first American in over 20 years to win the prestigious Boston Marathon.

As the Silver Medal winner for the USA, Meb not only inspired awe in the sport, but also attracted new fans around the globe as he accepted his Silver Medal in front on millions of viewers.

Prior to finishing second in the Olympics, Meb’s best time ranked 39th in a field of over 100 of the world’s best marathoners. Seventy days later, Meb would stun the track and field world again by finishing second in the prestigious ING New York City marathon-a feat last achieved by an American in 1993.

In the 2005 edition of the ING New York City Marathon, Meb, on limited training, challenged the world record holder for the win before finishing an overall third. After years of racking up honors, Meb has vaulted himself and his truly encouraging story into the international spotlight.

Considered “the top U.S. distance runner from 10 km to the marathon” by USA Track & Field, Meb has been astonishing coaches ever since he ran a 5:20 mile in junior high to earn an “A” in physical education.

While an undergraduate at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) he won four NCAA titles in one year. Meb’s accomplishments in college have earned him the title as “The Greatest Distance Runner in UCLA History.”

Meb has persevered through stints of injuries after college to make his phenomenal comeback. This spirit of endurance is fueled by his parents’ fervent determination to save their family from the gruesome 30-year war that tore apart Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Knowing that his life was threatened by the Ethiopian regime, Meb’s father fled the country and worked for four years as a laborer to save his family. The family was finally reunited in Italy where they lived for two years before arriving in San Diego in 1987.

Despite the language barriers, Meb and his ten brothers and sisters have created their own legacy by making education their number one priority. Among the children who are out of high school, they hold six undergraduate degrees, an MBA, an MD, a JD and another is a freshman at Stanford University.

In 1998 Meb became a US citizen and represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where he finished 12th in the 10,000 meters.

In 2001, Meb established himself as one of the best American distance runners ever by breaking the American Record in the 10,000 meters (27:13.96). This is a record Meb still holds today, but wants to break again soon.

Meb, who is a 14-time U.S. national champion on the track, roads and cross country, has competed on seven World Championship and two Olympic teams.Up to this point, Meb considers the Olympic Silver Medal as his athletic career highlight.

At the Boston Marathon, on April 17, Meb hopes to give himself and his fans another career highlight to cherish.

NOTE: For more info on Meb and his story, log on to www.RUNMEB.com. The Boston Marathon will be televised live on OLN from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm EST. For more info on the race, log on to www.bostonmarathon.com