Meb Keflezighi is perhaps one of the most recognizable distance runners in the world today, and that’s no accident.
According to Meb Keflezighi’s brother and manager, the marathon runner is determined, dedicated and diligent in all areas of running. In fact, Merhawi Keflezighi said that Meb Keflezighi is the face of American distance running today because he set out to be that guy more than 15 years ago.
“Meb is a goal setter. He really lives life to accomplish goals. He sets realistic goals and then he goes for it,” said Merhawi Keflezighi, who not only Meb Keflezighi’s brother, but also his manager. “So when he graduated from UCLA in 1999, he wrote a letter to all the different shoe companies and (UCLA) coach (Bob) Larsen helped with that. And Coach Larsen has this perspective so when Meb wrote ‘I want to be a leader in the resurgence of American distance running’ it was because someone like Coach Larsen could give him a little bit of context of where American distance running was in the late 70s and early 80s.”
Merhawi Keflezighi made the comments about his brother Meb during Flotrack’s first short episode about Meb Keflezighi’s life and journey to become one of the greats in American distance running. The episode, which is called “MEB: My Last Marathon,” is the first in a series that allows distance fans to get to known Meb Keflezighi.
But what, exactly, is there to know?
The basics are well known. Meb Keflezighi was born in war-torn Eritrea in 1975 and moved to the United States with his family in 1987. He eventually gained his U.S. citizenship and has run his entire international career under the American flag.
Before he began running the marathon distance, Meb Keflezighi was a four-time NCAA champion for the UCLA Bruins, and he held the American record in the 10K from 2001-2010.
As he set out to do, Meb Keflezighi has become the face of the American distance running resurgence. As noted by his Larsen, who is still his coach, Meb Keflezighi is the only runner to have won the New York City Marathon (2009), The Boston Marathon (2014), and an Olympic medal (silver in 2004).
The first episode of the Flotrack series gives a quick overview of the situations that brought the 40-year-old distance runner to where he is today. The video starts with footage of the war in Eritrea and brings viewers through Meb Keflezighi’s running career, beginning with a mile-long run in his seventh-grade gym class (after which his teacher told him he was going to the Olympics) and ending with Meb Keflezighi’s first marathon experience (Hint: He didn’t enjoy it.)
The first episode in the Flotrack Meb Keflezighi series is well-done, and it’s definitely worth checking out.