Meb Keflezighi

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Meb Keflezighi
Meb Keflezighi 2009 London Marathon-2.jpg
Meb Keflezighi at the 2009 London Marathon
Personal information
Born (1975-05-05) May 5, 1975 (age 38)
Asmara, Ethiopia[1]
Residence San Diego, California
Height 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m)
Weight 127 pounds (58 kg)
Country  United States
Event(s) Marathon, 10000 m
College team UCLA Bruins
Club New York Athletic Club
Coached by Bob Larsen
Achievements and titles
World finals 2001, 10000 m 23rd
2003, 10000 m, 16th
National finals NCAA cross-country
NCAA 10,000 m (outdoors)
NCAA 5,000 m (indoors)
NCAA 5,000 m (outdoors)
Olympic finals 2000 10000 m, 12th,
2004 Marathon Silver,
2012 Marathon, 4th[1]
Personal best(s) 1500 meters: 3:42.29[2]
Mile: 4:02.79[2]
5000 meters: 13:11.77[2]
10,000 meters: 27:13.98[2]
Marathon: 2:08:37[2]

Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi (/ˈmɛb kəˈflɛzɡi/; Ge'ez: መብራህቶም ክፍልእዝጊ, Mebrāhtōm Kifl'igzī; born May 5, 1975) is an Eritrean-born American long distance runner. He is the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon and finished in fourth place in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He won the 2009 New York City Marathon on November 1, 2009 and the 2014 Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 becoming the first American man to win each race since 1982 and 1983, respectively. Keflezighi is a graduate of UCLA where he won four NCAA championships competing for the UCLA Bruins track and field team.

Early life and education[edit]

Keflezighi and his family were refugees[3] from Eritrea, who came to the United States via Italy in 1987. He is one of ten children.[4]

He began running while a student at Roosevelt Middle School in San Diego, where he ran a 5:10 mile before going on to win both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters at the CIF California State Championships in 1994 for San Diego High School.[4][5][6] Keflezighi became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1998[7] the same year in which he graduated from UCLA. While at UCLA Keflezighi received numerous All-American awards and other accolades.[8] He won four NCAA championships (the 5k and 10k outdoor and 5 k indoor)[9] during the 1996–97 season, including the cross-country title, spanning from the track and field season in the spring to the cross country season in the fall .[9]


Keflezighi is a three-time national champion in cross country running, having won the USA Cross Country Championships in 2001, 2002 and 2009.[10]

His fastest times for some standard distances are 3:42.29 for 1500 m, set in 1998; 13:11.77 for 5000 m, set in 2000; 27:13.98 for 10,000 m, set in 2001 (an American record which stood until 2010);[11] and 2:08:37 for the marathon, set at the 2014 Boston Marathon.

On October 11, 2010, he released his autobiography, Run To Overcome, which was published by Tyndale House Publishers. The book, co-authored with noted sports writer Dick Patrick, included recollections about major milestones in his life, such as his Olympic competitions and other running highlights, as well as his early years, leading up to the present day. He is also the driving force behind the MEB Foundation, the "MEB" standing for "Maintaining Excellent Balance," which principally promotes healthy living, and other positive lifestyle choices and motivation for school-age youth.

Despite his success, Keflezighi's sponsor Nike did not renew his long-running contract in 2011. As a result, Keflezighi competed as an unsponsored athlete. In December 2011, Keflezhigi was signed up by sportswear company Skechers, whom he has represented since.[12]

Recent career:



  • Keflezighi broke his hip during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials in Central Park. He finished in eighth place and did not qualify for the team. During the race, his friend and training partner Ryan Shay died of a heart attack.[14]


  • He won the 2009 New York City Marathon, setting a personal best of 2:09:15. Keflezighi was the first American to win the marathon since 1982.[15]


  • On April 19, 2010 he ran his third fastest time of 2:09:26 while finishing 5th in the 114th Boston Marathon, despite training at half his usual mileage with a knee injury. He ran with the leaders for much of the race, before slowing at the finish.[16]
  • He ran the San Jose Half Marathon as part of his preparation towards a New York title defense and he comfortably won by a margin of three minutes, finishing in 1:01:45.[17]
  • He ran a PR in the 2010 New York Marathon of 2:09:13, placing sixth place and the first U.S. finisher.


  • On January 14, 2012, he won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial in Houston with a time of 2:09:08, which was a new personal best by 5 seconds. He is the oldest winner of the Olympic Trials Marathon at age 36.[18]
  • On August 12, 2012, Keflezighi finished fourth in the 2012 Summer Olympics Marathon with a time of 2:11:06.


  • On June 22, 2013, Keflezighi finished second in the US Half marathon Championships held around Duluth, Minnesota in 1:01:22.[19][20][21]


  • On April 21, 2014, he won the 2014 Boston Marathon, the first American male to do so since 1983, and first American since 1985, with an official time of 2:08:37.[22] The race was two weeks before his 39th birthday, making him the oldest winner of the Boston Marathon since at least 1930.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Keflezighi lives and trains in San Diego but used to train in Mammoth Lakes, California,[23] and is a member of the New York Athletic Club.[24]


  1. ^ a b Meb Keflezighi.
  2. ^ a b c d e All-Athletics. "Profile of Mebrahtom Keflezighi". 
  3. ^ "Meb Keflezighi stuns to win Boston Marathon". NBC Sports. April 21, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c May, Peter. "A Year Later, It’s Old Glory in Boston Marathon." The New York Times. April 21, 2014
  5. ^ Lawson, Hank. "California State Meet Results – 1915 to present". Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ See youtube highlights. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  7. ^ Layden, Tim (October 31, 2005). "I Am An American". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Meb Keflezighi Wins NYC Marathon". Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Bowman, Kevin (2013-04-22). "UCLA alum Meb Keflezighi wins Boston Marathon". Daily Bruin. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  10. ^ "Keflezighi, Brown take open titles at USA Cross Country Championships". USATF. February 7, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2010. 
  11. ^ Crumpacker, John (May 2, 2010). "Solinsky sets 10,000-meter American record". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  12. ^ Germano, Sara (April 24, 2012). "Skechers Sets New Pace on Sponsors". Wall Street Journal. 
  13. ^ a b Clarey, Christopher (August 30, 2004). "Summer 2004 Games: Marathon; A Spectator Disrupts The Marathon With a Shove". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  14. ^ Patrick, Dick (October 27, 2009). "Marathoner Keflezighi carries somber memories of New York". USA Today. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  15. ^ Zinser, Lynn (November 1, 2009). "Keflezighi's 'U.S.A.' Breaks the Tape". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Cheruiyot breaks CR in Boston; Hall fastest American ever at race". USATF. April 19, 2010. 
  17. ^ Miyamae, Amana (October 4, 2010). "Keflezighi defends title at San Jose Half Marathon". IAAF. Archived from the original on November 6, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Keflezighi; Flanagan win U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon". USATF. January 14, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Results: 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships". Flotrack. June 22, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Athlete profile for Mebrahtom Keflezighi". IAAF. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  21. ^ 2013 Grandma's Recap "Grandmas Marathon". Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  22. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (April 21, 2014). "American Meb Keflezighi wins Boston Marathon". USA Today. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  23. ^ Baxter, Kevin (March 25, 2012). "Peak fitness: Marathoner Meb Keflezighi and other U.S. runners have found a high-altitude mecca where they are raising the country's Olympic hopes". Los Angeles Times. p. C1. 
  24. ^ Fermino, Jennifer; Ford, Beverly (April 22, 2014). "Soaring triumph of spirit in Boston Marathon celebrates life: Winner honors bombing vics". Daily News. p. 4. 

External links[edit]