I know that I've gushed in the past about Meb Keflezighi, and I'm about to start the outpouring all over again. The San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon (the one I've done three times) and the new Half Marathon were held there on June 5. Meb ran and absolutely won the Half, with a time of 1:02:37. That's an average of 4 minutes, 46 seconds per mile over 13.1 miles. Holy smokes!
He recently got his autobiography published, and - I'm just so excited I can't even spit out the words - Marnie got a copy signed for me!!!! You can purchase his book here, but I'll definitely be reading and reviewing it soon, in case you want to wait for that. Meb's story isn't very well known outside the long distance running community; this is his book's summary from Amazon:
When Meb Keflezighi won the New York City Marathon in 2009—the first American to do so in 27 years—some critics questioned whether the Eritrean-born runner was “really” an American despite his citizenship status and representing the USA on two Olympic and several World Championship teams. Yet Meb is the living embodiment of the American dream. His family came to the U.S. to escape from a life of poverty and a violent war with Ethiopia; Meb was 12 at the time, spoke no English, and had never raced a mile. Yet he became an A student and a high school state and national champion. And when he stood on the platform as a silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics, Meb knew his hard work and determination had paid off. How could life be any better?
Then it all came crashing down. Meb, a favorite for the Beijing Olympics, fractured his pelvis during the trials and was left literally crawling. His close friend and fellow marathoner suffered a cardiac arrest at the trials and died that same day. Devastated, Meb was about to learn whether his faith in God, the values his parents had taught him, and his belief that he was born to run were enough to see him through.
Gah, just reading that gives me chills. I cannot wait to start reading his book!
(Guess who made me another bookmark?!)