While other 10-year olds were playing video games and having fun with friends, Meb Keflezighi was fleeing war-torn Ethiopia to Italy. It wasn’t until Keflezighi arrived in Italy that he saw a car and watched TV for the first time.
A year after fleeing to Italy, Keflezighi arrived in the United States and became a middle school student in San Diego. Feeling out of place and fighting a language barrier, Keflezighi focused on his studies, but when he ran a 5:10 mile, Meb discovered he was meant to run. While in high school, he went on to win both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters at the State Championships. After running for UCLA, Keflezighi became a citizen in 1998 and decided to continue his passion for running in the marathon arena.
SPORT: Track & Field – Marathon
BORN: May 5, 1975
HOMETOWN: Asmara, Eritrea
HEIGHT: 5 ft. 5 in
WEIGHT: 127 lb.
OLYMPIC MEDALS: Silver Medalist in 2004 (Marathon)
OTHER TITLES/NOTABLE WINS: Personal best(s): 1500 meters: 3:42.29; Mile: 4:02.79; 5000 meters: 13:11.77; 10,000 meters: 27:13.98; Marathon: 2:08:37
Recently, Keflezighi announced his retirement and said that the 2017 New York City Marathon would be his final marathon. Completing 24 marathons during his career, Keflezighi wants to end his career with two more. “I want to honor the distance,” says Keflezighi. This would give him a total of 26 career 26.2 mile races.
Arguably the greatest American marathoner, Keflezighi continues to push the limits and prove that age is never a barrier for accomplishing great things.