Former Boston and New York Marathon winner and Olympic silver medallist, Meb Keflizighi remains on a mission to inspire, even as he has retired from actively competing for top honours in the world’s top marathons.
A best-selling author, who rose from the depths of poverty and despair, while growing up in his homeland, Eritrea, Keflizighi is in Bermuda as a special guest, offering encouragement, while flying the flag and asking support for his MEB Foundation.
The organisation has a stated mission as a collaborator and leader in the areas of youth health, education, and fitness, as it supports programs and events that: empower youth and their families to ‘Maintain Excellent Balance’; provide the tools and resources to lead healthy lifestyles; engage youth in academics, in and out of school hours; provide opportunities for youth to play and learn positive life skills through involvement in sports; and engage entire communities in promoting youth health, education, and fitness.
After watching the Butterfield Mile from the sidelines, the naturalised American, was to take part in today’s 10K as part of the Chubb Bermuda Triangle Challenge.
In speaking to TNN’s Trevor Lindsay the runner marvelled at the Island’s beauty and hospitality.
“Bermuda is beautiful and the people are nice,” said Kefligzighi. “It’s my first time here and it’s really a gorgeous place.”
Kefligzighi 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. He is a graduate of UCLA, where he won four NCAA championships competing for the UCLA Bruins track and field team. He was second In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece he finished second in the men’s marathon personal season’s best time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 29 seconds.
“I won Boston the year after the bombing so it was very big and significant and the most meaningful victory,” said Keflizighi. “I am here to encourage the young ones running to be patient and keep going.
“The hills are not going to kill you, but they are going to make you stronger,” he advised “When you are training there are hard days and easy days.”
He called on those representing Bermuda in international competition to remember their homeland when competing.
“When you training you’re not running alone, but also know that there’s 60,000 people behind you,” he said. You have a whole island with you and , just like Flora Duffy did in winning the triathlon, hopefully there will be someone that comes behind her to win a marathon or 10K and a half marathon.
“It’s a nice community, so believe that you who you will rise to the occasion and know that there’s a lot of people cheering for you.”
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