A 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, Meb Keflezighi also won the 2009 ING New York Marathon champion and the 2014 Boston Marathon champion, becoming the first American man to win each race since 1982 and 1983 respectively.
What can we learn from Meb? A lot, actually.
Meb, who has a 2:08:37 marathon best, is one of our more scientifically oriented athletes, meticulous about his training and recovery. A three-time USA Cross Country champion (2001, 2002 and 2009) Keflezighi has built a reputation as a very methodical and committed athlete. He also has a new book out called 26 Marathons: What I learned about Faith, Identity, Running and Life in my Marathon Career, a book he co-wrote with long-time running author Scott Douglas.
In that book, Keflezighi, who is now retired from competitive running, talks about the many races he has run, and the lessons he’s learned in each one. As one might expect, the book is full of memorable nuggets of running wisdom.
Here are some of those:
- Olympics Marathon 2004 (Silver medal in the marathon): Experience isn’t everything. Have belief in your abilities and confidence in your preparation.
- New York Marathon 2005 (Meb places third): Small personal victories can show you that even greater things are possible in the future.
- Boston Marathon 2010 (His 2:09:26 placed him fifth): It’s better to be 90 percent ready and make it to the start line than to panic and become either overtrained or unable to start the race.
- Boston Marathon 2014 (Runs a PR of 2:08:37): We all have our day when everything clicks. If you recognize when it’s happening, you can produce something that’s bigger than yourself.
- New York Marathon 2014 (He finished 4th in 2:13:20): Mother Nature and other forces outside your control will always be a factor, but you can’t let them ruin your race.
But even more inspiring are some of Keflezighi’s quotes on training, racing and the life of a runner.
- “I’m not the most talented guy, but I try to work hard and do things the right way.”
- “I believe in the process, I believe in the training. We all have this body, we have to nurture it. If I train consistently, I will have good results.”
- “Efficiency is important, and I knew what I had to weigh to be efficient.” (For Keflezighi, at five feet and five inches, that’s 121 pounds)
And finally, as one of our warmest, and most beloved ambassadors of the sport, “I hope that this book inspires you to run to win on your terms, in running and in life.”
Here’s a quick re-cap of last week’s Austin Marathon!
Joey Whelan successfully defended his Ascension Seton Austin Marathon title Sunday morning and then some. Leading from the start, Whelan simply dominated his competitors, and by the halfway mark had a three to four-minute lead on his closest chasers, Jameson Mora and Will Christian. His winning time of 2:17:03 was the fastest men’s time since Betram Keter’s 2:16:20 in 2015. Mora overcame a fading Christian for second place. In the women’s race Heather Lieberg battled it out with Mary Akor, who was not registered in the elite program and was later disqualified. Lieberg ran a gutsy race, pulling ahead of Akor after 20 miles and despite a hamstring cramp, was able to win in a Olympic Marathon trials qualifying time of 2:42:47. San Antonio school teacher Anita Perez overcame some back pain issue to hold on for second place in 2:47:56. About 2,700 runners showed up to compete in the marathon.
James Ngandu and Caroline Rotich bested a field of nearly 8,000 in the accompanying half marathon in 1:04:32 and 1:13:24 respectively.
Upcoming races: Saturday, March 2, Grace Race 5K at 10:00 a.m., 225 Grace Blvd., Georgetown. Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 a.m., ZOOMA Women’s Race Series: Texas Lost Pines Half Marathon, Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow Street, Bastrop.