In today’s Healthy Hollywood feature: What a thrill to be able to speak to Meb Keflezighi, the winner of this year’s Boston Marathon. Talk about a passionate, humble and overall spirited competitor.
As the world watched, Meb crossed the finish line in just over two hours, becoming the first American to win the race in more than three decades. The emotionally charged crowd erupted into cheering chants of victory. Meb then kissed the ground three times and broke out into tears.
“It’s just a blessing to win it. It was my vision to win for a long time and to come into this race was a very special time to do it and any other times it would be not have made sense or been appreciated as much, But to do it after the bombing was the thrill of a lifetime,” Meb revealed to Healthy Hollywood.
He even got a call from the White House.
“Everybody in Boston was saying thank you and I was getting mass phone calls. Even President Barack Obama called to say, ‘Job well done and it was a great honor to have an American win it this year.’ And, I felt honored with God’s mercy and blessing I was able to come across first,” he added.
With the Boston bombing tragedy so fresh in everyone’s mind, Meb says he was inspired and driven to honor the victims. He wrote the name of the four victims on the corner of his race bib and tells me last year’s horrific event never left his mind, noting, “It has been on my mind how can I contribute to Boston, to the United States, to the world and that has really been on the mind every day this year.”
With millions of spectators on the Boston streets, Meb says the energy was overwhelming.
“You had millions of people cheering, you know of course 10 people deep, and I can’t even hear myself breathe sometimes. Definitely I was thinking every step just one step at a time but also I used the crowd to keep me going because it’s very difficult to run a marathon by yourself most of the way,” he said.
At 38, Meb is also the oldest runner to win the Boston Marathon since 1983. Yet, he’s certainly no stranger to winning. He’s a two-time Olympic medalist and has competed worldwide.
His secret weapon is simple, be very strict and disciplined with training.
“For nutrition, you are what you put in your body. I’m very strict on my diet. I do fuel up with KRAVE jerky. I can’t have sweets too much and at the same time the training has been very rigorous. People ask me do you run every day and I say no I run 12 times a week. You do the math,” jokes Meb.
So, what’s next for this marathon man? “What’s next for me is New York this year hopefully and then a couple more marathons next year. 2016 is one my goals to be able to compete. But I do feel this [Boston Marathon] solidified my career as a marathoner. All of my goals that I wanted to achieve I have achieved 100 percent and Boston was the missing piece in my career.”
Healthy Hollywood hopes to see Meb at finish line in New York City. Way to go! You’re a true American hero.
-- Terri MacLeod