Meb Keflezighi
Meb Keflezighi at the 2016 Olympic Team Trials
Personal information
Born (1975-05-05) May 5, 1975 (age 48)
Asmara, Eritrea)[1]
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Weight127 lb (58 kg)
Country United States
Event(s)Marathon, 10,000 m
College teamUCLA Bruins
ClubNew York Athletic Club
Coached byBob Larsen
RetiredNov. 2017
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals
  • 2000 Sydney
  • 10,000 m - 12th
  • 2004 Athens
  • Marathon -  Silver
  • 2012 London
  • Marathon - 4th
  • 2016 Rio de Janeiro
  • Marathon - 33rd
World finals
  • 2001 Edmonton
  • 10,000 m - 23rd
  • 2003 Paris
  • 10,000 m - 16th
National finalsNCAA cross-country
NCAA 10,000 m (outdoors)
NCAA 5,000 m (indoors)
NCAA 5,000 m (outdoors)
Personal bests
Medal record
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2004 Athens Marathon
World Cross Country Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Ostend Team
World Marathon Majors
Gold medal – first place 2009 New York City Marathon
Gold medal – first place 2014 Boston Marathon
Silver medal – second place 2004 New York City Marathon
Bronze medal – third place 2005 New York City Marathon
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Boston Marathon

Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi (/ˈmɛb kəˈflɛzɡi/; Ge'ez: መብራህቶም ክፍልእዝጊ, Mebrāhtōm Kifl'izgī; born May 5, 1975) is a retired Eritrean-born American long distance runner. He is the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon and finished in fourth place in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He 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. Keflezighi is a graduate of UCLA, where he won four NCAA championships competing for the UCLA Bruins track and field team. He came in fourth in the 2014 New York City Marathon on November 2, 2014, eighth in the 2015 Boston Marathon on April 20, 2015, and second in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.[4]

Competition record


Competition Rank Time Location Date Notes
2004 Summer Olympics 2nd 2:11:29 Athens, Greece 2004 Aug 29 1st US medal since 1976

Early life and education

Keflezighi and his family were refugees[5] from Eritrea, who came to the United States via Italy in 1987. He is one of ten children.[6]

Meb began running while a student at Memorial Academy in San Diego, where he ran a 5:10 mile before going on to win both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters at the CIF California State Championships in 1994 for San Diego High School.[6][7][8] Keflezighi became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1998[9] – the same year in which he graduated from UCLA. While at UCLA Keflezighi received numerous All-American awards and other accolades.[10] He won four NCAA championships (the 5k and 10k outdoor and 5 k indoor)[11] during the 1996–97 season, including the cross-country title, spanning from the track and field season in the spring to the cross country season in the fall.[11]

He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.[12]


Keflezighi is a three-time national champion in cross country running, having won the USA Cross Country Championships in 2001, 2002 and 2009.[13]

His fastest times for some standard distances are 3:42.29 for 1500 m, set in 1998; 13:11.77 for 5000 m, set in 2000; 27:13.98 for 10,000 m, set in 2001 (an American record which stood until 2010);[14] and 2:08:37 for the marathon, set at the 2014 Boston Marathon.

On October 11, 2010, he released his autobiography, Run to Overcome, which was published by Tyndale House Publishers. The book, co-authored with noted sports writer Dick Patrick, included recollections about major milestones in his life, such as his Olympic competitions and other running highlights, as well as his early years, leading up to the present day. He is also the driving force behind the MEB Foundation, the "MEB" standing for "Maintaining Excellent Balance," which principally promotes healthy living, and other positive lifestyle choices and motivation for school-age youth.

Despite his success, Keflezighi's sponsor Nike did not renew his long-running contract in 2011. As a result, Keflezighi competed as an unsponsored athlete. In December 2011, Keflezhigi was signed up by sportswear company Skechers, whom he has represented since.[15] In 2013, Keflezighi signed with elliptical cycling company ElliptiGO.[16] Other current sponsors in 2014 include PowerBar, Sony, Oakley, Inc., Garmin, USANA Health Sciences, Generation UCAN, CEP Compression, New York Athletic Club, and KRAVE Jerky.[17]

On April 21, 2014, Meb became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, besting many of the heavy African favorites in a new personal best of 2:08:37. With this victory, Meb became the only Marathoner in history to win the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon, and an Olympic Medal.

At the end of 2014, Meb was selected for the Jesse Owens Award as the USATF Athlete of the Year.[18]




Meb Keflezighi accepting the 2014 Jesse Owens Award


Keflezighi uses nine-day training cycles instead of traditional training weeks, which he says allows him to concentrate on training while also allowing himself to recover.[35] His training is composed of tempo runs, intervals, long runs and cross-training. In the weeks leading up to the 2014 Boston Marathon, he ran 2–3 times a day, and used his ElliptiGO for 10–20 mile cross-training rides to avoid injuries.[36] Additionally, he tries to keep himself healthy with daily core-strengthening exercises, stretching, altitude training, tune-up races, and a high-protein diet with 5 servings of fruit.[35]


Personal life

Keflezighi lives and trains in Tampa,[41][42] where he moved in 2019 from his long-time home in San Diego.[3] Meb also previously trained in Mammoth Lakes, California,[43] and is a member of the New York Athletic Club.[44]

Keflezighi is represented by his brother Merhawi, who as a UCLA undergraduate was a student manager for the Bruin men's basketball team (head student manager in 2001–02) and is a 2006 graduate of the UCLA School of Law. Meb and his wife Yordanos married in November 2004 and have three daughters: Sara, Fiyori, and Yohana.[45][46]

Keflezighi is a Catholic.[46][47][48]

Keflezighi was recognized as an Outstanding American by Choice by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2017.[49]


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Meb Keflezighi". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b All-Athletics. "Profile of Mebrahtom Keflezighi". Archived from the original on July 9, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Chappell, Bill (April 21, 2014). "America's Meb Keflezighi Wins An Emotional Boston Marathon". NPR. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Mecham, Dave (anchor) (February 13, 2016). 3-Time Olympic Marathoner Meb Keflezighi Places 2nd at U.S. Olympic Trials in Downtown L.A. KTLA 5 News. KTLA. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Meb Keflezighi stuns to win Boston Marathon". NBC Sports. April 21, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c May, Peter. "A Year Later, It’s Old Glory in Boston Marathon." The New York Times. April 21, 2014
  7. ^ Lawson, Hank. "California State Meet Results – 1915 to present". Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  8. ^ See YouTube highlights. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  9. ^ Layden, Tim (October 31, 2005). "I Am An American". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Meb Keflezighi Wins NYC Marathon". Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Bowman, Kevin (April 22, 2013). "UCLA alum Meb Keflezighi wins Boston Marathon". Daily Bruin. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Newsroom, UCLA. "UCLA alumnus Meb Keflezighi wins Boston Marathon". UCLA Newsroom. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  13. ^ "Keflezighi, Brown take open titles at USA Cross Country Championships". USATF. February 7, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  14. ^ Crumpacker, John (May 2, 2010). "Solinsky sets 10,000-meter American record". San Francisco Chronicle.
  15. ^ Germano, Sara (April 24, 2012). "Skechers Sets New Pace on Sponsors". Wall Street Journal.
  16. ^ "Meb Keflezighi Joins ElliptiGO Project". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  17. ^ "Official Website of Meb Keflezighi". Official website of 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist, 2009 NYC Marathon and 2014 Boston Marathon Champion, Meb Keflezighi. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  18. ^ "USA Track & Field – Keflezighi, Simpson Named 2014 USATF Jesse Owens and Jackie Joyner-Kersee Athletes of the Year". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  19. ^ a b Clarey, Christopher (August 30, 2004). "Summer 2004 Games: Marathon; A Spectator Disrupts The Marathon With a Shove". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
  20. ^ Patrick, Dick (October 27, 2009). "Marathoner Keflezighi carries somber memories of New York". USA Today. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
  21. ^ Zinser, Lynn (November 1, 2009). "Keflezighi's 'U.S.A.' Breaks the Tape". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
  22. ^ "Cheruiyot breaks CR in Boston; Hall fastest American ever at race". USATF. April 19, 2010.
  23. ^ Miyamae, Amana (October 4, 2010). "Keflezighi defends title at San Jose Half Marathon". IAAF. Archived from the original on November 6, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  24. ^ "Keflezighi; Flanagan win U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon". USATF. January 14, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  25. ^ "Results: 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships". Flotrack. June 22, 2013. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  26. ^ "Athlete profile for Mebrahtom Keflezighi". IAAF. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  27. ^ "Grandmas Marathon". Archived from the original on April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  28. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (April 21, 2014). "American Meb Keflezighi wins Boston Marathon". USA Today. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  29. ^ "Atlanta Running Club – Home of the AJC Peachtree Road Race – Atlanta Track Club". Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  30. ^ Bowers, Rachel (April 20, 2015). "Meb creates special finish line moment". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  31. ^ "Meb Keflezighi Has Sparkling Masters Debut at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego", "", 31 May 2015. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
  32. ^ "TCS New York City Marathon 2015 Live Results". New York Road Runners. New York Road Runners. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  33. ^ Gambaccini, Peter (November 2015). "Meb Keflezighi Breaks U.S. Masters Record at NYC Marathon". Runner's World. Rodale Inc. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  34. ^ 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon/Results
  35. ^ a b "How Meb Keflezighi Trained to Win the Boston Marathon". Runner's World & Running Times. May 2, 2014. Archived from the original on April 30, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  36. ^ "Meb Minutes". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  37. ^ Baddood (May 10, 2013). "2GB W Series Walkman Meb Keflezighi – NWZW262MEB Review – Sony Store U.S. – Sony US". Sony US. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  38. ^ Metzler, Brian (October 29, 2013). "Meb Keflezighi's Skechers NYC Marathon Shoe". PodiumRunner. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  39. ^ "Skechers Extends Contract with Meb Keflezighi". FDRA. February 8, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  40. ^ "ElliptiGO 8S "Meb Edition"". July 7, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  41. ^ @runmeb (August 16, 2019). "For almost 32 yrs, CA has been home. Thanks to my families, friends, teammates, schoolmates & the community for mol…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  42. ^ ""This Has Been Happening for a Long, Long Time"". June 10, 2020.
  43. ^ Baxter, Kevin (March 25, 2012). "Peak fitness: Marathoner Meb Keflezighi and other U.S. runners have found a high-altitude mecca where they are raising the country's Olympic hopes". Los Angeles Times. p. C1.
  44. ^ Fermino, Jennifer; Ford, Beverly (April 22, 2014). "Soaring triumph of spirit in Boston Marathon celebrates life: Winner honors bombing vics". Daily News. p. 4.
  45. ^ Butler, Sarah (May 5, 2014). "How Meb Met His Match". Runners World.
  46. ^ a b Menzie, Nicola (April 21, 2014). "Meb Keflezighi, Deeply Religious Christian, Becomes First American in 30 Years to Win Boston Marathon". The Christian Post.
  47. ^ Weiss, Bari (November 23, 2009). "Running Man: The New York City marathon champion on running, religion and what it means to be an American". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  48. ^ "Meb Keflezighi Gets Married". Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  49. ^ "2017 Outstanding American by Choice Recipients". United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. November 20, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2018.