After more than a decade of running professionally, star long-distance runner Meb Keflezighi this year is hanging up his running shoes after a final marathon in New York.
This year, New York officials designated the 46th annual New York City Marathon the “Mebathon” in honor of Keflezighi, who will participate in it for the last time on Sunday, Nov. 5.
At 42, Keflezighi has competed and won numerous running events across the world — he scored silver at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and won the New York City Marathon in 2009 and the Boston Marathon in 2014. He qualified for the Olympic Games four times and won the U.S. 15K Championship seven times.
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But even though Keflezighi was born in Eritrea and now lives in California, it is New York that has special running meaning for him. Having participated in the New York Marathon 11 times, he will now run his last marathon in the very same city as his first; Keflezighi ran his first marathon in New York in 2002. On Sunday, Keflezighi will run 26.2 miles throughout the city’s five boroughs in a race that draws over 50,000 runners from around the world.
“It’s a phenomenal crowd, and seeing the different heritages going through the five boroughs, you feel the culture a little bit, and then you come home to beautiful Central Park,” Keflezighi told Footwear News in 2012.