Interview with Meb Keflezighi
We have admired Meb Keflezighi for years and thought it would be cool to have him on the podcast. Well, it finally worked out and all I needed to do is drive to Florida and back to bring it to you! Let me set the scene for you guys . . .
Meb was a special guest at the Tallahassee Marathon in Tallahassee, Florida. I was able to interview him the day before the race and then stick around and run the half marathon -which was a blast! Big thanks to the race director Sheryl Rosen for helping me arrange this interview.
We had a dedicated room at the race expo that was open to the public. I wasn’t sure how many people would show up but an hour before the start there were runners already in the room. By the time we started the room was completely full and there were people standing in the doorway. And Meb did not disappoint!
Meb Keflezighi was born in Eritrea in 1975 while the country was enduring a 30 year war with Ethiopia. Meb’s father Russom Keflezighi was a supporter of liberation and therefore wanted by Ethiopian soldiers. Circumstances forced him to flee Eritrea by trekking 250 miles north through Sudan. He eventually made it to Italy where he worked to earn enough money to bring his family over. It was 5 years until he saw his wife and 5 children again.
The family immigrated to the U.S. and began a new life in San Diego. Meb started the sixth grade not knowing any English. He worked hard in both school and sports and went on to run track and field at UCLA.
In this conversation you will hear Meb talk about his family and what it was like growing up in Eritrea and immigrating to the US as well as the people who impacted his life.
He also talks about how he got into running as a boy in school and later how he made the jump to distance running. He will hit some of the highlights of his career and describe fighting through injury and dealing with unexpected mishaps. (During one marathon he had a plastic breath rite strip in his shoe that he forgot to take out before the race).
Among his many accomplishments:
- Meb won a silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens in 2004.
- He won the 2009 New York City Marathon in 2:09:15.
- He won the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston in 2012. He is the oldest winner of the Olympic Trials Marathon at age 36.
- He won the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:08:37, two weeks before his 39th birthday.
Meb is retired now and has a new book coming out in March called 26 Marathons, What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from my Marathon Career.
The Tallahassee Half Marathon
The Tallahassee Marathon is an all-volunteer event organized by the Gulf Winds Track Club and has been running since 1975. I found this race to be scenic, energetic, not too big, and very well organized. It’s perfect for runners looking for a race in February.
Also Mentioned in This Episode
Generation Ucan -a fueling product that Meb calls his secret weapon. Use the code MTAMEB to save 15%.
NuNeeShop.com -NuNee is designed specifically to relieve that dreaded Runner’s Knee pain. Use code MTA20 for a 20% discount.
Drury Inn and Suites -where we stay when we travel. Free evening food and drinks!
Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.
Mace -When runners hit the road or trails, they shouldn’t have to worry about self-defense. Enter promo code MTA for 20% off the kit today.
Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes.