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Inspiration & Motivation, Running & Fitness

Meb’s Inspirational Boston Win

Matt Orlando
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It was an inspirational sight to behold. As Meb Keflezighi neared the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon, he pumped his fists, made the sign of the cross to honor God, and finally raised his arms in triumph as he crossed the finish line. His winning time, 2:08:37, a full 11 seconds ahead of the 2nd place finisher, was impressive, but it did not tell the entire story of how amazing his performance truly was. If you were lucky enough to watch live coverage, you were treated to an exciting race as around the half way mark he pulled away from the competition and never looked back. He ran in a way that made it seem effortless, as though this were his race to win and all he had to do was cruise along to the finish. It was, if I may, Mebmerizing (credit: Alex Park). What adds to this story even more is the fact that the American elite men banded together to help give Meb the extra edge. You can read that story on

By ending a decades long drought of American male wins at Boston (last win was 1983), Meb has given the American running community something it has not had in the marathon in a long time: hope. At 38 years old, Meb has shown runners and non-runners alike across the country that America is still a force to be reckoned with in this storied distance, and that age should, and is not, be a barrier to achieving greatness. Much like Dana Torres’ five-time Olympic showing, Meb’s win here shows that if you want something bad enough, and work hard enough, than you can achieve anything (if you have not read Meb’s story, it is worth a read). The impact that his win will have on younger runners (and potential runners) will be huge, and I am excited to see what the future of American running holds.

On the night of his win, I headed out for an easy 5K around my town. The weather was warm and I just felt good. As my legs glided across the pavement, I felt like a small child again pretending to be a professional athlete on the world stage. I felt like I could conquer the world. I let my mind drift to the progress I have made over the past year, losing 20+ lbs, setting a mile PR (for my 30’s), bouncing back from a collapsed lung, and setting myself on a course to not only hit a new mile PR (fingers crossed) but possibly a new half and full marathon PR along the way. Meb’s win has reminded me of the runner I once was and the runner I still believe I can be. It may not be as easy as when I had no real time-consuming responsibilities in high school, but I finally feel like the hard work and time needed to realize my goals is worth it.

In his book Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion’s Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big DreamMeb shares this quote:

But I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself. One of my greatest joys is inspiring other people to perform at their best.

Meb’s 2014 Boston Marathon win has cemented his position as an American running icon and will be inspiring runners for years to come. Congratulations Meb, and may you find long-lasting joy in achieving such greatness.

Did you find inspiration in Meb’s win? Share in the Comments below!

8 thoughts on “Meb’s Inspirational Boston Win

  1. Was gonna tweet this to you, but I’ll share here. The other cool thing about Meb’s win is that my running coach knows him. Like, has run with him before, could tell me stories about when they were training together and running together. When he pulled off that win I was like, WOW! it’s like a runner’s version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I know someone, who knows Meb! I’ve been waiting for Boston to see all the runner’s cross, to take back the finish line, and to see the American’s keeping Meb in the front and helping him win, it all feels so perfect for the Boston Marathon this year.

    1. Glad you shared here…that would have taken a lot of tweets! That is a cool feeling to be so closely “related” to someone. Back in January I had the honor of interviewing Kara Goucher, and now every time I hear something positive about her I’m like “Way to go Kara!”

      1. LOL – I do tend to be wordy. Twitter is hard for me. Hahaha. That’s really cool about Kara Goucher! Our local running store had a skype event scheduled with Meb but had to reschedule after he won since suddenly he had a bazillion media events to do first.

  2. Yes, I did! His inspiring life story and his utter dedication to rehab – again and again – and to all the little things, to constantly making himself better, to doing everything we all know we should do as runners (stretch, eat properly, strength train, speedwork, etc. etc.) and doing it every day….so impressive. This win, from a guy who broke a hip and apparently was in such pain from it he was crawling at points, shows what persistence, character, and hard work – along with smart running and surrounding yourself with good, smart folks like Bob Larsen (and listening to them!) can do. An inspiring athlete and role model as a runner and human being. Class act all the way. Could not happen to a nicer guy!

  3. meb is such a great ambassador for running, athletics in general and for the proverbial American dream. i can’t think of a single person who couldn’t take away something motivational from his achievements and his family’s story. personally i’m inspired by his passion to continue to compete at the highest levels regardless of his age … and that he’s so mindful of others (from running with mike cassidy to finish the 2013 NYC marathon to writing the names of the bombing victims on his 2014 Boston bib) instead of being a self-focused professional.

    what more can i say? … #GOMEBGO!

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