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Meb Keflezighi’s 26 Mooiste Mijlen

Langeafstandsloper Meb Keflezighi vertelt weken voor de New York City Marathon over zijn mooiste mijlen. Van high school tot en met de Olympische spelen.

Meb Keflezighi is een Amerikaanse langeafstandsloper van Eritrese afkomst met een trackrecord waar je trots op mag zijn. Verschillende Amerikaanse titels op de 10K, 15k en in het veldlopen, maar ook drie olympische deelnames. Vorig jaar tijdens de spelen in Londen eindigde hij op de vierde plek bij de marathon, in Athene in 2004 liep hij nog naar een zilveren plak.

Gisteren vierde hij samen met zijn familie dat ze al 26 jaar in Amerika wonen. Meb omschrijft zichzelf als een ´numbers man´ en grijpt deze gelegenheid om zijn mooiste 26 mijls met ons te delen.

[quote_box_center]1. 5:20 mile on my first official mile run as a 7th grader at Roosevelt Junior High in San Diego, CA (1988).

2. Fall 1990- First competitive race in high school XC. I don’t remember any splits and I didn’t win the race either.

3. 4:22 mile in 9th grade at Balboa Stadium, in San Diego.

4. 4:18 mile as sophomore.

5. 4:11mile as a junior. I was second best in San Diego and 2nd best in the nation behind Mark Hauser, who ended up my teammate at UCLA.

6. 4:05 mile in my senior year…. Became the #1 high school miler in the USA.

7. The 2nd mile of 3200m race at the league championship. I broke Marc Davis’ school record. My time was 8:52.

8. My first NCAA XC race in Fayetteville, AK. I ran back to back 2:03 and 2:17 800m splits, which was a 4:20 mile. That hurt on the cross country course.

9. The last mile in 1996 Pac-10 Championships. It was me versus four Oregon runners in a 5k after I finished 3rd in the 10k the day before. I won my race and helped UCLA secure the PAC 10 title. Tough come back.

10. Winning the 5K outdoor NCAA championship…the last mile was hard but rewarding.

11. In 1997, the 4th mile of 10k race at NCAA Cross Country…talking to Bernard Lagat during the race. Man, Bernard &I have been in the sport for a LONG TIME.

12. The Goodwill Games, getting lapped by three Kenyans. This taught me persistence and not to give up, even when things are not going your way.

13. 2001 track race at Stanford. Breaking the American record in the 10k averaging 4:20 per mile. In the last mile, I was happy my dream to own an American record was becoming a reality.

14. Running 4:08 for first mile of 5k race in Belgium. Wasn’t sure if I heard it right, but ran 13:11 that day. That is still my PR for the distance.
15. 2004 Olympic Games, mile 23 …I had to make a decision: to go for Gold and risk hitting the wall or play it smart and secure an Olympic medal (my primary term goal). I played it smart and I earned the Silver Medal.

16. 2004 NYC marathon, the 25th mile. I gave it all I had to win the marathon only 70 days after the Olympic Games. I finished 2nd in both races, but no Kenyan beat me in the marathon that year.

17. In the 16th mile at the 2005 NYC marathon, my split was 4:23, which was my fastest mile repeat in preparation. It was amazing to run all out and still have 10 miles to go. That was driven by competition.

18. Boston Marathon in 2006, 13th mile, I realized my half marathon split was 1:02:44, which was my pr for half marathon because I hadn’t raced a half marathon before. We were also on World Record Pace… at the Boston Marathon course…and no tailwind. The second half was not that fast.

19. 2007 Beach to Beacon last mile. The only time I broke 28:00 for 10k on the roads.

20. 2007 Olympic Trails, 24th mile, someone screaming “Meb you are our hero, when I was in 7th place and couldn’t go any faster. Tears came down. The only time I cried in a race.

21. 2009 Bix 7 race, running the 2nd mile in 4:11, with 5 miles still remaining. Again driven by competition.

22. 2009 Rock N Roll San Jose Half Marathon, running 1:01 for half marathon, still my PR. I had a pacer for about 1 mile.

23. The last mile of 2009 NYC Marathon. I didn’t want it to come to an end. I enjoyed every minute of the last mile. It was so emotional to have a dream become reality.

24. 2012 Olympic Trials, the last mile. Making a comeback after a foot infection to running my best marathon time ever. Never give up in your journey. Awesome feeling getting the USA flag.

25. 2012 London Olympic Games, last mile after coming back from 20th place to 4th with 500m to go. Winning is not about first place, but giving it all you got on any given day. I sure did that day and had to use a wheel chair to get around the airport a few days later. Pain is temporary, but the pride of giving it your best effort lasts forever, just like all of the memories above.

26. 2013 NYC Marathon…I hope to run a few memorable miles to add to my collection.[/quote_box_center]

Image: Flickr / ccho

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