What I Learned From Meeting Meb

If you saw my Dallas Half Marathon Recap, then you know I got to meet running royalty – Olympic Silver Medalist and Boston & New York Marathon Champion, Meb Keflezighi!

Me n Meb

Me n Meb

I actually got to run into him three times. First was in the race corral, second was on the course when he was high-fiving the runners, and third was at a special meet n greet I was fortunate to be invited to.

My friends took a selfie while we waited to meet him.

My friends took a selfie while we waited to meet him.

Not to be outdone, I took a selfie with Meb in the background.

Not to be outdone, I took a selfie with Meb in the background.

After the meet n greet, he did a Q n A. This is where I learned a lot of stuff, but I gotta say, all three run-ins taught me stuff.

My elf friend took another selfie during the Q n A.

My elf friend took another selfie during the Q n A.

So for everyone that couldn’t be in Dallas this weekend, here is what I learned from Meb:

1. He’s a great ambassador for our sport. He was so giving of his time to be on the course high-fiving runners, then hand out medals at the finish, then do a meet n greet with fans.

2. He’s very nice and sincere. When I got his autograph, I thanked him for the high fives. Later during his Q n A, he remembered that and actually mentioned my by name in his talk!!! Meb remembered me!

3. He really believes in his sponsors. He called them partners. I had no idea UCAN was originally created to help a child with a rare illness stay alive.

4. His motto is “race to win”. He wrote that on every autograph. You may not win each race (or any race), but you should give it your all no matter what.

5. He’s very quiet and humble, but also funny. They had a moderator leading the Q n A. His job was to get Meb to open up, and he did! He has some great stories!

6. He’s training the next wave of super runners. He has little daughters at home who ask to go on runs with him, and he takes them on them. Look out Boston 2036!

7. He runs smart. He was the 15th fastest person in the field at Boston, but finished 1st. He did so by following a good race strategy. We should all do the same.

8. He has bad days too. He said there’s days when he doesn’t want to run, but does it any way. Make it a habit and have an accountability partner, was his advice.

9. He’s had injuries too. But unlike most of us who get things like IT Band pain or plantar fasciitis, his were more severe. And they came from pushing too hard. Like so hard that he tore his leg muscles.

10. He loves being American. He said during Boston that he couldn’t help but chant along with the crowd at times, “USA, USA, USA!”

11. Boston was personal for him. He said the year before, he left the finish area 5 minutes before the bombing. He wanted to win for America and the victims. He even had the names of the victims who died in the attacks written on his race bib. That’s awesome.

12. He works really hard, like totally super outrageously hard. This is what stuck out most to me. He said during the last few miles of Boston, he was pushing himself so hard that he started vomiting. He didn’t want his competitors to know this, so he covered his mouth with his hand and kept running hard. Wow.

Meb dropping some knowledge on us.

Meb dropping some knowledge on us.

I will take these lessons with me. I mean, if he can win the Boston Marathon while puking at the same time, I can surely suck it up and skip a walk break on one of my little runs.

One thing I’ve thought for a while now, Meb was the ultimate storybook story hero for the Boston Marathon 2014. Nobody else should have won that race. And nobody else did. As I kept yelling at the TV during the Marathon broadcast back in April, “Go Meb Go!”

How bout you? Someone inspiring that you’ve met? What’s the hardest you’ve pushed yourself in a run? Do my friends and I take too many selfies?

-Scott

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Categories: fitfluetial, Fuel (food), marathon, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “What I Learned From Meeting Meb

  1. Meeting Meb was one of the highlights of my year back in May here in North Carolina.

  2. You. Met. Meb. Wow. Wow. Wow. He is amazing! I met Shalane Flanagan the Friday after Boston, while touring in DC. She was there for the Nike run. I stopped her while she was running and asked if I could take a picture. Yes, I stopped Shalane. While she was running. But she stopped, graciously. I had a horrible race in Boston- I would have DNF any other race but that one. I would have crawled to the finish line, and in some ways, I did. Shalane set her goals so high, achieved a HUGE PR, and time and time again, I saw the headlines say “Shalane failed”. I believe she failed at absolutely nothing. Many other years, she would have freaking WON Boston. She kept gracious about it, and she won’t give up. She’s my brush with fame, and I am so glad I pushed through the hardest race evah to get the Boston medal. I think about Shalane a lot, how hard she pushes, the goals she sets, and in my little sort of way, try to be like her. Reach for the stars, you never know if you’ll catch one like Meb did!
    Selfies rock. I have one on heartbreak hill after I knew my PR was done but before the shit hit the fan. I was drinking a beer (having a few sips while the rest ran out the sides of my mouth) with the frat kids. SO FUN!!!!

    • Yes, I was pretty excited to meet him, fo shizzle! That’s cool that you met Shalane! I was rooting for her during Boston. But ha, I can’t believe you stopped her mid-run!!!
      And no, she didn’t fail anything! There were similar headlines like that about the American marathoners at the Olympics…bs! But yes, that’s great that you use her for inspiration! I def thought about Meb on my runs this week. But you’re so lucky to run Boston, I really really want to, but I have to get faster to do so.
      Ha, I’d like to see the selfies of you after it went south. Ha, that’s awesome that you drank beer on the course, haha!

  3. Wise words from a wise man! He sounds like a true people person, I loved that he helped hand out metals to the runners after he finished! Classy!

    A little off topic but with my day job we’ve been trying to push Gender Equity (closing the gap for females in sport/rec/physical activity etc.) so it’s great to see Meb speaking with a strong female photographed in the background πŸ™‚

    • I had heard he was going to be handing out medals, but I didn’t see him when I finished, but my friend did and got a pic with him then. Awesome!
      Ha, nice! I also noticed the photos in the background. Nice set up!

  4. And by metals…I mean medals (oie!)

  5. You just made me like Meb even more. So awesome!

  6. So jealous! He seems like such a great guy! Hard-working, humble and inspiring.

  7. He sounds like an amazing dude!

  8. WalkToRio

    That’s so nice.
    The good thing about most distance runner who make it big is that they are approachable.
    I like this Meb guy, I was rooting for him all the way in Boston, while watching it on my pirated proxy browser (I don’t even know if that’s a concept but that’s what I was doing).
    I’be met Joan Benoit, Deena Kastor (she’s really nice). Some other Olympic Athletes too and have gotten my ass kicked by many of them too lol
    I think the hardest I’be ever pushed was the day before yesterday, I cried a bit towards the end of the workout, I’m not kidding. Was horrible, I’ve cried before, but in the past 4 years, that’s been the hardest.

    • I don’t usually get star struck, but he was super cool to meet! But ha, maybe you shouldn’t mention your pirate operations online! πŸ˜‰
      Very cool! Deena was at this race too, but I didn’t get to meet her.
      Hey man, keep pushing hard. Keep crying. It will pay off in the end!

  9. This is so awesome. He is such an inspiration!! I know I push hard during races – even so hard that I’ve run until I puked, but never like Meb in Boston. Really puts into perspective what it means to push yourself. Wow!! You are so lucky!

    • Yes! So cool! And I’ve pushed to the point of puking before, but it’s been a while. Like my elite friend was telling me, we have to get out of our comfort zone sometimes. Let’s do it!

  10. Meb is amazing. I was totally screaming at the TV when he was running Boston. I saw Dick and Rick Hoyt (Team Hoyt) when I ran Boston. Those two totally inspired me. They likely thought I was nuts as I ran up to them and told them they inspired me. When I ran my first 10km race I nearly puked, it was only because the finish line was 50m away and a totally hot guy was beside me that I reined it in so as not to puke in my finish line photo (and ruin the hot guys photo).

    • Very cool! Team Hoyt is very inspirational too! I’m sure you weren’t the only one to tell them that. πŸ˜‰
      LOL, well I’m glad you didn’t puke on the hot guy. But I would’ve loved for you to have ruined his photo! We had a guy in high school who puked after every run. Once at the finish line of a cross country race and the guy behind him slipped and fell in it. Gross!

  11. Everyone I know who has met Meb has said how kind, approachable, and cool he is. He is definitely the best kind of ambassador for our sport!

  12. Lol- love your last question!
    Sounds like an amazing man to hear speak! I love that he remembered your name- that is definitely genuine!
    I’ve heard people say time and time again that pro runners and triathletes are so different than other professional sport moguls. They use the same start and finish line and are much more approachable.
    I met my girl crush Chrissie Wellington before my first Ironman. I was completely star struck!! Although she retired from tri a few years ago, she remains an incredible ambassador for female in sport, kids in sport, triathlon, and running!

    • Ha, thank you!
      Yes, I was so shocked he remembered me! I was 3rd in line and he seemed distracted as he was getting settled, plus there were like 300 people there, but he still remembered – so genuine!
      Very true. Good point about using the same course as the rest of us. It’s not like backyard football games are being respected by pro players.
      Very cool about meeting your girl crush! I’m glad she’s being a good ambassador!!

  13. I love Meb. He’s high on my list of people I want to meet. You lucky guy!

  14. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes

    Ha, I love the selfies! You need a selfie stick πŸ™‚ So cool to meet Meb, he’s just an all around great guy! I would love to meet him or Kara Goucher someday!

    • Ha, yeah that would be helpful. But I was taking selfies long before people had cameras in their phones, so I think I got it down alright. Yes, Meb is such a cool guy! I’m sure you’ll meet them someday – just keep going to races!

  15. I am so jealous you met Meb, I have never heard anyone say a bad word about him, he is the perfect run ambassador, and he mentioned you in his talk, which is super cool! And keep up with the selfies, they are great!

    • I did feel lucky to be there! Meb is so cool! Yes, I couldn’t believed that he remembered my name. Ha, thanks, I’ll keep selfie-ing!

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