Olympic Long Distance Runner and Family Man
Meet Meb Keflezighi: dedicated family man, Olympic long distance runner, outdoors enthusiast… and a dedicated Maui Jim brand ambassador. Meb’s many accolades could fill volumes but some stand-outs include being a silver medalist in the marathon in the 2004 summer olympics, winning the 2009 New York City Marathon, and winning the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Did you always know you had an inherent talent for running?
I ran my first mile at Roosevelt Junior High in 1988. I was 13. At the time I I had no idea it was a talent. I was just trying to get a t-shirt from the Roosevelt Junior High Mile Club and an A in the class. You had to get 6:15 to get the shirt and I ended up running 5:20, and my P.E. teacher just went, “Wow, you’re going to end up in the Olympics.”
Bear in mind that I didn’t speak english and had only just came to the states.I had no idea what the Olympics even were. I had to go home and have my dad explain it to me, but running was challenging and I enjoyed it. So I just kept going.
Looking back now throughout your career, was there ever a specific race that is especially memorable for you?
The most meaningful moment was definitely winning the Boston Marathon in 2014. When the bombing happened in 2013, I wanted to come back the next year and win it and have the victim’s names on my bib as inspiration, so when I did, it was indescribable. Nothing has compared to that feeling.
Is it true that your final race will be the TCS New York City Marathon on November 5th? How do you feel about impending retirement?
That’s the plan. I’m looking forward to it, but at the same time I’ve been competing for twenty-seven years. Marathons are brutal. They beat you up really bad. After my first one I said, “never again,” but here we are twenty-four marathons later.
What do you plan on doing with your newfound spare time?
I want to spend more time with my daughters and my wife, of course. Priority one is family bonding time. I also want to stay involved in running and give back however I can to the people out there through the Meb Foundation.
Speaking of the Meb Foundation, could you tell us more about the humanitarian work you do?
Yeah! It’s is an organization with the goal of helping people, especially youth, maintain the perfect balance of health, education, and fitness. We do motivational speaking, donate gear and shoes, and help with educational programs.
Now for our last, but not least, question: how did your relationship with Maui Jim come to be?
I met a Maui Jim representative at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas. They had a booth and I went to it and tried on a pair of their glasses and immediately fell in love. They were like nothing I had worn before. I was like, “we should work together,” and the rest was history.
Do you wear them when you run?
At Maui Jim, we like to talk about living with aloha, which is living your life fully and never forgetting the people and passions that help you overcome every challenge that comes your way. Meb is a perfect example of someone living with aloha and we are proud to be able to call him one of our brand ambassadors now and into the future.
Click here to read the extended interview with Meb.