This morning, Mebratohm Keflezighi became the first American to win the New York City Marathon since Alberto Salazar set a world record there in 1982. Meb was born in Eritrea, but has lived in the U.S. since he was around 10 years old and is about the nicest guy anyone will ever meet. Here’s the story.
This is a man who holds the American record for 10,000 meters on the track and, by the end of 2008, had been written off by all manner of pundits owing to a string of injuries and his relatively advanced age (34). Today’s victory, accomplished in 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 15 seconds, is heartening for both Meb personally and for U.S. distance running. Six American men finished in the top 10, an unheard-of circumstance in recent memory.
Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia the women’s race in a pedestrian (by the standards of this race) 2:28:52. World record holder Paula Radcliffe, running with a bum hamstring, could only manage fourth place. Here’s one example of why the New York Times should never be regarded as a paragon of journalistic expertise, its bloated circulation notwithstanding:
The 36-year-old Boulet, a native of Poland, became a naturalized American citizen on Sept. 11, 2001, in San Francisco, but has struggled since.
won was second in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston. If that’s “struggling,” I’d hate to see success.