Meb wins in New York City

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.

Magdalena Boulet won was second in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston. If that’s “struggling,” I’d hate to see success.

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  1. #1 by threlkeld on November 1, 2009 - 5:58 pm

    Actually, Deena Kastor won the trials, but Lewy-Boulet made her extremely nervous for a good couple of hours.

    Joan Benoit-Samuelson was 7th American woman overall at NY today. Amazing, but also sort of ridiculous. Where were all the American women this year? Recovering from Twin Cities?

    My favorite part of the broadcast was watching Kastor lay the groundwork for her second career as a race commentator. She’s articulate, cheerful and respectful of everyone she interacts with. The exact opposite of the outright boorishness displayed by Al Trautwig in particular.

  2. #2 by Jim Fiore on November 1, 2009 - 8:34 pm

    But, a casual look at the usual suspect running forums shows that there are still those who question it because, well, because Meb isn’t really a REAL American because, he isn’t.. uh, he isn’t, you know… white. All REAL American distance runners are skinny white guys with names like Andy or Dan or Ryan, not funny sounding foreign names. Oh, and he wasn’t born here. Yeah, that’s it. He wasn’t BORN here. Being BORN here is the thing that makes you a REAL American. That’s the ticket. It has nothing to do with him not being white. I deny that completely.

    It’s like a Monty Python sketch.

  3. #3 by hopper3011 on November 2, 2009 - 7:10 am

    Jim;
    Those are the same posters who, had he won, would be beating up on Hall for not running 2:06. There is no pleasing some people.
    Which reminds me, I must go and make some comments about Paula Radcliffe’s performance!! Obviously she is completely washed up and should retire now.

  4. #4 by kemibe on November 2, 2009 - 7:25 am

    I fucked up–Deena Kastor won the 2008 Trials. Magda led through about 24 miles and did make the Olympic team, but she didn’t win the race.

    Yes, hopper, Paula and her shit hamstring should pull to the side of the road and stay there. As someone who was about a minute outside the winner’s circle on a rough day, she plainly has nothing left. The fact that she and I were born on the same day can only screw her worse.

  5. #5 by hopper3011 on November 2, 2009 - 4:54 pm

    Kevin;
    I thought you might enjoy some of the comments on this article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/athletics/article6898535.ece
    I particularly enjoyed the comment from Paul Bennett: ” If she can’t handle the odd loss when she’s expected to win she will never reach her potential.” !?!!
    It’s important to note that this is The Times – supposedly Times readers are more intelligent than the average citizen, which makes me too scared to visit The Sun’s website.

  6. #6 by Jim Fiore on November 2, 2009 - 7:52 pm

    That’s rich. Like any female has even come close to what Paula has already shown for her “potential”. 2-friggin-15, what the hell more do you want, pudding with Neil Armstrong aboard the resurrected Titanic?

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