From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM— The National Center for Sports Safety has announced on Wednesday, July 25, that 2004 Athens Olympics silver medalist, 2009 New York City Marathon champion, and 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi will be running in the Birmingham Wine 10K on March 2, 2019. Keflezighi will be running in the race and pacing a group of race participants. He will also be attending the post-race festivities to meet race participants and distribute awards.
With his silver medal performance in Athens, Meb became the first American to win an Olympic medal in the men’s marathon since 1976. In 2009, Meb became the first American to win the New York City Marathon since 1982.
In 2014, the first Boston Marathon after the bombing tragedy of 2013, Meb became the first American men’s champion since 1983 in what will go down in history as one of the great American running triumphs.
He is the driving force behind the MEB (” M aintaining E xcellent B alance”) Foundation, which principally promotes healthy living and other positive lifestyle choices and motivation for school-age youth. His continuous work with youth athletes is a natural fit for the National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS), which promotes safety on and off the playing field for all youth sports.
“We are excited to have Meb return to Birmingham and to have him at the 2019 Birmingham Wine 10K,” said NCSS Executive Director Joseph Longoria. “Meb has many good friends in Birmingham, which is where he made his first United States Olympic marathon team at the 2004 marathon trials held here. Meb and his brother Merhawi are special friends, and we appreciate his making the trip from San Diego.”
“I’m always inspired by kids who love sports and are active,” added Keflezighi. “I look forward to visiting Birmingham, seeing old friends, and supporting youth sports safety through the work and mission of NCSS and running in the Birmingham Wine 10K .”
After attending San Diego high school in California, Keflezighi attended UCLA, where he would become a four-time NCAA champion and all-American. Meb is the only athlete in history to win the New York Marathon, the Boston Marathon and an Olympic marathon medal. Additionally, he has won twenty-three national championships and a place on four United States Olympic teams. Transcending his own athletic achievements, Meb maintains an unwavering commitment to helping others go the distance in their own lives—physically, professionally, personally, and spiritually.
“The running community in Birmingham will be very excited for this opportunity,” Longoria said. “We hope everyone will come out and give a big Magic City welcome to a great Olympian and tremendous individual.”