NEW YORK (jornal.us) 11/2/10 — Meb Keflezighi the reigning ING New York City Marathon champion held a press conference today at Tavern on the Green in New York City's Central Park. Reporters from most every important news outlet, were present asking him and his coach Bob Larson about his past, present and future involvement with marathon racing. Among those reporters you could see the face of a 14 year old teenage boy waiting patiently for his turn to interview one of the fastest man in the world. He is Adam Apsan, one this year's newest Kid Reporter for Sports Illustrated. Adam did his homework and read Meb's new book "Run to Overcome” giving him an instant connection with the athlete. They spoke for almost twenty minutes with Adam asking everything from, Meb's immigration from Eritrea in East Africa to his new book and MEB, a charitable foundation that supports varied causes in health, fitness and education, which the Olympic Marathon silver medalist said stood for "Maintaining Excellent Balance.
Meb's book "Run to Overcome" reflects the "American Dream" of a young immigrant from a war torn country, his arrival in a strange land and his ultimate success, not only in sports but in Academia. Meb was an honors graduate from the UCLA, where he first met Bob Larson who has been his coach ever since.
Meb was the first American in over 27 year to win the New York City Marathon in 2009. But his return to New York was not easy. "A year ago, I think a lot of people doubted that he would get back to this level,” said coach Larsen. He explained that after the fractured pelvis, which other doctors missed, during the 2007 Olympic marathon trials, Meb had feared his career would come to an end.
Meb won silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and in 2009 was the first American to win the marathon since 1976. He finished in the finals three more times from 2004-06, but time was moving fast. Meb explained that "even watching it now a year later, I cry," … "because when you really want something, you keep trying, you keep trying — second place, third place, ninth place. You say it seems so far away. But you keep believing in what you're doing and you are committed to it, and things will work out… It happens probably when you least expect it."
Meb’s win in the 2004 Olympics mad him famous and prosperous. "But winning, that No. 1 spot [in the 2009 Marathon] just takes it to the next level and cements Meb's position in the running history," Hawi Keflezighi, his brother and agent said.
Meb ran the NYC Marathon five times before he won in 2009, and this Sunday his effort will be to become the first American man to win this title in consecutive years. The last person to do so was Alberto Salazar who did it in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
Meb's interview with Adam ended and Meb personally autographed and inscribed in his book “To: Adam.. Thank you for the great interview with SI Kids. You did awesome job. Keep it up. Best Wishes & Run To Win … Meb"
To find out about the Sports Illustrated Kid Reporter Program go to this link: www.sikids.com