Meb Keflezighi To Run 2011 Boston Marathon

April 1, 2011

"A Premier Race, It Leads. For Our Own Lovely Sport, that means having the best Americans in the race. We are proud to announce Meb Keflezighi is in our 2011 Boston Marathon field."

Those word the words of John Hancock President Jim Boyle yesterday as he announced that American marathon star Meb Keflezighi would be running this year's Boston Marathon, taking on fellow American Ryan Hall, defending champion and course record holder Robert Cheruiyot and 2010-2011 sensation Geoffrey Mutai.

It was an amazing 24 hours for the Boston Marathon. The rumors had been circulating for over a month that Boston was hot on the heels of securing Alan Webb's marathon debut. Webb, the American record holder at the mile, had been training under the tutelage of American marathon star Alberto Salazar for the past 19 months. While sucking at the mile, Webb had enjoyed tremendous success on the roads under Salazar, outkicking Galen Rupp over 5,000m at the Applies Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot.

New York City Marathon
Meb Keflezighi reacts in an on court ceremony honoring the marathon winners during a time out of the New York Knicks, New Orleans Hornets game at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 2, 2009. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Not to mention, Webb is white. "Let's be honest, Boston loves it's white stars. Can anyone say Larry Legend?," said Boyle in a rather candid moment yesterday in reference to basketball star Larry Bird.

Webb was set to sign with Boston, but then word broke yesterday that Webb was parting with coach Alberto Salazar. The break from Alberto was too much of a risk for Boston, as they decided bringing in a miler to run a marathon was crazy.

"Sure, Webb has run one more 10,000m than Matt Tegenkamp, but at his core, Webb is a miler and without Alberto's guidance, we couldn't take the risk of signing him," said Boyle.

With Webb out of the picture, Boston had a hole to fill. So it turned to American Olympic silver medallist and New York City Champion Meb Keflezighi.

"We had some reservations about Meb being American enough. But then I learned President Obama was born in Africa like Meb, so that really helped alleviate my fears. Plus Meb's brother and agent, Merhawi, he wanted so much money for Meb - what is more American than that?"

The biggest loser in this whole thing may have been the (Bronx) New York Easter Marathon. Mary Wittenberg, head of the New York City Marathon, was going to buy the free, trail, spring (Bronx) New York Marathon and sign Meb to run it, because the NYRR seems to be attracting all the top Americans to its races. Now however, Meb is running Boston.

Wittenberg, when reached for comment, was heard to be muttering something under her breath about Houston.

Editor's Note: While races often release press releases to the media in advance and embargo them until a certain time, yesterday was the first time we've seen an actual press conference embargoed. For some reason, John Hancock said we could not announce the signing of Meb until 12:00:01 am on 4/1/2011.


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