April 18, 2014
At the pre-race press conference today, John Hancock paraded out all of the elite athletes at once. Unlike New York which brings them out over several days with several sessions per day, Boston’s media day is an all you can eat buffet.
It’s hard as a media member to figure out who you want to talk to as there is no chance you have time to talk to everyone. Thankfully for us, while John Hancock corporate was making a speech, we found ourselves seated right next to Bob Larsen, the coach of Olympic silver medallist Meb Keflezighi.
The soon to be 39-year-old Keflezighi is viewed by many as America’s best bet to end the 30 race streak drought on the men’s side in Boston (Greg Meyer is the last American champion from 1983) since he won a World Marathon Major in 2009 in New York.
We asked Larsen how Meb was doing and were pleased to get a positive response.
While there was a slight delay before he answered, Larsen said Meb was doing well and said that they hadn’t “pushed the envelope” and that Meb was “going to the starting line healthy.”
At age 39, a healthy Meb is the #1 thing American fans want, particularly since we learned he missed five days of training prior to last month’s New York City Half.
“I’m feeling good. The New York Half didn’t go the way I wanted it (Meb ran 62:53 on March16), but since things have turned to the positve. I’ve been at altitude for four weeks and just landed this morning. It’s a 24 hour trip for me,” said Meb. “The mileage is there -which is what I didn’t have (at the New York marathon in November). The tempos are there -I feel very comfortable (on them). The speed is probably not where I’d want to be, but at the same time, it’s a marathon. I hope to be competitive like I always am and do my best.”
“No matter what the outcome is I know that I’ve done the best that I can… You know, give it a shot,” said Keflezighi.
When asked by what he meant about the speed not being there, Keflezighi said he hadn’t done a lot of short sprint work on the track – 200s and 400s – but was encouraged by his final speed session on Thursday. He also said he wished his tempos had been “a little quicker.”
“I just want(ed) to be healthy when I get to the start line. I have all those accumulate miles over my career. Even if I cut back my mileage (to stay healthy), I think I’m going to be ok,” said Keflezighi who said he’s “pretty sure” he had a “minor tear” in his hamstring “or something close to it” when he missed five days before the 2014 NYC Half.
Last week, Keflezighi had another injury scare with tightness in his quad, but he took a day off and it went away.
Full interview below.