Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon this morning in 2:08.48, the first American victor in 29 years. (Lisa Rainsberger won in 1985; most media outlets are reporting it’s been 31 years since an American win because Greg Meyer won in 1983. Fact check much?) I got chills as I watched Meb make the lefthand turn onto Boylston Street and close in on the finish line via the live feed. And how about Shalane Flanagan, a Massachusetts native who so badly wanted to win for the city she loves, but had to settle for a PR, seventh place, and the consolation that her record-setting pace helped Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo set a new course record (2:18.57) en route to the podium’s top spot and golden laurels upon her head. Both Shalane and Meb ran courageous races beyond measure, and inspired anyone watching who remembers the bombs, blood, and shock of the terrorist attack at the finish line last year.
Boston strong, indeed. And how about Meb as the face of America for a day? His family left war-torn Eritrea, lived in Italy for two years, and then emigrated to the U.S. when he was 12. To further the underdog narrative, Meb turns 39 next month. By most counts, he’s well past his athletic prime. There’s a rich story behind the face above, one that makes me believe anew there’s something to that whole American Dream after all. What a day. Now, for a run.