On the eve of the 2019 Boston Marathon, Skechers sent us this short interview with Meb Keflezighi about his Boston Marathon win and his 2019 Grand Marshal role on Monday!
1. How does it feel coming back to the Boston Marathon as the Grand Marshal? A deserved honor after becoming the first American man in 31 years to win the race in 2014.
Meb Keflezighi: I’m forever changed by that special day in April 2014. To come back five years later as the Grand Marshal of this historic race means so much to me. I’m filled with gratitude for how my life has been impacted by the sport of running. This weekend will be a time of reflecting on my journey in the sport and reconnecting with the people who have made it so meaningful.
2. As the only runner in history to win the New York Marathon, the Boston Marathon and an Olympic Medal – what are your tips for athletes aspiring to fill your (running) shoes?
Meb Keflezighi: Patience and consistent effort are the keys to long-term success. When I started my career, none of these accolades were a sure thing. But I made a plan for how to get there and stuck with it through the ups and downs. It takes many years to become the best runner you can be. Patience and consistency are key to reaching your full potential.
3. You won the 2014 Boston Marathon in your signature Skechers GOmeb Speed 3. How important is it to have the perfect shoe – especially when running 26.2 miles?
Meb Keflezighi: When I joined Skechers Performance, I was given direct access to their design and product team. They asked many questions and listened to my feedback. We worked closely on tailoring the product to the unique demands of the marathon and what it would take for a shoe to fulfill my footwear needs. By 2014, I had been running marathons for 12 years and knew a lot about my body and what I needed from a shoe. That day in Boston, everything clicked, including the fit and feel of the Skechers GOmeb Speed 3. That shoe let me execute a perfect race.
4. You just released your third book, 26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career. What is the major lesson you hope your readers take away from your story?
Meb Keflezighi: My career as a marathon runner had an enormous impact on the person I am today. Running taught me how to set goals, handle adversity and push myself beyond my limits. While the book is filled with practical lessons and insights for runners, it’s really about how to learn about yourself through life’s journey. Each trial we face is another opportunity for progress. As Frederick Douglass said, “without struggle there is no progress.”
5. People say that running is a solitary event, but your family has been with you at so many races and has been so closely aligned with running over the years – your daughter even helped you hold the finish line tape at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon last month. What has having your family’s support meant to you and what does running mean to your family? Are any of your daughters aspiring runners?
Meb Keflezighi: We’ve always made physical fitness a priority in our family, whether it’s playing outside, playing soccer, or running the occasional 5k. In our home, running is a great part of life, but it’s not the only thing in life. We try to live a balanced life. This is why having my family with me throughout my career gave me such an advantage. There’s a lot of pressure at the elite level. But having family around helped me keep a healthy perspective. They know running is just one part of who I am and love me no matter how fast I run. I could never replace that kind of love and support.
6. You’ve been an elite ambassador for Skechers Performance since 2011. How does it feel to see how far the brand has come – especially after being honored with Runner’s World’s Editors’ Choice for the Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper?
Meb Keflezighi: The people behind Skechers Performance are like family to me. They’ve been with me through the most meaningful moments of my career and supported me when I was struggling. To see so many runners wearing the shoes and hearing positive feedback feels like a personal victory for me, because I feel so invested in this company. The Runner’s World Editor’s Choice Award is the result of years of hard work from everyone involved. And it’s only getting better from here.