The trailblazer has nothing to lose as he guns for another Olympic medal.
Mebrahtom Keflezighi’s a nice guy, but he’s got teeth. Sharpening them was a prerequisite for any post-collegiate elite runner hoping to reverse the abysmal state of U.S. distance running in 2000. Keflezighi, known affectionately by family and fans as Meb, proved that American men could compete on a world-class level again.
“When Joe Vigil and I put the Mammoth Track Club together [in 2001], we had Meb and Deena [Kastor] as our leaders,” says Bob Larsen, Keflezighi’s coach for the past 18 years and the now-retired cross-country and track and field coach at UCLA. “They showed the path. People got confident again and said, ‘If they can train really hard at altitude, compete internationally and win Olympic medals, so can we.’ That growth is still taking place.” Continue reading