The next race for the winner of the Boston Marathon will be run along the streets and roads of Shelter Island.
Meb Keflezighi, who ran an historic race in Boston Monday, becoming the first American man in almost 30 years to win the most famous footrace race in the world, had already accepted an invitation to run in the Shelter Island 10K on June 21.
When it was announced in February that Mr. Keflezighi (pronounced kah-Flez-ghee) would participate in this year’s 10K, Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro said in an interview, “He’s going to raise a lot of spirits.”
In fact, he’s raised spirits all around the world with his victory in the first running of the Boston Marathon since the horrific terrorist attack at last year’s race. More than a million spectators crowded into an emotionally charged-Boston to cheer the American and his victory.
At 39, Mr. Keflezighi is the oldest man to break the tape in Boston since 1930. But overcoming obstacles is nothing new for him.
A native of Eritrea, who immigrated to this country when he was 12, Mr. Keflezighi became an American citizen in 1998.
His is an All-American story. Born into a family of 10 children in the poor country in the Horn of Africa, Mr. Keflezighi and his family made it to Italy and eventually to San Diego because their hard working and determined parents wanted their children to have a secure and prosperous life.
Mr. Keflezighi became a star runner at UCLA and has since run on the elite racing tour, winning a silver medal in the marathon at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Sunday night before the race in Boston, Ms. Adipietro, her husband Dr. Frank Adipietro — who would be running in his sixth Boston — and their son Liam spent some time with Mr. Keflezighi.
“We met Meb and his brother Hewi last night and talked for an hour about Shelter Island and how honored we are to have had him accept our invitation to run in the 10K,” Ms. Adipietro said. “He was gracious and asked Liam if he was fast. Liam said, ‘No, you are and I know you will run fast and win.’ ”
She added that Mr. Keflezighi “will truly be a great ambassador for our run. Watching him win after hearing his history and passion for the running community, Boston and the USA just overwhelmed me today.”