Mebnificent.

Just an ordinary Monday, you know, hanging with my buddy Meb, chit chatting about running and shit.

Me and My Buddy, Meb.

Me and My Buddy, Meb.

I met Meb. *faints*

Just one day after a 4th place finish at the TCS New York City Marathon, I freaking met Meb Keflezighi.  I have to admit, I got a little starry eyed. That’s a whole lot of greatness in one small, powerful package. Gracious, animated, elegant and so much more. Meb embodies what it means to be a champion. I was runner-struck.

I attended a Generation UCAN sponsored evening at Yale University with Meb, Adidas- Elite Coach Greg McMillan, who has coached Olympians and all runners in between, and a whole slew of local runners. Meb has been affiliated with UCAN since the Connecticut company’s inception. Generation UCAN is a powder-based energy sports drink containing “super starch,” which is a slow release carbohydrate that does not result in an insulin spike that comes from ingesting simple sugars and such. In short, UCAN translates into sustained energy release, key to an endurance athlete. Meb runs on UCAN. And based on the discussion, I can see why.

The Autograph. His father used to tell him to practice. "One day you'll be famous..."

The Autograph. His father used to tell him to practice. “One day you’ll be famous…”

What a humble guy. And so very approachable. He talked about his NY finish the day before and how proud he was to enter Central Park in 4th, with the crowd chanting U-S-A. He said he threw his arms up and cheered, soaking it all in, happy to be in the place he was in behind “The Greatest Runner in the World.”

{Incredulously} And there I was!

That made me giggle. He is clearly among The Greats. He is the only runner to have an Olympic Medal, and wins in both New York and Boston. So yeah. There’s that. Yet, The Excitement. It was genuine.

Cresting Heartbreak Hill. Boston Strong!

Cresting Heartbreak Hill. Boston Strong!

Of course, he talked about Boston. He thought about Boston for 365 days after the bombing. He hung around in the grandstands “chasing the sun to keep warm” after finishing in 2013 to cheer on the finishers. He wound up leaving after 4 hours- he had an appointment- and narrowly avoided the bombing. That I did not know. I wouldn’t have expected an Elite to linger at the finish, cheering. And yet, Meb did. For one full year he thought about Boston. He thought about how he “was going to fix Bolyston Street.” It choked me up. I immediately thought of Tina and I cheering him on at the crest of Heartbreak Hill this year, willing him to win. Such a moment. And win he did. With grace.

No showboating.
No gloating.
Just pride.

What a guy.

Have you ever met someone famous who left you star struck? Three Famous People You Want to Have Beers With. GO!

 

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56 thoughts on “Mebnificent.

  1. hmmmm…I don’t think I have ever met anyone who left me star struck. I’ll have to think on that. Drinking buddies are easy. I’ll stick with the running theme. Meb, for sure, especially given your glowing review. Kara Goucher, because she impresses me in so many ways and I want to give her a hug after Sunday’s race. And Scott Jurek, who probably doesn’t even drink but what the hell.

    • Well there was that one time you went bar hopping with Demi Moore…..

      I wish you were with me!!!! We could have giggled together and freaked out then went for beers. By the way, I’m trying these UCAN samples. My buddy loves ’em.

      • I think I was too drunk to be star struck when we were out with Demi Moore. I was a little in awe when I met Ralph Fiennes for the first time because he is clearly so brilliant at what he does, but I had heard so much about him already that it was hard to be “struck.” He sure was impressive though.
        I was pretty star struck when we posed with the World Series trophy last year.

      • That was pretty stinkin’ awesome. I met John Cusack in Paris. And Spike Lee at JFK. We were waiting for our bags together. I also was at a heavy weight title fight at Mandalay Bay ringside with Eve.

        Who the fuck am I? Beyoncé?

      • Yes. Yes, you are, Ms. B. Just remembered when I was star struck!!! We were coming back from California in the 80’s – heyday of Celtics reign – and they were on our plane! The whole team!! Larry Bird! Robert Parrish! Kevin McHale!! I was over the moon and got their autographs. They were all incredibly nice.

  2. So happy for ya and jealous at the same time Colby haha! Ummm I’d love to have a beer with Meb and Kara Goucher. I can’t believe I haven’t crossed paths with Meb considering that he frequents the Tampa Bay area often due to family being here and warm weather during the winter. Famous people I’ve met … Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers 🙂

    • WOWZAH! Lookit you rubbing shoulders with The Greats! I was so impressed by him. He spoke to every person there. I see why his reputation precedes him. Meanwhile….I FREAKING MET MEB!!!! 🙂

      • hahaha yeah, yeah, yeah rub it in hahaha lol 😉 yeppers, I got to sit down with Bill Rodgers prior to running my first marathon for a few minutes. He was one of the guest speakers at the expo.

  3. How freaking cool! Look at you rubbing elbows with the elites! I bet that was such an inspiring experience for you!
    I’d have beers with just about anybody, by the way. Seriously, not picky at all. At this point today I’d take PBR pounders with the guy who drives around town in an el camino and wears nut hugger shorts and tube socks.

  4. I would have crapped my pants. I’ve heard that he is an amazing person to meet, and just so personable. I love that. I’ve waited on famous people at my restaurants, but my favorite of all time was John Grisham. He was a regular of mine back in Cville, and he and his wife Renee are just amazing people. Just amazing people.

    • Believe me. If I had a sports bra on I would have rushed the stage and thrown it at him. I was semi-swooning. He was incredibly personable and signed every damn autograph in the joint. John Grisham?!? That is so cool!!!

  5. I am totally fangirling all over your blog right now. I feel like I’m in a 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon type situation…Salt knows Colby. Colby knows Meb. WAY closer than I ever thought I’d get. 🙂

    I don’t usually get starstruck, but I would probably be completely dumbstruck in this situation!

    • Giddy. I was giddy. And to think I tried to be all like….Oh Hey Meb. Whaddup? No big. Instead I had 40,000 teeth in my head and was talking and giggling like a Crazy Pants.

      So much for subtlety. 🙂

  6. Awesome! I hear he is a great guy. I was at a presentation by Dave mcgillivray and didn’t feel comfortable going up to him.
    A lot of people did and got pics. He’s the most humble high achiever you’ll ever meet. But I didn’t want to be all star struck. I see him around once in a while so I’m sure we’ll get a chance to talk.

  7. When I see famous runners I never talk to them! Heck, even fast people in my town make me nervous. I get a shock when they know my name. Just so you know for next time, you weren’t just runner-struck, you also had a run boner. I know from your description that you were hiding a rager underneath that red coat. I’m so terrible, I’ll just leave now…

  8. Very cool!!! The only “famous” runner I’ve met is Ed Whitlock (the first person over 70 years old to run a marathon in less than three hours with a time of 2:59:10 in 2003). He lives in my town and my run club had a big dinner to congratulate him in 2003. I’ve seen him outside his house doing yard work etc while I’ve been out on a run.

    • WOW! That’s awesome!!!! Talk about inspiring! Tina and I always talk about how we’re going to be two Old Lady Running BFFs. I will be rocking a gray ponytail and she a Burberry plaid headband. 😉

  9. I met Shalane Flanagan in DC on our tourist stop after Boston. I actually stopped her while she was running so I could talk to her! Ha! I shook for about an hour after. Talked to Kathrine Switzer at the Boston expo and stalked Hal Hidgon’s booth to no avail. Crazy meeting the greats!!! Would love to meet Meb!!!

  10. Oh my gosh, I don’t think I have ever been so envious of anyone ever!! How incredible, and inspiring to know he is such a gracious down to earth person despite being an absolute idol in the running world!

  11. I was so bummed when I heard Meb would be at Yale when I had to be in the Midwest. You’re so lucky and I’m jealous.

    (PS, not to be a jerk, but it’s Greg McMillan, not David. I am coached by one of his coaches and got to meet him last month.)

  12. Mebcellent! I’d like to meet him. And I’ve heard good things about ucaan. I get to meet lots of famous people in my line of work, but I don’t get impressed unless it’s someone I really respect – like when I met Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright. I got invited to meet Bart Yasso when hen comes to town next week, but I dunno if I gonna go.
    Famous people to beer with? I think Jimmy Buffett, Adam Sandler, and Matthew Mcconaughey would be fun. Or else I’d like to solve some mysteries – like meet the killer of JFK, Jack the Ripper, etc. Yeah, I’m weird.

  13. I’ve met Meb twice! Once at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, and once at the Eugene Marathon. He is incredibly humble, nice, and gracious. In Eugene, where I was traveling with a large group of runners from my running group, he took a group photo with us. I was the photographer, and was feeling inwardly sad about not being in the photo. As soon as I took the photo he walked over and said, ” Now I’ll take one just with you since you didn’t get to be in the picture.” It was as if he read my mind. I’ve also run with Dean Karnazes, but my favorite celebrity sighting and photo is with Scott Jurek. I also got to see him multiple times at Leadville two summers ago when we crewed for a friend running Leadville 100, and Jurek ran as well. He is all around down-to-earth and adorable.

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