When did you decide you wanted to become a professional runner?
Meb Keflezighi: 1997, after doubling in the 5k and 10k in the NCAA outdoor championships.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Meb Keflezighi: The Silver Medal in Athens and the NYC Marathon win
Who inspires you?
Meb Keflezighi: My parents.
What are your goals after your running career?
Meb Keflezighi: To have my own business, to also coach and be a motivational speaker.
Do you feel you are a history maker?
Meb Keflezighi: I’d like to consider myself as a small part of our running history and the resurgence of US distance running which was a goal of mine since going pro in 1998. Most importantly, I’m achieving the American Dream which is what America was founded for.
What is the recipe to become an Olympian?
Meb Keflezighi: Discipline to wake up focused every morning, consistency in the training throughout the years, and the willingness and ability to sacrifice some things in order to pursue your ultimate goals.
What is your favorite show?
Meb Keflezighi: George Lopez
Who makes you laugh the most?
Meb Keflezighi: Chris Rock
What do you do for fun?
Meb Keflezighi: Socialize.
What did you do with your laurel wreaths from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the NYC Marathon?
Meb Keflezighi: Unfortunately, my Athens wreath was stolen during a press conference, but a kind hearted person got me a replacement. My wreath from NYC is framed on my wall.
Where do you keep your Silver Medal?
Meb Keflezighi: The bank.
What was your first job?
Meb Keflezighi: McDonald’s
What is your most embarrassing moment during a race?
Meb Keflezighi: Getting lost in a race. As a freshman in high school, the guides in the race gave me the wrong directions because they thought I was last in the race, when I was actually first. But I still finished in the top 10.
What do you think about when you run?
Meb Keflezighi: A lot of things go through my mind when I’m running. A lot of times I think about my family and God. On easy runs I think of my to-do list for the day. I visualize my races in practice.
Do you run with music? If so, what type?
Meb Keflezighi: Occasionally. I like to listen to inspiring songs.
Who is your favorite current runner?
Meb Keflezighi: Haile Gebrselassie and Paul Tergat.
How many miles a day do you run?
Meb Keflezighi: An average of 10-15 miles per day.
How do you prevent injuries?
Meb Keflezighi: You cannot control injuries, but you can do things that help decrease the likelihood. I do the little things, such as getting massages, icing, and lots of stretches before and after working out.
Where is your favorite place to run?
Meb Keflezighi: Mammoth, its distance runners’ heaven.
What is the scariest thing you have done?
Meb Keflezighi: Buying my first house in Mammoth was a scary experience. Mammoth is about 6 hours away from my hometown of San Diego.
What is your favorite quote?
Meb Keflezighi: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” This is the definition of success, according to legendary UCLA Basketball coach John Wooden.
Do you feel like you’re bringing more attention to track & field?
Meb Keflezighi: Yes, specifically to distance running, and the marathon.