Following Meb Keflezighi’s improbable, highly charged win at the 118th Boston Marathon, could a renewed interest in the sport of distance running be about to take wing? There was as similar spark after Meb and Deena Kastor won Olympic Marathon medals in Athens 2004, and following Meb’s win at the New York City Marathon 2009. But with all the emotional weight carried into Boston 2014 by the horrors of 2013’s bombings, Meb’s win on Patriot’s Day generated even more electricity than had he simply been the first American man to win Boston in 31 years.
With Meb’s shining visage showing up in newspapers worldwide, then his appearances all around the country in the aftermath, the sport has a true red-white-and-blue hero to celebrate and for kids to emulate. Even Shalane Flanagan‘s brave front-running seventh-place finish at Boston showcased the kind of spirit that seeds interest in the hearts of young ones. Funny how heroes can make a connection and stir interest.
That sense of renewal in road racing as a sport may have already been in the zeitgeist, however, because I received the following e-mail Friday April 11th while I was out in Honolulu covering the 3rd annual Hapalua, Hawaii’s Half Marathon. (more…)