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Meb Keflezighi to race 26th, and final, marathon in New York City

The 42-year-old American, a marathon winner in Boston and New York and an Olympic silver medallist, reaches the home straight on his illustrious career

New York City Marathon

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One of the greats of the sport is set to retire from competitive running after the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon.

American Meb Keflezighi, the only man to have won an Olympic medal, the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon, is racing his 26th – one race for every mile of a marathon – career 42.2K on Sunday. He won the race in 2009 after winning Olympic silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Keflezighi, who goes by Meb, short for Mebrahtom, finished fourth in the marathon at the 2012 Olympics in London, one of the great races of his career as he passed five runners over the final 12K and 13 in the second half of the race.

The 42-year-old four-time Olympian has a lifetime best in the marathon of 2:08:37 and famously won the Boston Marathon in 2014, the year after the bombings at the race’s finish line. The Eritrean-born long-distance runner competed at the 2017 Boston Marathon, his 25th race at the iconic road distance.

Meb Keflezighi
Photo: Michael Doyle.

Keflezighi began his marathon career in New York City in 2002. According to a tweet he posted on Friday, Keflezighi has more than 30 family members in the Big Apple to cheer him on when the race begins on Sunday morning.

With a deep international field in the New York City Marathon – including former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang, defending New York City champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and IAAF World Half-Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor – it’s unlikely that Keflezighi will be contend for the victory. Though with Meb, he can never quite be counted out.

Sunday will be Keflezighi’s 11th New York City Marathon, a record within the elite division.