Meb Keflezighi, the California resident who won the Boston Marathon the year after the bombings, took time near the finish line today to greet the family of Martin Richard.
The American Olympic runner was seen kissing the hands of Denise and Bill Richard, the parents of the 8-year-old boy who was killed in the 2013 bombings.
Afterwards, Keflezighi said in an interview with WBZ that Martin Richard “was a beautiful little kid. . . with a beautiful smile.”
Keflezighi said his interaction with the Richard family was “personal,” as he was a spectator at the marathon in 2013 as well, and also has a young daughter.
He said he has become good friends with Martin’s father, and talks to the family via text and e-mail.
“I try to be there for them as much as I can,” he said.
Meb thanking & kissing the hand of the Bill Richard, the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. pic.twitter.com/pTdai9skq0— FloTrack (@FloTrack) April 17, 2017
Keflezighi told Globe reporter Steve Annear at the finish line that he was “delighted” to be running this year’s race — which will be his last Boston Marathon.
“The crowd gets you through, and I’m just delighted to come to that finish line,” he said. “My body is aching pretty bad right now.”
In 2014, Keflezighi reportedly met with the Richard family before running the Boston Marathon.
“He was inspiring,” said Keflezighi then of the young boy who lost his life, according to Mass Live. “To have that sign ‘No more hurting people, peace’ says it all for Martin.”