Meb Keflezighi, a marathoner who came to symbolize resiliency and the Boston Strong spirit after the Marathon bombing, will be back in Hopkinton this April to run the Boston Marathon again. He’ll be running “on a non-competitive basis” to raise money for the Martin Richard Foundation , named in honor of the youngest victim of the bombing, according to Team MR8.
Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon, ran and won Boston in 2014 in honor of the victims. An American man hadn’t won since 1983, and with the race only two weeks before his 39th birthday, he was the oldest winner since at least 1930.
With the names of Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, and MIT Officer Sean Collier written on his bib, Keflezighi crossed the finish line with an official time of 2:08:37. Only five Boston Marathon winners in the past 23 years have posted faster times.
He received the Jesse Owens Award as the USA Track and Field Athlete of the Year at the end of 2014.
The foundation’s team, composed of 115 runners between age 21 and 62, has a fundraising goal of $800,000. The team has already raised $635,000 , according to a press release.
“We couldn’t be more honored to have Meb and all of our runners lace up their sneakers to take on this historic course for the mission of our foundation,” Denise and Bill Richard, Martin’s parents, wrote in the release. “Our family has a love of running and the accomplishments of all of our runners is inspiring.”
Martin was 8 years old when he was killed at the finish line. His sister, Jane, lost a leg, Denise lost an eye, and Bill suffered burns and a ruptured eardrum. Martin’s parents started the foundation to celebrate the boy’s generosity and wish for peace.
The foundation provides volunteer and community engagement opportunities for young people, according to the website. Fourteen of the team’s runners this year are under 25, the release said.
At 42, Keflezighi’s elite days may be behind him. Still, he’ll go down in history as winning Boston, the New York City Marathon, and an Olympic medal.Martha Schick can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarthaSchick.