An American won the NYC Marathon yesterday for the first time in 27 years. For Meb Keflizghi, who took home the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, it was his first major victory and marked his return to running after suffering a stress fracture in his hip.
He ran the 2007 Olympic trials in New York not knowing he had the injury. His friend leading American runner Kevin Shay died of a heart attack in Central Park during that race. Keflizghi, 34, crossed the finish line yesterday and cried as he hugged his mother and his daughter. The tears were for Shay, he told reporters.
Keflizghi was born in Eritrea and became a U.S. citizen in 1998. The last American to win the NYC Marathon was Alberto Salazar who won three in a row from 1980 to 1982.
Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia finished first among women, beating favorite Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain. Radcliffe said she was hampered by tendon pain behind her knee and finished in fourth place.