Marathon runner Meb Keflezighi has won over Boston hearts countless times, like when he won the 2014 race with the names of the Boston Marathon bombing victims written on his bib to the time he crossed the finish line holding hands with a female runner.
Now, in another tug at our heartstrings, Keflezighi will once again be running in the Boston Marathon — this time, to raise money for the Martin Richard Foundation as a member of Team MR8.
Martin was eight years old when he was one of the three people killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. His family set up the Martin Richard Foundation and Team MR8 in 2014 to advance “sportsmanship, inclusion, kindness and peace” in his name.
In 2014, when he became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, Keflezighi ran with Martin’s name on his race bib. In 2017, which Keflezighi said at the time would be his last Boston Marathon, he ran up to embrace the Richard family after he crossed the finish line.
“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 said in a statement. “Our family has a love of running and the accomplishments of all of our runners is inspiring.”
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Keflezighi will be one of 115 Team MR8 members, ranging in age from 21 to 62, running on April 16. The team has a fundraising goal of $800,000 total and has already raised $635,000.
Boston College student Maggie Crowley, 23, said in a statement that she has run for Team MR8 in the past three Boston Marathons, calling it “the best experience of my life.”
“I have learned about my love for running but more importantly, I have learned about the importance and impact that kindness can have on a single person or an entire community,” she said. “In the past three years, I have seen all the good that the Martin Richard Foundation has done to better the world. I am honored, enthusiastic and excited to be accepted again to run and to help support all the wonderful things this organization does.”