Meb Keflezighi to run New York City Marathon three months before Olympic trials
Meb Keflezighi will run his 10th New York City Marathon on Nov. 1, which is 104 days before he plans to run the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon in Los Angeles on Feb. 13.
Keflezighi is the last American to win each of an Olympic marathon medal (silver, 2004), the New York City Marathon (2009) and the Boston Marathon (2014).
His competition in New York will include the three men who finished ahead of him in the race last year -- Kenyan Wilson Kipsang and Ethiopians Lelisa Desisa and Gebre Gebremariam (more on the elite field here).
The turnaround from New York to the Olympic trials would be Keflezighi’s third shortest span between competitive marathons, according to the track and field statistics website Tilastopaja.
In 69 days, Keflezighi finished sixth in the 2011 New York City Marathon and won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
In 70 days, Keflezighi finished second in both the 2004 Olympic marathon and the 2004 New York City Marathon.
Keflezighi, who turns 41 in 2016, noted that he’s older now but also wiser.
“Which one would you like to have, the youth or the wisdom?” he told Sports Illustrated on Sunday. “So that’s the one thing I have to deal with. ... I’m always year-round training. This is no different.”
Keflezighi, who turns 41 in 2016, will try along with Bernard Lagat next year to become the oldest U.S. Olympic runner of all time, according to sports-reference.com. Keflezighi (UCLA) and Lagat (Washington State) competed against each other in college in the 1990s. Lagat is a 1500m and 5000m runner whose trials are in July in Eugene, Ore.
Keflezighi could well be the favorite at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, since his 2014 Boston Marathon winning time is the fastest by an American over 26.2 miles on any course in the last two years.
The top three at trials (live on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra) make the U.S. Olympic team.
His top challenger at trials could be three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, who finished ahead of Keflezighi at the Boston Marathon on April 20. Ritzenhein hasn’t announced which fall marathon he will contest, if he decides to enter one in advance of the Olympic trials.
Two-time Olympian Ryan Hall has struggled since finishing second to Keflezighi at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, completing one marathon since, a 20th-place finish in the 2014 Boston Marathon.
In total, three of the seven Americans who have run sub-2:12 marathons since the London Olympics have signed up for fall marathons -- Keflezighi, Nick Arciniaga (also New York) and Fernando Cabada (Chicago Marathon on Oct. 11).
Keflezighi also told Sports Illustrated on Sunday that he planned to run at least one more New York City Marathon after this year’s edition.
MORE TRACK AND FIELD: Meb Keflezighi hopes to be an example for Ryan Hall as trials approach