Run with Greatness: Marathon Meb & the Bellin Run

April 20, 2016

One of the best things about the Bellin Run is that ordinary folks get to run with the legends of the sport. And one of the best examples of this is our ongoing friendship with Marathon Meb.

Known in the running world simply as “Meb,” Meb Keflezighi is a true running icon. He captured the hearts of millions when he won the Boston Marathon in 2014, the year after bombings shook that event and our country as a whole. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be Meb’s fourth, and he’s the only athlete in history to win the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon and an Olympic medal (a silver at the 2004 games) — despite the fact that he had never run the mile until middle school.

Meb’s running credentials are stellar, and we love what he does on the course. But better still is the person he is when he’s not setting records or making an entire nation proud.

As we’ve learned, Meb is the kind of guy who stands at the Bellin Run finish line to congratulate ordinary runners long after he has crossed. He’s the kind of guy who would stay all day with meet-and-greet fans if his manager would let him. And he’s the kind of guy who starts his own charitable foundation to support and promote youth health, education and fitness.

With two Bellin Runs under his belt and a third coming up June 11, we were thrilled to welcome Meb to kick off the Bellin’s milestone 40th anniversary event earlier this year. He brought his characteristic humor, humility and grace to our Kids for Running and Corporate Challenge kickoff events, also meeting with local schoolchildren to encourage health, wellness and working hard to achieve one’s goals.

Meb’s story is captivating. Born in Eritrea, he and his family were forced to flee the war-torn East African country when he was a child. They made their way to Italy and eventually the United States, where Meb learned English and discovered the hidden running talent that, combined with a tireless work ethic, would one day make him famous. He graduated from UCLA and became a U.S. citizen in 1998.

It was incredible to watch Meb’s spellbound audiences as he told the story of his life, using his unique brand of motivation to inspire and encourage young and old alike. It was heartwarming to see their ear-to-ear grins as he signed autographs, snapped selfies and swapped running stories after the sessions had ended.

We’ve got an amazing elite field — legends of the sport Uta Pippig, Joan Samuelson and Bill Rodgers, to name but a few — and we’re thrilled that Marathon Meb has taken his place among them. You can’t run with Meb in Rio, but you can in Green Bay. Don’t miss your chance to run with greatness June 11.

Register today for the 40th annual Bellin Run on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Visit to learn more.

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