It’s been a tremendous year for last year’s winner of the Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi. From throwing the first pitch at Fenway Park to being invited to the White House, it’s safe to say that he has become a superstar in the running community. And while he may not have taken first place again this year, what he did at the finish line this past Monday only cements his status as an inspiration.
Meb, always the gentleman #BostonMarathon pic.twitter.com/nCrrE56lVA
— Eric Levenson (@ejleven) April 20, 2015
Making his way to the finish line, Meb grabbed the hand of a female runner who was crossing at the same time, raising their arms together in triumph. While she initially looked surprised, once she realized what was happening, a huge smile appeared on her face. What’s even more incredible about the moment is that Meb had to sprint to reach her (and also did not know who she was).
“I had to sprint hard to do that, but that is what the sport is [all about],” Meb said. “We start together; for 26.2 miles, [we share] the struggle. I saw this lady out at front, and I was very emotional. I was crying on Boylston thinking of memories both good and bad, I made a little surge, it was a fun moment . . . hopefully it will be memorable for both of us.”
It turns out that the woman whose hand Meb grabbed was Hilary Dionne, who is also an elite American runner. The pair later met at the elite finishers’ area, sharing a big hug. Despite struggling the entire marathon, Hilary said, “It made what was a challenging race all worth it.” Meb explained that his gesture was what the running community was all about ¡ª?”to lift one another up.” Before the pair departed, he told Hilary that if she needed help with anything, he was there for her. From the sound of things, it looks like it will be a moment that Hilary won’t soon forget.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Michele Foley