The Victory Lap

Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final game as a professional basketball player. Every fan who witnessed Kobe’s masterpiece knew they would never get to see the legend run the floor at The Staples Center again and Kobe’s performance did not disappoint.

Derek Jeter hit a signature, walk-off single in his final plate appearance at Yankee Stadium. The fans inside the park didn’t know what to do with themselves they were so excited. They yelled, clapped and high-fived and hugged. There was some serious hugging going on. And there were tears, of course. Fans accepted that they would never see Jeter run out on the field again. Jeter’s last act was almost as incredulous as his entire career.

Which brings me to Meb.

Runners don’t retire, right? Running is a lifestyle so we just keep doing it. Joan Benoit Samuelson will probably break 3 hours in 2018 and she’s over 60 years old. That’s absurd. But did she ever retire? Has any runner ever really retired? I can’t think of any, except for one: Meb.

Meb is retiring in New York City of all places. When I heard the news I immediately thought, “We have to do something. This is a massive opportunity.” But what?

We need to give Meb the longest victory lap anyone has ever seen. We need to let Meb know, over the course of 26.2 miles, how much we have appreciated all he has done for our sport. We need to give Meb the Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, Big Papi, Peyton Manning retirement party he so deserves.

How?

Show up in NYC on November 5th with signs that say “Thank You Meb.” Or if you can’t be there, share your Meb story and add the hashtag #TYMeb at the end. Trust me, Meb will see all of it. If Kobe can score 60 in his last game, why can’t Meb benefit from hundreds of thousands of fans urging him on to give it one last shot. Let Meb know that we are grateful, as a community of runners.

Meb is the quintessential ambassador of running. Honest. Hard working. Humble. Grateful. He didn’t get to where he is by being lucky. Quite the opposite, really. Meb got to where he is today because he worked harder than most.

Fun Fact: Meb was never the #1 seed going into a race and he isn’t the #1 seed going into his last competitive marathon in New York. Something tells me Meb’s last lap will be one for the ages and I don’t want you to miss it.

The video we produced for Meb (and for the sports community) is meant to inspire and force reflection. We haven’t ever seen a runner like Meb and I doubt we ever will again. We hope you take the time to watch Meb’s story and recognize that Meb’s impact goes beyond just our sport.

So let’s give Meb his Victory Lap. He earned it.

 

Everybody has a Meb story. Share yours: #TYMeb

 

View our other Milestones episodes:

  • The Game Changer | The debut episode of Milestones, looks back at the 1998 Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, which was the game changer of the running industry.
  • The Champion | Featuring three-time Super Bowl champion, Roger Craig, who was a founding member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon.
  • The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll | The episode highlights why runners dressing up as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a part of our history.
  • A Run to Remember | Featuring wear blue: run to remember, an organization that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military.
  • Positively Harriette | In 2015 Harriette Thompson became the oldest woman in history to run a marathon.
  • The Celebration | A thank you to the participants, volunteers, sponsors, and staff that have made 20 years of running possible.

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