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Olympian to race in the 10K

JANE MONTI PHOTO | Meb_Keflezighi has accepted an invitation to be in the 2014 running of the Shelter Island 10K.

JANE MONTI PHOTO | Meb Keflezighi has accepted an invitation to be in the 2014 running of the Shelter Island 10K.

The 2014 running of the Shelter Island 10K has imported some star power.

Meb Keflezighi, one of the world’s elite long distance runners, will be gracing Shelter Island’s singular sporting event on June 21. A native of Eritrea who immigrated to this country when he was 12, Mr. Keflezighi became an American citizen in 1998.

A graduate of UCLA, Mr. Keflezighi is a three-time national cross country champion and a silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic marathon, the first American medalist in that event in more than three decades.

In 2009 he won the New York City Marathon.

“Meb is a current runner still competing at a high level,” said Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro. “He’s going to raise a lot of sprits.”

In addition, Mr. Keflezighi will attract other top-notch runners to the 10K. He’s currently in training for the Boston Marathon.

Ms. Adipietro said there are plans to bring Mr. Keflezighi to the Island before the 10K and introduce him to youth groups. “He’s very interested in meeting young people,” she said.

Plans are to contact youth running and track clubs across the East End so Mr. Keflezighi can share his inspirational story of growing up poor in a remote African village and finding the promise of America fulfilled for him and his family.

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