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A Runner for The Ages

On Oct. 14, 37-year-old U.S. marathoner Meb Keflezighi was watching ESPN when he saw a clip of Derek Jeter, one year his senior, writhing from the pain of a broken ankle. "Man, I should send him a copy of the book," Keflezighi thought, referring to his memoir, Run to Overcome. Thirty-seven-year-old Ray Lewis—who tore his triceps on the same day—could probably use a copy too. The book details Keflezighi's long rehab from a broken hip that he suffered at the 2008 U.S. Olympic marathon trials in New York City. After that race, in which Keflezighi—the '04 Olympic silver medalist—failed to make the team, his coach, Bob Larsen, told him, "It has been an honor coaching you," just in case it was the end of Meb's career. But it wasn't. Not even close. Keflezighi returned to New York City in '09 and became the first American man in 27 years to win the marathon. This year he ran his fastest marathon ever (2:09:08) to win the Olympic trials and then finished just one spot off the podium in London. On Sunday, Keflezighi will toe the line in New York for the eighth time. "If nobody told me my birthday," he says, "I wouldn't know my age."

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KIRBY LEE/USA TODAY SPORTS/US PRESSWIRE (KEFLEZIGHI)