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Meb Keflezighi done as pro, but wants to run Boston in Martin Richard’s honor

April 17, 2017 GMT

The Boston Marathon said goodbye to one of its favorite sons -- at least in a competitive sense -- yesterday when Meb Keflezighi ran down Boylston Street for the final time as a professional.

The 2014 race winner waved and blew kisses to the Boylston Street crowd yesterday. Keflezighi was hampered by cramps in his quads near the halfway point and finished 13th in 2:17:00. His win three years ago was the first by an American since Greg Meyer’s 1983 victory.

The 41-year-old Keflezighi spoke briefly with Martin Richard’s family at the finish line and said he would like to run for the family’s foundation in the future.

Richard was eight years old in 2013 when he died from injuries sustained in an explosion near the finish line. Keflezighi said the loss suffered by his family made a big impact on him.

“When I saw the eight-year-old Martin Richard, all I could think of was that could have been my daughter spectating,” Keflezighi said. “I got to meet his brother, sister and mom. Every year I’ve come here I’ve met Bill’s family and one year I want to wear that jersey and run in his honor.”

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Yesterday’s marathon was Keflezighi’s 25th and he plans on running New York City, a race he won in 2009, for the final time in the fall. He thanked the BAA for giving him the opportunity to run over the years, and he savored his final race over the fabled course.

“You go out there and execute the best that you can,” he said. “When I got to that finish line I was just happy to have finished my 25th marathon. I have one more and hopefully there’ll be something here in Boston beyond. 2014 was pretty special and today was pretty special. The crowd got me through it.”