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Happy 40th Birthday, Meb! Many Happy Returns!

Meb Keflezighi turns 40 today and we'd like to wish him a very happy birthday.

Meb Keflezighi turns 40 today and we’d like to wish him a very happy birthday.

Normally, when someone turns 40 you hear people saying, “Geez, where has the time gone?” with the assumption that the years have slipped by without much to show for it, or “You’re over the hill!” as if someone is suddenly on the downside of life after reaching 40. But not in Meb’s case. We’re pretty sure this three-time U.S. Olympian has made the most of his 40 years, extending his competitive running career well past the normal range of most world-class runners, and it appears that he still has plenty left in the tank.

Since the start of 2012, when he was merely 36 and change, he’s won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, placed fourth in the 2012 Olympic marathon, won the 2014 U.S. half marathon championships, won the 2014 Boston Marathon (in a PR of 2:08:37), placed fourth in the 2014 New York City Marathon and placed eighth in the 2015 Boston Marathon. Along the way, he’s inspired runners young, old and in between with his amazing life story and tenaciousness.

RELATED: The Mystique of Meb

He’s been able to remain competitive because he’s been smart and consistent with his training, remained diligent about doing strength and form drills and other “extra stuff” and he’s kept his competitive fire burning hot.

By turning 40, he’s now eligible to race as a masters runner and go after 40-and-older age-group records.We’re pretty sure he could take down the U.S. 40-44 age-group records for 10K (29:37,Steve Plasencia, 2001), half marathon (1:03:23, Mbarak Hussein, 2005) and the marathon (2:13:52, Mbarak Hussein, 2006) right now.

More importantly, assuming he stays healthy, he’ll certainly be a strong contender at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles in February, and if he finishes in the top three in that race, he’ll race in the 2016 Rio Olympics at age 41.

Cheers to you, Meb, and many happy returns!

PHOTOS: See Meb Keflezighi’s Career Highlights