Meb Keflezighi winning the 2009 NYC Marathon. Photo:
Meb Keflezighi winning the 2009 NYC Marathon. Photo:

The ING New York City Marathon 2009 men’s champion, Meb Keflezighi, the first American men’s winner of the race since Alberto Salazar in 1982, will have a special ride in next week’s 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Keflezighi will ride aboard the Stature of Liberty float alongside Miss America 2009, Katie Stam. The parade will be broadcast nationally on NBC from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in each local time zone across the country.

Keflezighi ran a brilliant strategic race in New York, pulling away from four-time Boston Marathon Champion Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya in the final two miles to win in a personal-best time of 2:09:15. The win gave Keflezighi the USA marathon championship and his fourth national title of 2009.

He earned a total prize-money payday of $200,000, including $130,000 for the overall win, $30,000 for running sub-2:09:30, and an additional $40,000 for the U.S. title. He also finished atop the USA Running Series rankings for 2009, earning an additional $6,000.

Other celebrities scheduled to appear in the parade are singers Carly Simon and Gloria Gaynor along with marching bands and the parade’s trademark giant helium character balloons, which this year include Snoopy and Kermit the Frog.

Keflezighi’s ride in the parade is just one of many honors he has enjoyed since breaking the 27-year American men’s drought in the ING New York City Marathon. He was also a guest on Late Night with David Letterman, reading the Top 10 list, and was feted by city officials in his hometown of San Diego.

For more information on Meb Keflezighi and USA Track & Field, visit:

Source: USATF, News & Notes, Volume 9, Number 57