As the miles added up and his lead dwindled, Meb Keflezighi had two words repeating in his mind: Boston Strong.
"At the end, I just kept thinking, 'Boston Strong. Boston Strong,'" Keflezighi said after becoming the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, reported The Associated Press. "I was thinking give everything you have. If you get beat, that's it."
Giving meaning to that refrain, the 38-year-old runner had four names written on his official runner's bib as he ran the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to downtown Boston on Monday: Martin, Krystle, Lingzi and Sean. Those were the names of three people killed at last year's marathon as well as the name of a MIT police officer who was killed during the ensuing manhunt for the bombing suspects.
"It's beyond words. I was standing in the grandstand last year when the bombs exploded," Keflezighi said, via WVCB.com. "This is for Boston, the United States and the world."