What an incredible turnaround over the course of a year, after a horrific double bombing at the marathon’s finish line killed 8-year-old Martin Richard, 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and injured more than 260 participants and spectators last April.
Keflezighi wrote the bombing victims’ names, as well as Sean Collier, an MIT officer who was shot by the bombing suspects in the days following the bombing, on his marathon bib.
“Boston Strong. Meb Strong,” the 38-year-old said on local TV, reports NBC Sports. “I was going to give everything I had for the people. I have the victims on my bib number.”
Keflezighi was forced to withdraw from last year’s race due to an injury. He was in the stands near the finish line and left about five minutes before the bombs went off.
The runner told NBC Sports that he has wanted to come back and win every day since.
Greg Meyer, the last American to win the Boston Marathon, reached out to Keflezighi to offer words of encouragement before the race and gave him a hug when he finished.
Keflezighi took home silver in the 2004 Olympic marathon event and won the New York City Marathon in 2009.
Watch Keflezighi’s emotional finish below.