The TCS New York City Marathon is still off in the distance in a crowded fall sports scene in the area, but one of its biggest heroes will be getting his due. It was announced Thursday that AKTIV Against Cancer, the organization co-founded by legendary runner Grete Waitz, will honor Marathon champion, Olympian and hero to so many New Yorkers for his philanthropic work, Meb Keflezighi, as the recipient of the second annual AKTIV Against Cancer Award. Meb, who became a media darling yet again during the Rio Olympics when he tripped and fell and started doing pushups during the race, will be honored on November 1st at the historic New York Athletic Club.
AKTIV Against Cancer was founded by Waitz and current Executive Director Helle Aanesen in Norway in 2007. After donating more than $14M and helping to create thirteen physical activity centers in cancer treatment facilities throughout Norway, AKTIV Against Cancer established its official presence in the United States in 2014 and is now supporting groundbreaking work in exercise oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. AKTIV Against Cancer has committed to funding $1.3 million towards the research of Dr. Lee Jones at MSK.
“It is truly an honor to accept this award and support AKTIV Against Cancer,” Keflezighi said in a statement. “The path that Grete carved as an athlete and leader for so many causes was so amazing and I am proud to assist in helping her legacy in any way I can.”
The only athlete in history to win the New York Marathon, the Boston Marathon and an Olympic Medal, Meb was named by Runner’s World Magazine as “the most influential person in Running”. A graduate of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), his record also includes four NCAA championships, 23 National Championships and a place on four United States Olympic teams. He oversees the MEB (Maintaining Excellent Balance) Foundation, which is committed to promoting youth health, education and fitness and is always one of the brightest stars when the Marathon begins each year in Staten Island.