Editor’s Note: Competitor Group is a content provider for ESPN’s Endurance section
Running promotion company Competitor Group Inc. is set to name 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi its first vice president of running.
The role is a part-time commitment that will allow training for elite races to remain the top priority for Keflezighi, who Competitor CEO David Abeles calls "one of our sport's great ambassadors".
In April, the 39-year-old San Diego resident became the first American man since 1983 to win the Boston Marathon. Keflezighi led for much of the race as the city celebrated its healing from the terrorist bombings near the finish line that marred the 2013 race.
Competitor Group owns and operates the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series, a 28-race roster that along with the group's TriRock Triathlons and Women's Running Series draws more than 700,000 athletes annually. Most participants are recreational runners, but appearance fees are paid to encourage professionals to take part.
Keflezighi turned down an offer to join CGI in 2000 in order to focus on his training, and in his new role will make event appearances on behalf of the company, run in some CGI events and help create training content for runners.
"My dream has been realized," Keflezighi told USA TODAY Sports. "Boston was the capping. Now I want to inspire others to get the best out of themselves, inspire others just getting started. It's a huge honor."
Keflezighi is looking toward the New York City Marathon -- where in 2009 he became the first American winner in 27 years -- this fall, and has made qualifying for the 2014 Olympics in Rio de Janiero one of his main goals moving forward.
“Running is still a priority, but you can do much with social media, with interviews, with appearances,” Keflezighi told Sports Business Journal.
The next Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Dublin, Ireland, with the series returning to the United States on Aug. 31 in Virginia Beach.