Hometown hero receives key to city on "Meb Day" - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hometown hero receives key to city on "Meb Day"

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's been nearly three weeks since San Diego's own Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon. 

Saturday, he was honored for the first time here at home on what local officials have declared "Meb Day."

Meb got quite the hero's welcome at his alma mater -- he even took time to walk the track with his adoring fans.

The chance to congratulate Meb in person brought hundreds of people to San Diego High School Saturday.

Meb, the first American to win the Boston Marathon in more than 30 years, graduated from the school in 1994. As he approached the track where he once ran, he was given a standing ovation.

He then stopped for pictures and signed autographs, saying the words written in his high school yearbook 20 years ago still ring true today.

"Keep being the nice person, never change and I hope I never change cuz I still wear pants the same way and wear shoes the same way but I'm honored to represent our country," Meb said.

During the "Meb Day" celebration, Mayor Kevin Faulconer presented the guest of honor with a gift.

"Please accept this key to the city as a token of our gratitude for all you've done for San Diego and our country. Congratulations," Faulconer said.

As did City Councilman David Alvarez.

"This month of May, the whole month is Meb Day...so Meb come on up,” Alvarez said.

Since last month's win, Meb has received accolades from all over the world, including a phone call from President Obama.

"I wanted to say you made America proud and it couldn't have happened at better timing and that's when I realized this is a big deal," Meb said.

Last year, Meb was at the Boston Marathon as a spectator when two bombs went off, killing three people and injuring hundreds more.

He was determined to come back in 2014 for those victims - even running with their names on his bib.

Determination -- proving what Boston Strong is all about.

"People are saying in Boston thank you, thank you. Usually it's congratulations...but this time it was very necessary and most meaningful victory in my career," Meb said.

Meb won the New York Marathon in 2009, and for the Boston Marathon win he finished with a personal best time.

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