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Des Linden

In April of 2018, Des Linden braved headwinds and torrential rain to become the first US women’s champion at the Boston Marathon since 1985. Her win was one for the record books as she bested the field and the worst conditions in race history. In the spring of 2021, Des set the World Record for the 50k, running 2:59:54. In the fall of 2023 Des set the US Master’s Marathon Record, running 2:27:35.

Des, a two-time U.S. Olympic Marathoner, finished 7th at the Rio Olympic Games. She got her start at Hilltop High in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, California where she earned All-State honors. Linden attended Arizona State University where she was an All-American in both cross country and track. After graduation, she moved to Rochester, Michigan to join the Hansons Brooks Distance Project. She currently trains in Northern Michigan and continues representing Brooks.

In 2011, Linden wowed the marathon world with her near-win at the Boston Marathon. Her runner-up finish, an incredible 2:22:38, set an all-time U.S. record on the Boston course and made her the third-fastest American ever at the time. Linden was named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week for her performance.

In 2015, Des participated in the Boston Marathon which featured a strong international field and the top three US marathoners. She finished as top American and held on for a 4th place finish, less than 45 seconds from the win. In doing so, she bested two former Boston champions, a Berlin and Rotterdam Marathon champion, and the World Junior Record Holder.

In the summer of 2015, Des earned a Silver Medal at the Pan-Am Games in the 10,000. In early 2016 she finished 2nd at the US Olympic Marathon Trials, she followed that up with a runner-up performance at the US Half Marathon Championships before heading to the Rio Games. Other career highlights include earning her spot on the US Olympic Team at the 2012 LondonSummerGames with a runner-up performance at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (2:25:55), a runner-up performance at the 2013 US Half Marathon Champs, 11th at the 2009 Marathon World Championships (2:27:53) and multiple top-five performances at four of the six World Marathon Majors: her Boston runner-up in 2011, a 2nd at the 2010 Chicago Marathon (2:26:20), a 4th at the 2017 Boston Marathon, and 5th place showings at the 2008 Chicago Marathon (2:31:33), 2013 Berlin Marathon (2:29:15) and 2014 NYC Marathon (2:28:11) where she was the top American. Earlier in 2014, she clocked an impressive 2:23:54 in Boston. Most recently, in the fall of 2018, Des won the Rock ’n’ Roll Philly Half in 1:11:49 and finished 6th at the New York City Marathon with a swift 1:12:00 back half. Des returned to the BostonMarathon in 2019 and finished 5th, that fall she led the NYC Marathon field through the half marathon in 1:11:40 and finished as top American in 6th place in the 4th fastest American time in history on the historic five-borough course.

Linden studied psychology at Arizona State University. A self-proclaimed bacon aficionado, her hobbies include reading and writing, collecting assorted whiskeys, drinking Linden X Two Coffee, throwing first pitches at Major League ballgames, relaxing with her dogs Atlas and Boston, listening to good music and outrunning her husband, fellow marathoner, and Kona veteran, Ryan Linden.

Photo Credit: Carrie Cox