clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Meet Des Linden, the first U.S. woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985

New, comments

What an achievement!

Desiree Linden overcame horrible weather conditions to become the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since Lisa Rainsberger in 1985. Through pouring rain and brutal winds, she finished in 2:39.54, which was 20 minutes slower than the race record, but astounding considering just how bad the conditions were.

Let’s learn a little more about Des Linden ...

Born in California and now residing in Rochester Hills, Michigan — Linden began her running career in 1998 while in high school. She ran a sub-five-minute mile as a freshman, and was a state finalist all four years while attending Hilltop High School in Chula Vista.

Linden then attended Arizona State University, where she was an All-American in track and cross country.

In 2007, she made her first appearance at the Boston Marathon, where she finished 19th. Four years later she broke out, running a personal best at the marathon and finishing second. It was the fastest time a U.S. woman had ever finished in the race. This led to an appearance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where Linden was unable to finish due to a stress fracture.

Linden bounced back, and once again qualified for the Olympics in 2016 — where she came in seventh in the marathon. The next year she crossed the line in fourth at the Boston Marathon, her best finish since 2011.

During this year’s race.

One of Linden’s long-time nemeses has been Shalane Flanagan, one of the most decorated U.S. distance runners of all time. The pair ran together in the early stages of the marathon, but Flanagan had to take a detour.

What astounded commentators and race fans alike was that Linden waited for Flanagan, so the pair could continue to run together. It was a remarkable moment of sportsmanship. It wasn’t until after the race that we learned why.

“Honestly, at mile two, three, four, I didn’t feel like I was even gonna make it to the finish line,” Linden told NBC Sports after the race. “I told [Flanagan] during the race ‘if there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know, because I might just drop out.’ When you work together, you never know what’s going to happen. Helping her helped me, and I kinda got my legs back from there.”

Flanagan helped keep Linden motivated in the conditions, and in exchange she waited for her competitor. It was amazing to see.

Outside of running.

Linden is a sponsored runner, but also a co-owner of “Linden & True,” a small-batch coffee roasting company. The company is owned by several Olympians, all of whom are channeling their desire for perfection into trying to make the best coffee, too.

Linden’s Twitter account is also a source of joy, where she shares photos of her amazing dog along with motivational quotes.

Her good dog is also an outdoors pup that hates kayaks.

Does not love the kayak

A post shared by desiree linden (@des_linden) on

Linden is on top of the world. The first U.S. woman to win since 1985, and the culmination of a career’s worth of work. It’s incredible to see someone work so hard for so long and see it all pay off now.

Congratulations, Des!