Desi Linden
Photo: Randy Miyazaki.

If there is one lesson to take away from this year’s Boston Marathon it is to keep showing up. Desiree Linden’s win and Krista DuChene’s third place finish proved that if you believe in yourself, put in the work and stay the course, anything is possible.

Heading into the race Linden’s name was in the mix along with three other top Americans bidding to make history as the first woman to win Boston in 33 years, but she certainly wasn’t the favourite among them. In her consistently humble way Linden proved that years of working through the ups and downs – including a heartbreaking second place finish at Boston in 2011 – are worth every one of the uncomfortable, difficult moments.

As Linden took control of the lead at mile 22, I began thinking about some of the wise words she’s put out into the world over the years. When I first started running competitively, Linden was the runner I found myself drawn to. I’ve always appreciated and somewhat related to her down-to-earth, no-frills demeanour. Leading into this year’s Boston she shared a thought on Twitter that resonated with me. It’s a thought she returned to in her first social media post after the race. Her post from a few weeks back read:

The shock in the broadcaster’s voice when he announced “41-year-old Krista DuChene” as she crossed the finish line in third place was priceless.

Indeed, there are days when it feels like I was built to do anything but run, when every stride seems like a chore, but it’s the ability to rise above the doubt that makes the great, great and allows us all to find our potential. As Linden says, “keep showing up” – and that’s exactly what Krista DuChene did on Monday in Boston.

The shock in the broadcaster’s voice when he announced “41-year-old Krista DuChene” as she crossed the finish line in third place was priceless. He certainly wasn’t the only one surprised; nobody had DuChene picked for the podium. In fact, she herself said she would have been more than pleased with a top 10 finish.

Duchene knows how to show up; whether it’s through long training runs in the dead of a Canadian winter, or while she’s on the comeback from injury, or pregnancy – both of which she’s experienced a few of. In a post-race interview she credits training in Canada as a contributing factor to her success on Monday, “Nothing seized up during the race,” said DuChene of her body’s response to the cold, wet, windy conditions. “There were a few times I felt cold, but that’s being Canadian, you tough it out.”

Whether it’s during a race, or a mundane easy run in the middle of a training block – DuChene and Linden consistently show up; and by doing so, they showed Boston and the entire world anything is possible.

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