Des Linden announced on Monday that she plans to race the 2021 Boston Marathon, which will be the 125th edition of the storied event. If not for the pandemic, the famed race would have been set to take place on Monday, its traditional Patriots’ Day running, but COVID-19 forced organizers to postpone the marathon until the fall, and it’s now scheduled for October 11. Linden is the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, and she will be on the hunt for another crown when she hits the course later this year.
Linden’s announcement comes less than a week after her historic 50K run in Oregon, where she smashed the world best in the event and ran 2:59:54. Her result took a whopping seven minutes off the previous women’s record, which Aly Dixon of the U.K. set in 2019 at 3:07:20. Now, Linden will drop down from ultra-distances to compete in the marathon, an event she knows well.
After she finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last year and missed out on a spot on the American team headed to the Tokyo Games by one position, Linden shifted her focus toward the Boston and New York City marathons. Both races were cancelled due to COVID-19, but this year’s events appear to be on track to making comebacks in the fall, and Linden will toe the line in Boston for the first time since 2019, the last running of the event, when she finished in fifth.
This year’s race will be Linden’s eighth time racing in Boston, and she will be looking to add to a stellar event record that has seen her record two podium finishes (first in 2018 and second in 2011) and four other top-10 runs. “Last year I watched Boston Marathon replays from home and felt uncertain about the future,” Linden wrote on Instagram. “Today I’m in Boston, at the most iconic race finish line in the world, and I feel optimistic about the return of events I love. Can’t wait for the 125th running.” Linden is the first elite runner to officially announce plans to race in Boston this year.