Desiree Linden Runs 31 Miles in Under 3 Hours to Break Women's 50k World Record

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIApril 14, 2021

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Desiree Linden crosses the finish line as the 2018 Boston Marathon women's winner on April 16, 2018. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Desiree Linden, a two-time Olympian and the 2018 Boston Marathon winner, broke the women's world record for a 50K on Tuesday, completing the 31-mile distance in 2 hours, 59 minutes, 54 seconds.

The previous record was set by Aly Dixon of Great Britain, who pulled in at 3:07:20 in 2019. 

Boston Marathon Pro @BostonMar_Pro

WORLD BEST 50K for @des_linden today!!!<br>2:59:54 šŸƒšŸ½ā€ā™€ļø pic.twitter.com/Oxg539DYTE

Linden ran a course in Eugene, Oregon, after spending a month training in Arizona, per Jeff Metcalfe of the Arizona Republic

The 37-year-old reached marathon distance when the clock hit 2:31.12, which she said was a "very, very tough" checkpoint in her run as she stared down the "actual abyss" of mileage after the marathon distance. 

She said Dixon was "so supportive" of her quest to break the record.

"It speaks to women in sports and women in running specifically," Linden said. "We want to push things forward, we want to see progress and recognition. We got a little bit of pushback on hyping this event, but that's the point. Let's get people excited. I hope this record does move forward."

Linden, who did not finish the marathon at the 2012 Olympics due to a stress fracture but went on to finish seventh with a time of 2:26:08 in 2016, was one place short of her third Olympic bout. She placed fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, running a 2:29:03 marathon and missed out on the chance to participate in 2021. 

While she was successful at the 50K distance, Linden plans to continue to race at World Major marathons until she's no longer "contending at the front." 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.