“Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better. My advice: keep showing up.”
On April 16, 2018, Des Linden captured the hearts of millions the world over by becoming the first American female in 33 years to win the prestigious Boston Marathon.
It wasn’t just that she won.
It’s how she won.
You see, this wasn’t supposed to be Des’ year. It wasn’t supposed to be Des’ race. Her preparation wasn’t ideal. She didn’t feel great. And doubt crept in. On top of everything, the weather conditions were unprecedented. So Des Linden decided to do what nobody does — sacrifice herself and her personal performance for the benefit of her friends. She famously pulled up when Shalane Flanagan detoured to the porta potty to pace her back to the group. Then selflessly repeated the gesture to help Molly Huddle bridge a separation gap.
These are not things you do when you are in it to win it.
But Des Linden is no ordinary athlete. And this was no ordinary race. At mile 22, Des surged out of nowhere, impossibly depositing her into the lead. In the biggest race of her life — on a day when Mother Nature and her icy rains and 25mph headwinds proved the biggest antagonist — she finally claimed the precious victory that had always previously eluded her.
Today the 2-time Olympian shares her story.
How she did it. What got her there. What it all means. And what’s next.
This is a conversation with Des and her long-time manager Josh Cox — the U.S. 50K record holder and former elite marathoner in his own right — about a storied athletic career that until now lacked just one thing: a major marathon victory.
It’s about what this particular victory means not just to Des, but to American women’s marathoning and running in general.
It’s about the mindset that propelled her career to this historic moment.
It’s about leveraging past failures as an opportunity to grow — because failure is simply an action, not an identity.
But more than anything, this is a conversation about the power of showing up. Because when you simply keep showing up for that which you love, you make room for the miracle.
Applicable in running. Perhaps even more applicable in life.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: http://bit.ly/richanddes
Peace + Plants,
P.S. – Photo credit for images of Des courtesy of Carrie Cox.
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Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support the sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.
Background, Context & Reference:
- Connect with Des: Twitter | Instagram
- Connect with Josh: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- TODAY: (video) Des Linden, The First US Woman To Win Boston Marathon Since 1985 | YouTube
- The New York Times: Desiree Linden and Yuki Kawauchi Pull Off Upsets in Rainy Boston Marathon by Malika Andrews
- Sports Illustrated: How Des Linden Beat Fatigue, Weather Conditions to Win the 2018 Boston Marathon by Chris Chavez
- ESPN: ‘Des is the definition of unrelenting’ by Bonnie D. Ford
- Runner’s World: Behind the Scenes of Desiree Linden’s Incredible Boston Marathon Win by Sarah Lorge Butler and Erin Strout
- Runner’s World: Why U.S. Women Marathoners Are Having a Moment by Sarah Lorge Butler
- Running: In the words of the Boston Marathon champ Des Linden: “Keep showing up” by Tara Campbell
- Business Insider: A look inside Boston Marathon champion Des Linden’s daily routine, which features at least 16 miles of running and 2 breakfasts by Áine Cain
- Boston Sports: 5 things to know about Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden by Mark Dunphy
- Deadspin: Q&A: Des Linden Explains How She Won The Boston Marathon by Brian Lauvray
- Refinery 29: Des Linden On Running In The Rain, Victory & That Infamous Port-A-Potty Moment by Cory Stieg
- SB Nation: 2018 Boston Marathon: Des Linden is first American woman to win since 1985 by Christian D’Andrea
- Boston Herald: Buckley: From near dropout to champion, Desiree Linden inspires by Steve Buckley
- Inc.: The 3 Simple Words That Helped Push Des Linden to Win the Boston Marathon by Darren Heitner
- Roadrunner Sports: 7 Inspiring Quotes from Des Linden, the First American Female Winner of The Boston Marathon in 33 Years
- Competitor Running: Video: Des Linden Talks About Training for Boston Video courtesy of Visit Mammoth
- Outside: This Is a Huge Moment for American Women Marathoners by Erin Strout
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:
- Ryan Linden: Des’ husband, Marathon runner turned triathlete, Team Every Man Jack, Roka Sports, Purplepatch Fitness
- Josh Cox: former long-distance runner. He is the American record holder in the 50k. Cox, a four-time US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier and three-time U.S. National Team member and (Des’) sports agent
- Shalane Flanagan: Olympic long-distance runner, holds the American record times in the 3000 meters, 5000 m and 15K road race and podcast guest
- Molly Huddle: long-distance runner who competes in track and cross country running events
- Mamitu Daska: Ethiopian long-distance runner who specialises in road running events, including the marathon; 2 -time team silver medallist at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships
- Gladys Chesir: Kenyan female long-distance runner who competes over distances from 3000 metres up to the marathon; Gold medallist at the Youth Olympics and a Silver medallist at the African Games in 2015
- Tom Grilk: Boston Athletic Association Chief Executive Officer
- Sara Hall: professional American middle distance runner. She won the 3000 meter steeplechase in 10:03 at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico representing the United States
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #246: Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky: How To Run Fast, Eat Slow And Love The Journey
- RRP #293: How To Achieve Peak Performance — And Sustain It — With Brad Stulberg & Steve Magness
- RRP #359: Alex Hutchinson On Redefining The Limits Of Human Performance
- RRP #021: Chris Hauth On Endurance Training For Maximum Results
- RRP #252: Dr. Michael Gervais On Elite Performance & The Psychology of Self-Mastery
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