Culture

Des Linden’s 50K World’s Best in Photos

A behind-the-scenes photo essay of Desiree Linden's record-setting 50K run in Oregon.

Desiree Linden — Boston Marathon winner and Olympian — had made her intentions for the 50k distance well known over the past few weeks: She intended to break the standing world’s best time of 3:07:20, and hopefully become the first woman to break the 3 hour barrier for the 50k.

Race day began as a cold, clear and beautiful morning in early April. The race was scheduled to begin at 8:30am on a flat, picturesque bike path just outside of Eugene, Oregon. With race officials present to authentic the course and the potential record, Linden did her best to stay warm as she went through the necessary pre-race obligations.

Des Linden pre-race 50K
Photo: Luke Webster

With the clock ticking down to race time, Linden prepared herself to run the farthest distance she had ever run.

Des Linden
Photo: Luke Webster

Despite the cold and the nerves, Linden was all smiles as she warmed up.

Des Linden 50K warm up
Photo: Luke Webster

The event was also an opportunity to do some final testing on a new Brooks prototype road running shoe Linden had worked closely with the brand to develop — the Hyperion Elite 3.

Des Linden with Brooks Hyperion 3
Photo: Luke Webster

As the sun rose, Linden walked to the start, ready to face the unknown.

Des Linden walk to start of 50K
Photo: Luke Webster

With the race underway, Linden settled in along side her pacer, Charlie Lawson.

start of Des Linden 50K
Photo: Luke Webster
Des Linden and 50K pacer
Photo: Luke Webster

To break the existing record Linden needed to run sub 6 minutes/mile consistently. While the record was her initial goal, the real goal was breaking 3 hour mark, requiring a 5:45 pace.

Desiree Linden 50K 5:45 pace
Photo: Luke Webster

Photo: Luke Webster

Despite the blistering pace, the miles spun by without much drama.

Des Linden 50K
Photo: Luke Webster
Des Linden 50K striding out
Photo: Luke Webster

The main disruption to the consistent miles were aid stations providing nutrition and hydration every 3 miles.

Des Linden 50K fuel
Photo: Luke Webster

Working past the marathon mark Linden never showed any signs of fatigue, rounding the final turnaround looking strong.

Des Linden 50K turn-around
Photo: Luke Webster

Squeaking in under the 3 hour mark, Linden ran a 2:59:54, setting a new World Best and becoming the first woman to run sub 3 hours for the 50k.

Des Linden 50K finish blowing kisses
Photo: Luke Webster

Celebrations were in order, of course.

Des Linden 50K celebration
Photo: Luke Webster

The end of a good day.

Des Linden reflects after 50K
Photo: Luke Webster