BOSTON (CBS) — Three years ago, American Desiree Davila Linden came within two seconds of winning the Boston Marathon.

“When I run on the course here, I replay it and I practice winning,” Linden told WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes following a recent trip to Boston. “I think about it a lot.”

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Since then, Linden has run in the London Olympics, recovered from a stress fracture and married fellow marathoner Ryan Linden. Once again part of John Hancock’s Elite team for this year’s race, Linden was in Boston this week to get in some work on the Boston course, fresh off an eye-opening six-week training adventure in Kenya.

Desi and her running partner run around a herd of cows in Kenya. (Photo Courtesy Scott Draper/

Desi and her running partner run around a herd of cows in Kenya. (Photo Courtesy Scott Draper/

“It’s great training for here,” she said of training in the Kenyan altitude — something she had not done before. “You drop a lot and then you just climb back to where you were situation. Ultimately it’s the same; you’re out there putting in miles and hard work.”

Web Extra: Desi On Training In Africa: 

She said the Kenya experience has got her excited again about running, and hungry for Boston.

“Mentally it puts me in a different place to see that I can run with these women,” she said. “There are so many Boston champs and really fast runners out there.”

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Desi Davila Linden trains in Kenya. (Photo Courtesy Scott Draper/

Desi Davila Linden trains in Kenya. (Photo Courtesy Scott Draper/

Even though she was sidelined by an injury last year, Linden was in Boston on race day. Since the tragic events of April 15, 2013, she’s thought about what it will be like on the course this year.

“It’s certainly motivational. It makes you want to dig deeper,” she said. “Just thinking about the Marathon in general, it’s perseverance. Digging deep, and if things go wrong, figure out a way to work yourself out of it and make it better. It’s moving forward and saying ‘OK, I recognize this moment, now let’s make this better.'”

Web Extra: Desi On Running Boston Marathon In 2014: 

And after missing out on the olive wreath by just two seconds three years ago, she’s even more motivated to be the first woman to cross the finish line this year.

“That’s the goal, that’s why I’m here,” she said confidently. “It’s always about self-improvement and moving forward. I wouldn’t be on the line if I didn’t think I could take a shot at it.”

For more on Davila’s trip to Kenya, check out

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