BOSTON (CBS) — 2020 is going to be a busy year for 2018 Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden.
John Hancock announced on Tuesday that Linden will be running in the Olympic trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta, before turning her attention and focus to the Boston Marathon, which she’ll be running less than two months later on April 20.
“At this point in my career I enter each race with a heightened sense of urgency and have become very selective in what races I’m willing to commit my time and energy to,” Linden said. “The Boston Marathon has always been the most motivating race on my schedule; I’m grateful that in an Olympic year John Hancock is supportive of me competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials as well.”
Linden won the 2018 Boston Marathon under heavy rain with a time of 2:39:54, becoming the first American-born woman to win the race since 1985. While the decision to run in Boston within two months of running in the Olympic trials wasn’t an easy one, Linden said it would have been harder to pass up another Boston Marathon.
“Every Olympic year it’s such a tough thing to sit in Boston and watch that race,” Linden told WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes. “I just couldn’t picture giving up another Boston Marathon. At this point in my career I have so many miles on my legs and so much experience, we just decided to try to tackle them both.”
Linden said it will be “interesting” to see how her body recovers, and that the two races in a short span will be “a good test.”
“The excitement level is super high,” she told WBZ. “When I first started pitching this idea, my coach was like, ‘You’re insane. That’s a horrible idea.’ And then when you present it as this unique challenge, she just started getting more and more excited about it. By the end we’re like two kids laughing over a scheme.”
She added: “I’m all about shaking it up, especially in this later part of my career. I feel like I’ve kind of earned that right to do some things differently and challenge myself. It could all go south and go horribly wrong, but I like the idea of just taking the chance and seeing if we can get it just right.”
Last year, Linden finished in fifth place while defending her crown, finishing with a time of 2:27:00, which was 3:29 behind the winner, Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia. Prior to winning in 2018, Linden’s best finish in Boston was a second-place finish in 2011, when he crossed the finish line just 2 seconds after winner Caroline Kile of Kenya. Linden set a record for fastest Boston Marathon time by an American-born woman that year with a time of 2:22:38.
“No matter the outcome of the Olympic Trials, I’ll stand in Hopkinton looking to challenge for a top spot in Boston and excited to put on a show for the best fans in the world,” Linden said.