By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – Des Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, will be back to run the race when it’s expected to return this fall.

Linden made the announcement Monday morning at the finish line at the inaugural running of the Patriots’ Day mile on Boylston Street.

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“Honestly, it wasn’t a lot of thought. I’ve fallen in love with this race and I’m always excited to be here. So it was just waiting for the opportunity to announce it because my schedule is always lined up to be ready to run Boston. And yeah, it’s a thrill to be back and get that out there so I can talk about it now,” she told WBZ-TV’s Nick Giovanni.

“I watched the replays last year from home and we sat around and felt uncertain and uncomfortable about the future and where we were at. And to be able to get on a plane and travel here and feel comfortable and feel safe, and the BAA has put the right things in place, it all feels very optimistic. That’s a feeling that has been missing for a while, and this is, to me, the first step in moving forward and seeing things return and feel like, “Hey, there is something to look forward down the line and things are getting back to normal.’”

Linden crossed the finish line with a group of front-line workers, who now have the chance to run the Boston Marathon as well. “It feels really great to be given this opportunity by the B.A.A. to be able to run in the fall and represent the city of Boston and healthcare workers,” one said.

The Doug Floutie Jr. Foundation held their Patriot’s Day Mile as well. They recently expanded their longstanding relationship with the B.A.A. and are the presenting sponsor for the marathon’s adaptive programs.

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The 125th Boston Marathon is scheduled for Columbus Day, Monday, October 11, as long as Massachusetts allows road races this fall.

No other elite runners have committed yet to running Boston. Linden broke the world record for the 50K just last week in Oregon in 2:59:54.

This year’s marathon field will be reduced to just 20,000 runners, down from about 30,000 in past years, to allow for social distancing on the course. Runners will have to submit two negative COVID-19 tests before the race regardless of vaccination status.

Other changes will include the elimination of the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, rolling start times for runners, and the option to buy registration insurance.

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Registration for the marathon will begin online Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. It will last all week until Friday at 5 p.m. Staff