Des Linden: “I Was Just Trying Not to Vomit”

The 2018 Boston Marathon winner gave it her all.

Desiree Linden, left, last year’s Boston Marathon winner, embraces Edna Kiplagat, right, of Kenya, prior to the start the123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

This Boston Marathon started much like last year’s Boston Marathon for 2018 champion Des Linden—with a little bit of doubt and a whole lot of rain. She says in the post-race press conference that around mile eight she didn’t know if she was going to get to the end, but when she did she was welcomed with cheers on Boylston Street and an upset stomach.

“Honestly, I was just trying not to vomit,” she said when asked why she was grimacing towards the end. Which doesn’t seem like an unreasonable feeling after pounding through 26.2 miles. But the feeling must have passed quickly because she was nothing but smiles as she waved to the crowd and crossed the finish line in fifth place with an unofficial time of 2:27:00.

“It was surprising how much racing we were doing early on,” Linden says. “There were some interesting moves and tactics in the first half. It was fun but you always have to respect the distance and the course where the challenges are in the back half—it gets aggressive.”

And she reminded fellow American Jordan Hasay—who came in third after having to pull out last year due to injuries—of the course’s aggressive nature when Hasay started to feel the competition get to her, saying “There’s a long race to go.” Hasay tells the press that she gets anxious before races and it was comforting to have Linden there to keep her spirits high, something Linden has proven to be good at as she encouraged Shalane Flanagan last year.

Linden laughs that another trophy would look good on her desk but that more than anything she loves this course and this city. “I give everything I have when I’m here. I really think this course was built for me. Whatever the weather and whatever the field I’m always going to represent myself well here and when I decide to walk away from the sport this will be my home course.”

And in true Linden fashion she doesn’t leave the press room until cracking open a cold 26.2 Brew and taking a chug.