Des Linden Sets New 50k World Record of 2:59:54 (Unofficial)

At a small race in Oregon on April 13, 2021, 2018 Boston Marathon champion and road beast Desiree “Des” Linden made the leap to ultrarunning and unofficially set a new 50-kilometer world record of 2:59:54.

The previous record was set by Great Britain’s Aly Dixon at 3:07:20 during the 2019 50k World Championships.

Des Linden - 50k World Record - Brooks Running

Des Linden setting a new 50k world record in Oregon on April 13, 2021. Photo: Brooks Running

The event had no live timing and limited live coverage, with most of the latter coming from two Twitter feeds, that of journalist Sarah Lorge Butler and the Boston Athletics Association’s Boston Marathon Pro feed.

Here’s Boston Marathon Pro’s finish video:

And here’s Butler’s breakdown of Linden’s splits:

So, if these splits end up correct, she went 5:47 minute-mile pace for the first half marathon, was still at 5:46 overall pace at the marathon mark, and finished with a 5:47 overall pace for 50k. Talk about consistency!

The previous world record by Dixon of 3:07:20 had been set in Romania at the 2019 50k World Championships, the last time that championships were contested.

What a solid ultrarunning debut! We looking forward to learning more details about her run.

This was the Brooks Running video introducing her attempt from last week:

Meghan Hicks

is's Managing Editor and the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.' The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

There are 5 comments

  1. caper

    If we seen more top marathoners jump to the 50k (hello Kenyan’s) pretty much every world record would drop in a week. Certainly some fast runners out there, but the Kenyans are in a class all their own. This lady ran a great time and I’d have no chance of even cycling along side here, but in the end her fastest marathon time is still 8:34 behind the world record holder which is mind blowing to me.

  2. Darrell Gammon

    Well now Desi Linden will have to enter officially 50K, like Western States and see how climbing hundreds of ft. elevation and sleep deprivation goes for her to make it official

  3. Neil

    There are not too many marathon runners I want to cross over to ultras. Des however is a lovely person and deserves success

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