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.
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:
— Boston Marathon Pro (@BostonMar_Pro) April 13, 2021
And here’s Butler’s breakdown of Linden’s splits:
Even when my math is right (most often not) my thumbs don’t work. Here are the splits I caught:
38:08 (6.55 ish miles, first turnaround)
1:15:51 (half marathon)
1:53:35 (19.7 ish miles)
2:59:54 (final time. Got that one right the first time) @des_linden 50K
— Sarah Lorge Butler (@slorgebutler) April 13, 2021
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:
— Brooks Running (@brooksrunning) April 7, 2021