How marathon runner Des Linden ventured into the 'unknown' to break the 50km record

May 04, 2021 at 09:29

(CNN) Des Linden knows how to celebrate -- whether that's slurping champagne out of a running shoe or sipping a glass of well-aged bourbon.
A seasoned marathon runner who had never previously raced beyond 26.2 miles, Linden clocked an average pace of five minutes, 47 seconds per mile over 31 miles to dip under the three-hour mark and take the record from Britain's Alyson Dixon.
Racing beyond the marathonThe 37-year-old Linden decided to take on the 50km record to fill a hole in her racing calendar that would usually have been occupied by a spring marathon.
The training was designed to prepare Linden for racing beyond the distance of a marathon.
Linden makes a turn on her way to the 50km record.
With no fans lining the route and only a pacemaker for company, it proved to be a new racing experience for Linden.
'Shooting big' in BostonWith the 50km distance not recognized by World Athletics, Linden's time doesn't count as an official world record -- instead described as a "world best" by the sport's governing body.
An alternate for this year's Olympics if a member of the team has to withdraw, Linden is also setting her sights on the Boston Marathon in October.
Linden celebrates after crossing the finish line at the 2018 Boston Marathon.
And when it comes to ultra-running -- defined as any race further than a marathon -- the 50km record might just have been the start for Linden.
"It is intriguing getting into that unknown and going like, 'I've never been here before,'" she says.
I think I could see myself going a little bit longer and flirting with that stuff for a while."