Those had been two of her tipples of selection as she toasted turning into the first girl to run 50 kilometers in beneath three hours on April 13, her time of two:59:54 on a course close to Eugene, Oregon, besting the earlier record by virtually seven-and-a-half minutes.

“The best thing that’s ever happened with talking about bourbon publicly is there’s a ton of bourbon fans out there and they all want to share it with you,” Linden, a self-professed connoisseur of the spirit, tells NCS Sport.

“I did get gifted a ton of bourbon and whiskey and we had this really nice one that was aged like 66 months or something — it was beautiful.”

The celebrations had been well-earned. A seasoned marathon runner who had by no means beforehand raced past 26.2 miles, Linden clocked a mean tempo of 5 minutes, 47 seconds per mile over 31 miles to dip beneath the three-hour mark and take the record from Britain’s Alyson Dixon.

Linden crosses the finish line at last month's event. Linden crosses the finish line at last month's event.

Racing past the marathon

The 37-year-old Linden determined to tackle the 50km record to fill a gap in her racing calendar that will normally have been occupied by a spring marathon.

Last October, she accomplished a singular feat — dubbed “Destober” — that concerned working a distance corresponding to every day of the month: one mile on the first day, two on the second, earlier than finally ending with a 31-mile run on October 31.

That proved a catalyst for trying the 50km in April, the build-up to which concerned working between 110 and 115 miles every week with grueling velocity classes integrated into her lengthy runs of 20, 22, 24 and 26 miles.

The coaching was designed to organize Linden for racing past the distance of a marathon.

“I was going through 25, 26 miles and you start feeling that marathon fatigue where your feet are kind of sticking to the ground, your energy levels are low and you still have a long way to go,” she says, reflecting on final month’s occasion.

“What was very specifically challenging on this course is that we came through that 26.2-mile mark and then you head away from the start/finish line.

“You’re getting additional away from house to a level, although you are really getting nearer; that was a giant psychological problem.”

Linden makes a turn on her way to the 50km record. Linden makes a activate her strategy 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. Sticking to the target pace on the out-and-back course, which wound along a deserted bike path near Dorena Lake, required a focused mindset.

“It was these lengthy stretches of completely lovely surroundings,” says Linden.

“There are horses on the aspect of the highway galloping alongside at the similar tempo as us and it is lovely, however you can simply simply go to sleep … as a result of there was no actual vitality round it.

“Physically, I just felt super locked in and very well prepared … the main challenge was that last five, six miles where it was like, ‘I’ve never been here before and I got to keep my head on to make sure I get the record and the sub three.'”

‘Shooting massive’ in Boston

With the 50km distance not acknowledged by World Athletics, Linden’s time would not depend as an official world record — as a substitute described as a “world best” by the sport’s governing physique.

But so far as she’s involved, all of it means the similar.

“It’s just words, right?” says Linden. “When you simplify it to the general public, no one in the world has done this before, and that’s still pretty special.

“If we are able to make the occasion extra in style and extra individuals begin to do it, perhaps World Athletics will rethink their stance on it.”

Having competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, Linden narrowly missed out on a spot in the US marathon team for Tokyo, finishing fourth at last year’s trials in Atlanta where the top three qualified.

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.
In 2018, she battled via wind, rain and biting chilly to turn into the first American woman to win Boston since 1985 — a efficiency she’s hoping to repeat later this 12 months.
Linden celebrates after crossing the finish line at the 2018 Boston Marathon.Linden celebrates after crossing the finish line at the 2018 Boston Marathon.

“Win Boston is at all times the aim after I join and it’s going to be attention-grabbing to see how the fields come collectively and what it appears like in the fall,” she says, with the race moved from its usual April date amid the pandemic.

“I’m excited to have the ability to prepare at house in Charlevoix, Michigan, as a result of I believe that space is simply good for making ready for a Boston-type course. I’m undoubtedly taking pictures for a giant one in October.”

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 by no means been right here earlier than,'” she says.

“It was all so international and contemporary and new, and I believe it made me enthusiastic about the additional and the longer distances … it is all about difficult myself and testing these unknowns.

“There’s obviously a ton of distance left to go there. I think I could see myself going a little bit longer and flirting with that stuff for a while.”


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