I was sitting in my local diner, Scotties’ Eat-Mohr, in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, going through a stack of newspapers. It was Tuesday morning, April 17, one day after the 122nd Boston Marathon. In this diner, continuously open for 80 years, with orange formica counters, the smells of eggs, sausage, and potatoes begged for someone to eat them. My potatoes and vegtables looked good, but lonely. No sausage, bacon or eggs for me. I did enjoy a large glass of tomato juice and a black coffee.
I had spent the morning of the marathon, April 16, in front of my large screen TV, watching the 122 nd Boston marathon, tweeting out updates and watching our viewers go to their highest numbers in years. Comments on the problems of watching the Marathon in the digital age were frequent. I found coverage, from the country of Columbia, on You Tube, with colorful Spanish commentary adding to my viewing of the race. Watching Des Linden take the lead and win was emotional. The respect that the running community has for her, the twitter world a flutter with the terrible conditions in Boston, and how much of a nightmere that the weather was, all added to the zeitgeist. At 23 miles, Desiree Linden was winning the damn Boston marathon!
When Des took the lead, it was not a jaunt, it was serious. She looked better than anyone up there, full of running in such trying condiitons, and she built a lead, fast, real fast. Back in her mind, was there the rememberance of being two seconds from a win in 2011? That sure would not happen again, Des must have thought. In four miles, she built a four minute and ten second lead. That’s a bit of protection in such a marathon.
Des Linden’s amazing performance, and the absolutely stunning performances of American men and women in the brutal conditions were everywhere. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian UK digital edition, the BBC website, and the Milwaukee Journal had Desi Linden plus a story on the tough conditions in Boston. Running had gone mainstream once again. Provide American performances, and some surprises, and watch the world get excited. On a national radio show, Armstrong and Getty, the news report on Tuesday lead off with the two top American women, Des Linden and Sarah Sellers, both performed amazingly in horrid conditions. They never speak about running. But the stunning news that Americans went 1,2 in a race where, in most years, Kenyan and or Ethiopian athletes are the normal leaders, resounded with all media platforms. This was something special!
Since then, stories on Sarah Sellers, the second place woman, and several stories on how Desi persevered were everywhere. What I am most impressed about is how amazing the top athletes are supportive of each other. Molly Huddle, in an interview made it clear that she held Des in respect. Shalane Flanagan, one of the toughest athletes in our sport, was so charming and supportive of Des, making it clear how classy Des Linden was, and mind you, is. It was a stunning example, a bit of a paradigm changer. Tough athletes who could compete against each other and hold each other in high regard. What a concept!
I have interviewed Des Linden over the years several times. I love dry her sense of humor, her observation skills and her love of the sport. I like it that she drinks beer, and sometimes, a bit of whiskey to celebrate. That is Californian transplanted to Michigan. Des Linden is real. Des Linden is now a Boston marathon champion, and a two time Olympian. She lives by example, and her support of Shalane and Molly in the race on Monday is nothing new, it is how she is. Running 120-140 miles a week, in Michigan and Florida, hones the heart and focus, but being a human being is still key. Desi Linden has run Boston six times, missing a win in 2011 by two seconds, and now, seven years later, in brutal conditions, Desi Linden, who has had the attitude of a Boston champion for years, finally, and deservedly, has the title.
Twelve interviews in a morning? Probably more exhausting than the 2:39:54 it took to win the race, but a good problem to have for the new Boston champion.
Sometimes, your job means ducking out of the rain into a hotel lobby to review a press release with the 2018 Boston Marathon champion. I love this photo a lot. One- @des_linden is a bad ass. Full stop. Working with her is inspiring. And peep that medal and gold wreath though. Two- I’m fortunate to have a job I love and that gives me moments like these. ðŸ™ðŸ¼ ðŸ“· @jainstah. Shout out to the Boston crew @dekoknows, @jewachter, @mattweiss42, @sea_tex, @jainstah and @cskutches for the weekend, and congrats to everyone who gutted it out on Monday.