Tuesday, July 21, 2015


"Stepping outside the comfort zone is the price I pay to find out how good I can be.  If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting."
~ Desiree Linden

Let's go back in time a bit, shall we?  It's April 18, 2011 and I'm going crazy as I watch the women's finish of the Boston Marathon unfold on TV.  Two runners are flying (literally) down Boylston Street and one of them is none other than American distance runner, Desiree Davila.  Holy crap, I think to myself, look at her go!!  Desiree is neck and neck with Caroline Kalil, who's in the lead by a hair.  Caroline is clearly struggling to hold on and Desi is digging in and gaining ground.  The Boston crowd is going nuts, their cheering so loud that I can't hear the reporters through the noise.   It's one of the most exciting race finishes I've ever seen and I'm sure anyone watching would likely agree with me.  In the end, Desiree came in 2nd by a mere 2 seconds, setting a huge personal record of 4 minutes.  She crossed the line in 2:22:38, which, at the time, was the fastest finish by an American woman in the history of the Boston Marathon.  HOLY. SMOKES.

Boston Marathon, 2011

Fast forward to 2014.  Desiree was still crushing it in the racing world, coming in as the 2nd American woman at Boston in April and then as the first at the New York City Marathon in November.  On a whim, I sent her a note, first congratulating her on her Boston & New York performances and then asking if she might be willing to do a RWR interview, as I knew she, too, was a huge music fan.  She kindly responded that she'd be happy to answer my questions and would get back to me when she could.  After a few months, I hadn't heard from her and I didn't want to bug her as I knew her schedule was probably insanely busy.  So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when I checked my email last Thursday and pulled up a quick note along with the answers to my RWR questions from the one and only Desiree Linden (now married).  "Better late than never", she wrote.  Hot dog!!  I am so freaking pumped for this one, can you tell?  Desiree has two big races coming up; the PanAm Games 10,000m, which is taking place this Thursday, July 23rd in Toronto and then the NACAC Senior Area Championships 5000m in San Jose, Costa Rica.  I know I'll be watching.  For today, though, meet Desiree Linden, a RUNNERWHOROCKS.


Name: Desiree Linden
Where you're from: San Diego, California
Where you reside now: Washington, Michigan
Age: 31
Occupation: Runner
Blog/website: TBA

Holding court in Boston
April, 2014

What do you love most about running?
I love the feeling of moving forward toward a goal.

What do you love most about music?
There’s is something for every mood.

Band (current, all time or both): Angus & Julia Stone (current), Saves The Day (all time)
Album (current, all time or both): Ben Howard I Forget where We Were (current), Ryan Adams Heartbreaker (all time)
Race venue: On the roads.  Hopkinton to Boston, baby!
Music venue: Canes Bar & Grill in San Diego…so many memories
Race distance: Marathon
Show you've seen live: Andrew Bird & Wilco
Ice cream flavor: Butter pecan

Sweet or salty?  Salty
Live or recorded? Live
Coffee or tea?  KAWFEE!
Summer or winter? Summer

Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could?  Ryan Adams

Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could?  Muddy Waters

The great Muddy Waters

Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could?
Bob Seger

Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)?  Of Montreal

LAST ONE: (complete the sentence)
Today, I feel like….being productive!

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both:
Outkast - Rosa Parks
Flight Facilities Feat. Giselle - Crave You
Bloc Party - Banquet - phones disco edit
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
Empire of the Sun - Walking On A Dream

Last 5 Songs you listened to today:
Small Wonder - Patron Saint of Pretty Faces
My Morning Jacket - In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)
Bob Seger - Turn The Page
Brand New - Degausser
Death Cab For Cutie - Black Sun


  1. Oh my gosh I love that one of her favorite albums is Ryan Adams "Heartbreaker"! One of my favorites too! How cool that she responded after all that time!