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Des Linden, 2018 Boston Marathon champion, sets world record for 50k race

Linden became the first woman to run a 50k in under three hours.

Des Linden, pictured in October, set the world record for a 50k run on Tuesday. Laylah Amatullah Barrayn/The New York Times

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Des Linden, winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon, shattered the women’s world record for a 50k on Tuesday in her first attempt at the race.

Linden ran the ultra-distance race in 2:59:54, breaking the record — previously set by Aly Dixon in 2019 — by more than seven minutes and making her the first woman to ever break the three-hour mark.

“As we got in there, I was like, ‘I feel pretty good, let’s err on the other side of 5:45 [per mile pace].’ We probably banked a little bit too much time,” Linden told Runners World. “It got hard the last five [miles], but I knew we had that time.”

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Linden was confident in her ability to break the record.

“I thought it would take a disaster for [the record] not to happen,” she told Runners World. “But you get to the marathon distance, and disasters are pretty common. You extend that, and it’s like, well, you just don’t know.”

Linden ran the 2018 Boston Marathon in the rain, recording a time of 2:39:54. She ran the first 26.2 miles of Tuesday’s 31-mile race in 2:31:12.

Linden is not expected to participate in the Olympics after a fourth-place finish in the Olympic trials but told Runners World she will be “ready if they need me.”

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The 37-year-old Michigan native expects to keep pushing her distance up.

“Maybe I’ll do a 50-miler,” Linden said, per The Detroit News. “Maybe I’ll do a 100K, I don’t know. … But I’ve been in this sport for a really long time and I never want to feel like I’m stagnating or bored with what I’m doing.”

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