For several months reports were circulating among running enthusiasts that professional marathoner Desiree “Des” Linden would be attempting her first ultra-marathon. She had her sights on the 50-kilometer race, just over 31 miles, with the aim of beating the women’s world record, 3:07.20. 

On Tuesday, April 13, under near-perfect conditions, Linden crushed the world record, coming in at 2:54.59 – under the three-hour mark. 

Due to Covid, the run was kept quiet, with pre-race reports of an “undisclosed location” or “somewhere in Oregon.” There were several other world-class runners participating in the “secret” run, set up as half, full and 50k marathons.

Afterward. the event was reported as happening “on a deserted bike path near Eugene.” But thanks to a tip from an observant local dog walker, The Chronicle was there to witness Linden power across the finish line at Bake Stewart Park on picturesque Dorena Lake. 

Full story by Dana Merryday in the April 29 edition.