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Des Linden at Old South Church

April 3, 2023 @ 7:00 pm

 |  $38


April 3, 2023
7:00 pm
Event Categories:


Harvard Book Store
(617) 661-1515


Choosing to Run:
A Memoir

in conversation with LISA HUGHES

Choosing to Run: A Memoir


Harvard Book Store welcomes two-time Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon winner DES LINDEN for a discussion of her new memoir Choosing to Run. She will be joined in conversation by longtime WBZ-TV anchor LISA HUGHES.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Old South Church events until further notice:

  • Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the venue. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.

Pre-signed copies of Choosing to Run will be available to purchase while supplies last, and a photo line will form after the event. There will be no  personalization of signed books. Attendees must provide their own camera for the photo line. There will be a Harvard Book Store staff member in the line to assist with photos. Only ticket holders that have purchased the book-included ticket or purchased the book at the event will be able to join the photo line. 


There are two ticket options available for this event:

Book-Included Ticket: Includes admission for one and one signed copy of Choosing to Run.

Admission-Only Ticket: Includes admission for one.

About Choosing to Run

When Des woke up on April 16, 2018, the morning of the Boston Marathon, it was 39 degrees and raining, with high, gusty winds. The weather didn’t bother her. In fact, she thought it might be a blessing. She was far from peak form—recovering from illness and questioning her running future—and didn’t expect much of herself that day.

But as she ticked off mile after mile in the brutal conditions, passing familiar landmarks on the course she knew by heart, something shifted. Opportunity unexpectedly presented itself. Des tapped into her inner strength and remembered all of the reasons she loved to race.

Coming off Heartbreak Hill at Mile 22, Des took the lead and never relinquished it, becoming the 2018 Boston Marathon champion and the first American woman to win the race in thirty-three years.

Her career has always been defined by tenacity and an independent spirit, stretching back to her first competitive race in San Diego, when she beat better-outfitted, more experienced kids. Des was a two-time All-American at Arizona State University, and as her collegiate years wound down, she decided she wasn’t done with the sport. Des gambled on herself and moved to Michigan to give professional running a try. As she rose through the elite ranks, she became increasingly determined to do things her way in an industry often bound by the status quo.

In her first book, readers will learn the story behind that resolve: the way Des trains, the way she thinks, her relationships with other great runners of her generation, and how much she values her family and friends. They’ll read about her deep connection to the most famous marathon in the world, her two very different Olympic experiences, and how she defined new goals and set a world record at the 50-kilometer distance.

Most of all, they’ll learn what makes her get up and run every day.

Praise for Choosing to Run

“This is a gripping story of grit and grace. With unusual honesty and rare insight, Des Linden shares her journey, showing us that a true champion is defined not by whether she wins the race but by how she runs it. I loved every page, and the morning I finished, I laced up my sneakers and went out the door inspired to do my best!” —Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

“Des boldly pulls no punches in this behind-the-curtain account of her life as an elite distance runner. If you’ve ever watched a marathon and wondered what was going on in the mind of that person who just blew by at 5:15 pace, here’s your chance.” —Ben Gibbard, ultra-marathoner and lead singer and guitarist of Death Cab for Cutie

“The most entertaining sports book I’ve ever read, Choosing to Run will have you do just as the title says . . . Unless, of course, you grab a coffee or bourbon as you read one more chapter.” —Deena Kastor, New York Times bestselling author of Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory