Category Logo

Trailblazing long-distance runner Desiree Linden to speak at Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Health & Fitness Expo

March 15, 2024

Desiree “Des” Linden, a two-time Olympian, Boston Marathon champion, celebrity long-distance runner and author, will be the featured speaker for the Clayton Health & Fitness Expo, part of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon weekend on April 6-7. The exciting appearance is another reason for participants to register for the 20th year of the race.

Des Linden running the 2015 Boston Marathon.

“Desiree is an inspirational runner who embodies passion and strength,” said Jason Altman, race director of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. “We’re ecstatic to have her speak at the Clayton Health & Fitness Expo to celebrate 20 years of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, East Tennessee’s largest running event.”

Linden will deliver a motivational speech during the expo at the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall on Saturday, April 6, at 1 p.m. The Clayton Health & Fitness Expo, located at 935 World’s Fair Park Drive, is a pre-race celebration featuring fitness, sports, wellness and nutrition exhibitors. It is free, open to both race participants and the public and will be held from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

Linden represented the United States in the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics women’s marathon. Linden also recently broke the U.S. Masters Women’s Marathon record in Chicago with a time of 2:27:35. In 2018, she won the Boston Marathon, which made her the first American in 33 years to win the women’s category in the event.

Linden published “Choosing to Run: A Memoir,” her first book, in 2023 and details how she beat the odds to win the race and what drives her to run every day. 

Linden also is one of four American women to finish in the top seven at the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon. She currently holds the women’s 50K world record, completing it in under three hours.

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon weekend takes place at World’s Fair Park and will include the Pilot Post-Race Party. In addition to the full marathon, the event also features a half-marathon, two- and four-person relays, 5K and Covenant Kids Run. Registration is open, and participants can save by signing up early.

All race participants must stop by the Clayton Health & Fitness Expo on Saturday, April 6, to pick up their race packets. Photo ID is required to receive a bib, timing chip, T-shirt, goody bag and other instructions. There is no Sunday packet pickup.

For more information and to register for the 2024 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon races, visit

About the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is a premier event organized by the Knoxville Track Club, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of encouraging lifelong physical well-being through running and walking.