Des Linden and her husband training in Round Valley, California. Photo by Josh Cox

Two-time Olympic marathoner Desiree Linden arrived in Mammoth Lakes in early January. Her plan: to run easy miles at altitude in preparation for Boston Marathon training. Winter was in full swing in the Eastern Sierra with a better than average snow accumulation already reported at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Linden rolled into town with the storms and experienced the snowiest month in Mammoth Lakes’ history.

When she planned her trip she thought, “Am I leaving one winter for another winter?” In the past that’s why she’s gone to Kenya, but Andrew and Deena Kastor made it clear how easy it was to escape the snow. Situated at 8,000 feet, Mammoth Lakes is the ideal elevation for altitude training, and with a range of elevations from 4,700 feet to 8,900 feet within a 30-minute drive, it is easy enough to run below the snow line most days.

Linden, who is a two-time runner-up at the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon, the runner-up at the 2011 Boston Marathon, and the fourth fastest female American marathoner of all-time with a personal best of 2:22:38, says that training went well despite a stormy five-week training stint.

“It was awesome, really fun,” she says. “It was surprising to get that much snow, and seeing it all in one place was pretty insane, but it was absolutely beautiful and inspiring, and still great training just minutes from the mountain.”

Read the full interview on the Mammoth Lakes Crib blog.

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