Akron, OH (April 9, 2019) — The Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation announced its recipient of the 2019 Ambassador Award as Desiree Linden, winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Desiree Linden, secured her victory in the 2018 Boston Marathon in a time of 2:39:55. She finished more than four minutes ahead of the second-place finisher and became the first American woman to win the prestigious Boston race since 1985. On April 15, Linden will race the 2019 Boston Marathon, seeking to become only the 8th woman to successfully defend her
title in the 54 years women have competed in the Boston Marathon.

The Ambassador Award, given since 2008, recognizes the contributions of exemplary athletes, dedicated leaders, and those who serve as an inspiration in the sport of running.

This recognition and announcement marks the start of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series season, and Linden will attend and be honored at the Akron Marathon’s marquee event in September, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay.

“I am thrilled to be honored as the recipient of the 2019 Ambassador Award at the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon and Half Marathon weekend,” states Linden. “I look forward to the trip to Ohio and taking part in the weekend festivities at the Expo and on race day.”

Linden, sponsored by Brooks, has an extensive running career that includes four top five finishes in her six Boston appearances on Patriot’s Day and top five finishes in both the Chicago and the NYC Marathons.

Linden also finished among the top ten in the marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio.

“All of us involved with the Akron Marathon are pleased to announce that Desiree Linden, two time Olympian and the reigning Boston Marathon champion, will be our 2019 Ambassador Award honoree,” said Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation Trustee Dave Hunter. “Desi, the first American woman to win in Boston since 1985, joins our long list of world class
marathoners and road racers we have honored with this award.”

The annual Ambassador Award will be presented at the invitation-only reception on Thurs., Sept. 26, 2019. Linden will be available to meet runners and sign autographs at the Akron Marathon Health & Fitness Expo presented by Summa Health & SummaCare on Fri., Sept. 27, 2019. The Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Races will be held on Sat., Sept., 28,

Past honorees include Kathrine Switzer, Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Hal Higdon, Craig Masback, Creigh Kelley, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Frank Shorter, Meb Keflezighi, Kara Goucher, and Deena Kastor for their significant contributions to the sport of running.

Registration for the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series is open, marking the 17th year of the nationally-recognized race and the fifth year of Akron’s race series, which offers two additional races throughout the year.