BOSTON (CBS) -- Desiree Linden may have placed 10th in the 2014 Boston Marathon, but it's still a race she'll never forget.
"It was certainly special," Linden told WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes. "There was just a different feeling to it. It was very patriotic as Americans, but it felt universal as well. The whole, 'We Run Together,' you felt that out there and you felt it in the crowd, cheering you on. It was bigger and it was better. It was runners taking a stand. It was a pretty awesome day to be a part of."
In 2011, Linden established herself in Boston. She finished in a personal best 2:22:38 (the fastest time ever run by an American woman in the Boston Marathon at that time) and battled down to the wire in one of the greatest finishes Boston has ever seen.
For her efforts, Linden finished second in the race, not even a second after Caroline Kilel of Kenya, who finished in 2:22:36.
Those results still fuel her today ahead of the 2015 Boston Marathon.
"It's certainly a mark for me to chase," she said. "I think this year my fitness is right about there, if not a little better. But you never know how things are going to unfold. The weather is different, the tactics are different, the field is different.
"I can compare it to where I was in 2011, but the whole dynamic of the race day will be different."
Like last year, Linden's preparation for Boston included training at thousands of feet above sea level in Kenya for six weeks. Even during her training overseas, people recognized her from running Boston, and the Marathon is always a hot topic.
"All over the world, everyone knows it," she said. "They know because they watch it and get excited for it. It's a race that change their lives. If you win Boston, you're a legend, and that happens in America as well.
Web Extra: Linden On Training In Kenya
"I always describe it as 'The Marathon,'" she explained. "There are other great races, but they have these little tweaks about them that take away from the pureness of the marathon and it's just racing."
The pureness of her sport is clearly a source of pride for Linden, who had strong words when asked about defending champion Rita Jeptoo, who tested positive for performances enhancing drugs back in 2014 and was banned for two years in January.
"It's upsetting," she said. "It steals moments and it steals money. At the end of the day you control the controllables, and that is getting the best out of yourself. You hope that the process elimates those people, before they get to the line hopefully, but if they're weeded out afterwards that's great.
Web Extra: Linden On Jeptoo's Ban
"It's great for the sport, as athletes, for those people to be removed. And for those people to be put to shame publicaly it sets an example," she said. "It's a momentary blip of negative, but overall, you want clean athletes on the line and that's how it happens."
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