Dakotah Lindwurm takes third in the Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon

Running the race of her young life, Dakota Lindwurm, took third place in the highly contested 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Dakotah Lindwurm graduated from high school with a 11:56 PB for 3200 meters. For college, Dakotah chose Northern State University, a NCAA Division II school. One of her highlights was a 34th place in the NCAA Dic 2 XC, running 21.39 for 6k.

Dakotah Lindwurm is tough, from 2014-2015, Dakotah won the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon, which is described as “grueling.” The Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon, located near Duluth, Minnesota uses part of the southern segment of the Superior Hiking Trail.

After graduating from Northern State, Dakotah moved back to Minnesota and joined the Minnesota Elite, a USATF training club coached by Chris Lundstrom. There are thirteen athletes in this elite club, focused on helping make the dreams of these athletes a reality.

The Minnesota pocket-rocket, all of five foot one of her, took fourth in the iconic Grandma’s Marathon in 2019, running a fine 2:32.29. That fall, at the Twin Cities Marathon, Dakotah lead for 11 miles (miles 12 to 23), finishing second to Julia Kohnen. Dakotah ran 2:32.49.

Competing in the 2020 Atlanta Olympic Trials, Dakotah finished 36th in 2:39.08, running well on the challenging Olympic Trials course, hosted by the Atlanta Track Club. This only encouraged the Team Elite Minnesota marathoner.

In 2021, Dakotah Lindwurn went sub 2:30, taking the win at the Grandma’s Marathon in 2:29.08. Dakotah also became the first Minnesotan to win Grandma’s since Janice Ettle of Edina, Minnesota (1987 WC team member) won in 1991.

Dakotah Lindwurn took on new challenges, running the 2022 Boston Marathon, where she finished 4th American in 2:29.55, and 14th overall. Dakotah,under the watchful eye of Coach Chris Lundstrom (whose pedigree includes being coached by Dennis Barker, long time Minnesota Elite coach).

That summer, Dakotah went back to Grandmas, and won the 2022 version once again, this time in a 2:25.01 PB, HUGE! Big time was coming for Dakotah.

2023 gave her some exciting experiences.

At the 2023 Boston, Dakotah Lindstrum battled with the best, and showed some battle scars, finishing 26th women in 2:33.53. It was just before this race that Carolyn Mather, writing for RunBlogRun, posted a story about how Dakotah was one to watch for the 2024 Olympic Trials (April 2023):https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/dakota-lindwurm-a-talent-to-be-watched-by-carolyn-mather.html

In June, Dakotah went back to Grandmas, leading much of Grandma’s, Dakotah finished second in 2:26.56.

Marathons are about lessons learned and battles fought. There are some good races, bad races and exceptional races.
During their careers, marathoners hope for the “dream race”—the race where it all unfolds perfectly.

At the 2023 October Chicago Bank of America Marathon, in wonderful conditions, Dakotah was with the top chase pack of women, including Emma Bates and Gabi Rooker (both from Minnesota). The Minnesota pocket-rocket took 12th overall in a new PB of 2:24:40! Dakotah was fifth American women in Chicago.

Remember how I wrote about “lessons learned and battles fought?”

Well, in Orlando, Florida, Dakotah put all of those lessons learned to the test.

Joining another surprise, Fiona O’Keeffe at the front of a pack that included Sarah Hall, Emily Sisson, Betsy Saina, Caroline Rotich, Kiera D’Amato, Dakotah and Fional lead at 11 miles, taking the pack through half way at 1:11.43, a 2:24 pace.

Fiona O’Keeffe took off at 17 miles, the debut marathoner running a 5:16, then a 5:29, then a 5:22 for the mile splits, running her way to victory at 2:22.10, a championship record, and a nifty debut marathon.

Emily Sisson, the AR holder (2:18.29) at the women’s US marathon, moved into second just after seventeen miles, and running in a no-women’s land for nine miles, finished second in 2:22.42, making her second Olympic team (last time, in 2021, Emily won the 10,000m Olympic Trials).

The battle for the final spot for women was, well, dramatic. Betsy Saina collapsed just after 21 miles, telling media forensically that she was overcome by the heat.

An Olympic Trials event is a battle of attrition. It is also the battle of who wants it the very most.

About 40 years ago, 1968 Olympic gold medalist Bill Toomey told me that winning a gold medal is about the one who “covets it the most.”

Dakotah Lindwurn, with the loss of her Mother, with the support of her family, friends, and all of Minnesota (including Kara Goucher, one global television) were in her corner.

But Dakotah, who has taken some brazen leads and held them, ran a tactical race, only moving past Caroline Rotich in the very last miles, holding off the contenders, who were running out of their minds, in 2:25:31, fourteen minutes better than her last Olympic Trials.

I could not help but tearing up seeing Dakotah Lindwurm crossing the line in Orlando. We have this wonderful picture of Dakotah being embraced by Emily Sisson and Fional O’Keeffe.

The artist Andy Warhol spoke, fifty years ago about modern media and how many of us would have our “fifteen minutes of fame.”

Dakotah Lindwurm, with her Midwestern reslience and charm, willed herself onto the US Olympic team, making her dreams a reality. The support of Coach Chris Lundstrom and Team Minnesota Elite and PUMA (she has been sponsored by PUMA since 2022), was noted by Dakotah in her post event comments.

We look forward to seeing this amazing athlete running through the streets of Paris with teammates Fiona O’Keeffe and Emily Sisson. What a women’s team we are sending to Paris 2024!