facebook twitter rss
Desiree Davila is an athlete competing in track and field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA. She is a contender in the women's marathon.

Desiree Davila's career has been on a steady upward trajectory since she failed to make the team in 2008. Last year, she scored a runner-up finish at the Boston Marathon and now ranks as the third-fastest marathoner in U.S. history.

With burgeoning confidence after her runner-up finish in Boston and two PR's on the track in 2011, Davila headed to the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston as a popular choice to win the race. Davila ran at or near the front of the pack for the majority of the race, often dictating the tempo. With about six miles to go, Shalane Flanagan, Davila and Kara Goucher pulled away from Amy Hastings to secure their Olympic spots. Flanagan and Davila dropped Goucher at mile 23 and continued to duel toward the finish. Over the final mile, calf cramping took its toll on Davila and she wound up crossing second in 2:25:55.

After Boston, Davila turned her attention toward improving her quickness. The speed work manifested itself over the summer, first at the USA Outdoor Championships where she clocked personal bests in both the 5000m and 10,000m, finishing sixth in the 5-K at 15:25.35 and fourth in the 10-K at 31:37.14. In August, Davila improved her 5000m PR to 15:08.64 in a fourth-place effort at the Diamond League meeting in London.

In one of the most scintillating finishes in race history, Desiree Davila battled with Kenya's Caroline Kilel in an attempt to become the first American champion in the Boston Marathon since 1985. Davila held the lead in the closing miles, lost it and then pushed back to the front several times before she ran out of surges just before the finish line. She finished two seconds behind Kilel in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 38 seconds, becoming the third fastest American marathoner in history behind Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Davila kicked off her 2011 season in the Naples Half-Marathon in January, clocking a personal-best 1:10:22 before diving head-first into heavy training for the Boston Marathon in April. "That was a segment (of our training) where we said, 'let's just do some fun stuff,'" Davila said. "I did Club Cross and a couple of other things. Nothing with a specific focus, just 'let's race and have fun.'"

While so much of success in marathoning is predicated on an ability to recover from long runs and stay healthy, Davila says being a bit of a weakling has helped her avoid injuries. "It's a little bit of luck," she said. "Actually, I'm kind of a sissy, to be honest. If I feel the tiniest thing, I'm like, 'I need to check this out first. Let's have the PT look at it and I'll do my run later if I need to.' I think I just know the difference when, 'this could be bigger if I don't get on top of it right now.' I'm pretty conscious of that. It's a little bit of being a wuss that helps me stay healthy."

Davila dabbled a bit on the track in 2010, finishing 10th in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships in Doha and running personal bests in both the 5000m (15:29.78) and 10,000m (32:06.85) outdoors. But she also continued her steady improvement as a marathoner. At the Chicago Marathon in October, Davila was the top American woman in the race, finishing fourth in a personal-best 2:26:20. Afterward she was pleased with her performance, especially given the unseasonably warm temperatures, but looking toward the future. "If I can put a better (race) together, I'm not afraid to say that 2:24 could be in the cards," she said." I'm just going to keep moving forward and making little jumps."

Davila was hardly the marquee name on the U.S. roster for the World Championships marathon in 2009, but she turned in perhaps a greater performance than anyone on the team. She was running in 28th place at halfway mark of the race, but continued to move through the field. As the finish line neared, Davila closed rapidly on touted fellow American Kara Goucher and finished just behind her in 11th place. Davila's time of 2:27:53 was a personal-best by three minutes and 40 seconds.

Davila challenged for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team at the women's marathon Trials in Boston in 2008. At mile 22, she found herself was within eight seconds of third-place runner Blake Russell. However, Davila couldn't gain any more ground, and although she faded to 13th-place over the final few miles she still finished in a personal best 2:37:50.

Davila first gained international running experience as a member of both the USA World Road Running Team and Chiba Ekiden Relay Team in 2006 and 2007. She's competed twice in the World Road Running Championships, placing 43rd in 2006 in Hungary when it was a 20-K and 34th in 2007 in Italy when it was a half-marathon. Davila was part of the U.S. squad at the 2007 Chiba Ekiden, running a 16:11 five-kilometer leg. Later in 2007, she was fifth at the USA 20-K Championships in New Haven, Conn. in 1:10:07.

Davila is part of the Hanson-Brooks Distance Project, a training group run by brothers Keith and Kevin Hanson in Michigan. Unlike most professional runners, who have agents that negotiate shoe deals and race appearances and coaches to oversee training, the Hanson brothers serve both roles. Runners for the group receive sponsorship from Brooks, and work less than 30 hours per week at an internet retail company. "It's something different, and I have an outlet where I'm not always worrying about the running," Davila said.

Davila enjoyed a solid collegiate career at Arizona State University, where she majored in psychology. She earned her first All-America honors in 2003 when she finished 10th in the 5000m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She also earned All-America honors in cross-country in 2004. She finished her career ranked third and fifth on the school's indoor 3,000m and 5,000m run lists, respectively, and seventh and 10th in the outdoor 5,000m and 10,000m lists.

Davila's intellectual tastes tend to run a bit dark and complicated. She cites "Donnie Darko" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" as two of her favorite films. She said her prerace psych song is "I'm Ready," an old, rumbly Muddy Waters number.

A 2001 graduate of Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, Calif., Davila earned four varsity letters in track, cross-country and soccer. She was a three-time CIF and Metro League champion in cross-country from 1998-2000 and a four-time Metro League Runner of the Year. As a senior, she won CIF titles in both the 1600m and 3200m. At the California state meet, Davila placed fifth in the 1600m and fourth in the 3200m.

Davila hails from a family of soccer players. Her father, Dennis, and older sister, Natalie, both played the sport, as did she until ninth grade when a runner-up finish in California's state cross-country meet swayed her toward running. She is engaged to Ryan Linden, a local Michigan runner who trained with the Brooks Hansons Project.


How tall is Desiree Davila? How old is Desiree Davila? Where does Desiree Davila live? Find out here.

Age: 33 years old
Birthday: July 26, 1983
Height: 5' 2"
Weight: 99 lbs.
Birthplace: Chula Vista, CA
Current Residence: Rochester Hills, MI

Ryan Lochte Ryan Lochte Races Over to '90210' — Fresh off of his five medal wins from the 2012 London Olympics, the swimmer will make a cameo on the episode airing Monday, October 29, on The CW. Read more...
Gabby Douglas London Olympics Is Most-Watched TV Event in US History — More than 219 million people watched the 2012 London Olympics, surpassing the 215 million from the 2008 Beijing Games. Read more...
Bob Costas in "Football Night in America" '2012 London Olympic Games' Hosts and Correspondents Announced — Bob Costas, a 22-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, returns as the primetime host of the summer games, which begin Friday, July 27. Read more...





Track & Field







Rhythmic Gymnastics

Field Hockey




Who is Desiree Davila dating? What do you think of Desiree Davila?

Post a Comment
Display Name
E-mail (optional)
(not displayed with comment)
URL (optional)
  BB code and links are not permitted.