It was a wet and dreary day as heavy rain and high-powered winds pummeled the Northeast, but nothing could’ve dampened Desiree Linden’s mood.
The running veteran and two-time Olympian became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years, securing her victory in 2 hours, 39 minutes and 54 seconds — more than four minutes ahead of the second-place finisher.
Running steadily and patiently, the Brooks Running Co.-sponsored athlete managed to command the race even after slowing down to help fellow runner Shalane Flanagan rejoin the pack following a crucial moment when she pulled away for a bathroom break. Linden then surged ahead to bridge the gap between then-leader Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia and eventually took the lead, pulling off her first World Marathon Major win.
“I never could have imagined how incredible the feeling of breaking the tape on Boylston [Street, where the finish line was located] would be if I tried,” Linden said in a statement through Brooks. “This one race has been years in the making. After near misses and so many days working toward this, I feel proud and overjoyed.”
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Another American, Sarah Sellers, placed second in the race, with Canadian Krista Duchene nabbing third. Seven of the top 10 spots went to American women. (On the men’s side, American runners landed six of the top 10 spots.)
The last woman to win the Boston Marathon was Lisa Larsen Weidenbach, who earned the distinction in 1985.
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