In Brutal Conditions, American Woman Wins Boston Marathon

Desiree Linden is first to do so since 1985; Japan's Yuki Kawauchi wins overall race
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2018 12:17 PM CDT
Desiree Linden of Washington, Mich., celebrates after winning the women's division of the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – Desiree Linden splashed her way through icy rain and a near-gale headwind to a Boston Marathon victory on Monday, the first American woman to win the race since 1985. The two-time Olympian and 2011 Boston runner-up pulled away at the end of Heartbreak Hill to finish in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds, per the AP. That was more than four minutes better than second-place finisher Sarah Sellers, one of seven Americans in the top 10, but the slowest time for a women's winner since 1978. On the men's side, Yuki Kawauchi passed defending champion Geoffrey Kirui in Kenmore Square to win in an unofficial 2:15:58 and earn Japan's first Boston Marathon title since 1987. Kirui slowed and stumbled across the Copley Square finish line 2:25 later, followed by Shadrack Biwott and three other US men.

"It's supposed to be hard," said Linden, who wiped the spray of rain from her eyes as she made her way down Boylston Street alone. "It's good to get it done." On the fifth anniversary of the finish line explosions that killed three and wounded hundreds more, Linden and Kawauchi led a field of 30,000 runners through a drenching rain, temperatures in the mid-30s, and gusts of up to 32mph on the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton. "For me, it's the best conditions possible," Kawauchi said through an interpreter and with a wide smile. In Copley Square, crowds thinned and muffled by the weather greeted Linden, the California native who lives in Michigan, with chants of "U-S-A!"

(Read more Boston Marathon stories.)

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