SOURCE: Bleacher Report
For the first time since 1985, an American woman has won the Boston Marathon.
Desiree Linden captured the victory Monday with an unofficial time of 2:39:54. Linden is the first American woman since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach to cross the finish line first at marathoning’s preeminent race.
She battled treacherous conditions, highlighted by rain and cold temperatures, to pull away from the field for a relatively easy win.
“I don’t have the right words. I’m thrilled. It’s supposed to be hard,” Linden said afterward, per the race’s Twitter account.
Sarah Sellers finished more than four minutes behind in second place.
Of course, not all of Linden’s slowish time was the result of the weather. In a fun sign of solidarity, Linden stopped with teammate Shalane Flanagan early in the race when she used a restroom on the track.
“Honestly at mile 2, 3, 4 I didn’t feel like I was gonna even make it to the finish line,” Linden said, via Roxanna Scott of USA Today. “I told her [Flanagan] in the race, I said if there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might just drop out.
“When you work together, you never know what’s going to happen,” Linden said. “Helping her helped me and kind of got my legs back from there.”
Linden is the 16th American woman to win the marathon, though the race has been dominated by other nations in recent years. The race winner had come from Kenya or Ethiopia for the last decade.
Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia led for more than half of the race but faded down the stretch. Linden took her lead in the 21st mile, passing Daska and then Gladys Chesir of Kenya. Seven different American women finished in the top 10.