Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.
On Monday, two-time Olympian Linden was first to break the tape at the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. Not only did she break a streak of it being years since an American woman had won the marathon, but she also did it in a longer time than her previous two races.
6th time’s a charm. Keep showing up! pic.twitter.com/TCJrG4Ee7A— des_linden (@des_linden) April 16, 2018
The 34-year old won the marathon with a time 14 minutes longer than her previous two races because of course conditions. This year, due to weather, the race route was not conducive to personal or course-record performances.
“I don’t have the right words. I’m thrilled. It’s supposed to be hard. I was just lucky to get it done,” she shared with the national news immediately following her triumphant win.
Seven years ago the long distance runner almost broke the record of an American woman winning the Boston Marathon but she came up short. Linden took second place back in 2011, with a time of 2 hours 22 minutes and 38 seconds. However, this year she was able to complete the task at hand, taking over the honor held by Larson Weidenbach since 1985.
Even if Desiree Linden had not won the Boston Marathon this year, there would have been an American woman taking home the win. Fellow American Sarah Sellers came in second place with a time of only 4 minutes and 10 seconds longer than the winner.
If winning the marathon wasn’t enough, Linden proved what a class act she was when she stopped to wait for American runner Shalene Flanagen, when she stopped by a portable facility for a pit stop in the middle of the race. Linden later shared with NBC that she believed she was going to drop out of the race, so she figured she might as well help out her fellow runner Flanagen.
Actions and behaviors show people who you are. Much respect for @des_linden in waiting and helping Shalane get back up to the pack. To me, this shows that they are in it to get an American to win, regardless of which on it is.— Steve Magness (@stevemagness) April 16, 2018
In the end, Linden did not drop out of the race. She won. However, her willingness to help others during the course is gaining her just as much attention as her historic win.