The drought is over for American women at the Boston Marathon. Desiree “Desi” Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in more than three decades after pulling away from a competitive field and battling unusually cold, wet and windy conditions.
The win marked redemption for Linden, who performed in the elite field at Boston throughout her career and lost the 2011 Boston Marathon title by just six seconds. Linden came out on top Monday when she pulled away from the chase pack and took the lead from Ethiopian runner Mamitu Daska toward the end of the race. For the final five miles of the race, Linden expanded her lead and crossed the finish line, drenched from the rain and with no other runners in sight. Linden crossed the Boston Marathon finish line with an unofficial time 2:39.54 — more than 10 minutes off the her personal record but a substantial effort amid Boston’s harsh weather conditions on Monday.
Linden’s victory answered months of speculation as to whether a U.S. woman could win thanks to a talented American field in this year’s race. Professional distance runners Molly Huddle and Shalane Flanagan joined Linden in the women’s race. In November 2017, Flanagan won the TCS New York City Marathon — similarly becoming the first American woman to do so since 1977.