Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Desi Linden is first U.S. woman to win Boston Marathon since 1985

Desi Linden is first U.S. woman to win Boston Marathon since 1985

Desiree Linden is the first American to win the women's division of the Boston Marathon since 1985.

Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.

Shalane Flanagan, the 2017 New York City Marathon champ in her likely last Boston Marathon, and two-time Olympian Molly Huddle dropped out of contention in the 19th and 20th miles.

Kirui slowed and stumbled across the Copley Square finish line 2:25 later, followed by Shadrack Biwott and three other USA men.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN. "I'm thrilled, it's supposed to be hard and I just want to thank John Hancock and the B.A.A. for giving me a chance year after year and believing in me when I didn't believe in myself".

Both runners were part of the lead pack when Flanagan made her stop. After finishing as the runner-up in 2011, losing by just two seconds in the final moments of the race, Linden crossed the finish line in 2:39.54 to become the first US woman since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach to claim the title in one of the most prestigious marathons in the world.

In 2011, Linden finished second in the women's division, just 2 seconds behind Caroline Kilel.

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Kawauchi, 31, appeared stunned and emotional at the finish line.

Desiree Linden, the MI resident known as one of the world's elite distance runners, has won the women's division of the Boston Marathon. But then she began dipping her toe back into road races in the fall, and found that taking a few months off gave her fresh legs.

Linden, 34, ran the more than 26 miles in the historic race Monday - through icy winds and rain - finishing with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 53 seconds.

"For me, these are the best conditions possible", Kawauchi said after the race. Kirui was second in 2:18:23. The move was atypical for an elite runner, but iconic marathoner Katherine Switzer said on the WBZ broadcast Flanagan should be able to make up for the time lost because of the slower pace.

But the East Africans who have dominated the professional era of the race had their worst performance in decades.

The World Marathon Majors season continues with the London Marathon on Sunday, live at 3:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

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