ASU’s Linden is first American woman to win Boston Marathon since 1985
Arizona State product 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 and ran alone through Brookline to finish in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. That’s the slowest time for a women’s winner since 1978.
A field of 30,000 runners fought drenching rain, temperatures in the mid-30s and gusts of up to 32 mph on the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Copley Square.
A crowd of fans —thinned and muffled by the weather— greeted Linden with chants of “U-S-A!”
The 34-year-old Linden was a two-time All-American in track and cross country in college and ran for the Sun Devils from 2001-05.
“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.”
Lisa Larsen Weidenbach’s 1985 victory was the last for an American woman — before the race began offering prize money that lured the top international competitors to the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon. Linden nearly ended the drought in 2011 when she was outkicked down Boylston Street and finished second by 2 seconds.
Yuki Kawauchi passed defending champion Geoffrey Kirui in Kenmore Square to win the men’s race 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 U.S. men.
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