BOSTON (AP) — Desiree Linden splashed her way through icy rain and a near-gale headwind to win the Boston Marathon on Monday, the first victory for an American woman since 1985.

The two-time Olympian and 2011 Boston runner-up pulled away at the end of Heartbreak Hill to win in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. That was more than four minutes better than second-place finisher Sarah Sellers — one of seven Americans in the top 10 — but the slowest time for a women’s winner in Boston since 1978.

“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.”

Yuki Kawauchi passed defending champion Geoffrey Kirui as they passed through Kenmore Square with a mile to go to win the men’s race in 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.

“For me, it’s the best conditions possible,” Kawauchi said with a wide smile through an interpreter.

On the fifth anniversary of the finish line explosions that killed three and wounded hundreds more, Linden and Kawauchi led a field of 30,000 runners through a drenching rain, temperatures in the mid-30s and gusts of up to 32 mph on the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton.

In Copley Square, Crowds only partly thinned and muffled by the weather greeted Linden with chants of “U-S-A!”

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, a California native who lives in Michigan, nearly ended the drought in 2011 when she was …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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