Inclement weather forced the Red Sox to postpone their Patriots Day game for the first time since 1984. But 30-degree temperatures, heavy rain, and 25 mile-per-hour headwinds couldn’t stop American Desiree Linden from taking the win at the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon. With a time of 2:39:54, Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985.
The dramatic win was the result of smart race strategy, as the 34-year old resisted the urge to lead from the front in the initial miles, instead letting Buzunesh Deba, Gladys Chesir, and Mamitu Daska rotate through the lead in the initial miles, running serpentine at times trying to avoid huge puddles.
At mile 7, Linden could be seen conversing with fellow American Shalane Flanagan. Flanagan then moved to other Americans in the lead pack, including Molly Huddle and Serena Burla, before pulling off to use the bathroom at Mile 12. In a show of sportsmanship, Linden hung back to help Flanagan rejoin the main pack.
Meanwhile, Daska used the pit stop as an opportunity to surge ahead, building a 19-second lead ahead of the field as Linden and Flanagan worked to re-join the chase pack by mile 13. Daska continued to surge, building her lead to 27 seconds at the 15-mile mark. The move, though gutsy, was unsustainable, as Daska struggled on the Newton hills and fell apart quickly. Chesir and Linden, seeing Daska’s weakness, surged ahead to close the gap. Chasir overtook Daska first near Hearbreak Hill, but it was Linden who identified the perfect time to drop both, surging at mile 22 to take the lead.
With wild chants of “USA! USA! USA!” from the spectators in the final miles of the race, Linden split 6-minute miles to pull away from the competition. She raised her arms in victory as she crossed the finish line, elated, in 2:39:54.
Further underscoring the strength of the American women’s field in marathon racing today was Sara Sellers, a former track standout at Weber State University in Utah, ran a stellar Boston debut with a time of 2:44:05 to take second place. She didn’t know she was in second place until someone informed her after she crossed the finish line, and even then, she was in disbelief.
“I think I’m going to wake up and this will be a dream,” Sellers said after the race.
Other top American women were Rachel Hyland in fourth place with 2:44:29, Nicole Dimercurio in fifth with 2:45:52, Flanagan in sixth with 2:46:31, Kimi Reed in seventh with 2:46:57, and Joanna Thompson in tenth with 2:48:31.
April 16, 2018
- Desiree Linden (USA) (2:39:54)
- Sara Sellers (USA) (2:44:05)
- Krista Duchene (CAN) (2:44:20)
- Rachel Hyland (USA) (2:44:29)
- Nicole Dimercurio (USA) (2:45:52)
- Shalane Flanagan (USA) (2:46:31)
- Kimi Reed (USA) (2:46:47)
- Edna Kiplagat (KEN) (2:47:14)
- Hiroko Yoshitomi (JPN) (2:48:29)
- Joanna Thompson (USA) (2:48:31)
Updates will be made to this story throughout the day. Visit Competitor.com’s Boston Coverage 2018 page for on-the-ground coverage of the race.