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Desi Linden became the first U.S. female runner to win the Boston Marathon since 1985, enduring the downpour, wind and cold for the biggest victory of her career.
Linden, a two-time Olympian, clocked an unofficial 2:39:53 and captured the world’s oldest annual marathon. She pulled away from Ethiopian Mamitu Daska and Kenyan Gladys Chesir in the 22nd mile, wearing a black and lime green jacket for all 26.2 miles.
It was likely the coldest Boston Marathon start in 30 years, according to organizers — high 30s, rain and winds forecasted at about 20 mph.
Linden was arguably the least talked-about of the four who entered the weekend looking to end the U.S. women’s 33-year drought. Even though she had previously finished in the top five three times in Boston, including missing the win in 2011 by two seconds.
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.
Linden slowed midway through Monday’s race to help Flanagan back into the lead pack after Flanagan took a port-a-potty break.
Jordan Hasay, third in Boston last year and the second-fastest U.S. female marathon runner all time, withdrew on the eve of the race with a stress reaction in her heel.
The last American female runner to win Boston was Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985, one year before prize money started being awarded, a greater incentive for the world’s top runners to enter.
BOSTON MARATHON: Full Results | Finish Line Camera
Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 Boston Marathon winner who retired from elite racing after his 26th marathon last year, began his second marathon career as a charity runner.
Keflezighi, a four-time Olympian and 2004 marathon silver medalist, raced with the names of four victims of the 2013 bombings scribbled on the corners of his bib, as he did when he won in 2014. Keflezighi ran for a charity foundation honoring one of the youngest victim, then-8-year-old Martin Richard.
The 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden won her fifth Boston wheelchair title in an unofficial 2:04:41, the slowest winning time in 30 years.
Likewise, Swiss Marcel Hug won his fourth straight wheelchair title in the slowest men’s winning time in 31 years. He clocked 1:46:26, well off his course record 1:18:04 from last year when the race-start temperature was near 70 degrees.
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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WATCH: Boston Marathon finish-line camera until 5 p.m. ET
Galen Rupp minutes before the start in Hopkinton. (NBC Sports Gold)
olympics,marathon,commonwealth games,great britain,callum hawkins