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Linden takes Boston in American deluge; first U.S. woman to win since 1985


BOSTON – The worst weather conditions in Boston in 30 years led to the best finish by an American woman in 33 years on Monday, as Desiree Linden (Chula Vista, California) took an impressive win in 2:39:54, leading seven American women in the top 10.


On a day with a windchill of 31 degrees, a driving and at times blinding rain, and wind gusts of 15 mph, weather was as much of a factor as any runner. Twenty-six-year-old American Sarah Sellers (Ogden, Utah) placed second overall at 2:44:05, with Krista Duchene of Canada third in 2:44:95. She was followed by Americans Rachel Hyland (Chicago, Illinois), Nicole Dimercurio (Suwannee, Georgia), Shalane Flanagan (Marblehead, Massachusetts), and Kimi Reed (Rolla, Missouri). Joanna Thompson (Knoxville, Tennessee) was tenth to round up the top Americans.


Linden became the first American women’s winner since Lisa Weidenbach in 1985.


Linden was the Boston Marathon runner-up in 2011, when a tailwind and great running resulted in an American course record of 2:22:38, just two seconds away from giving Linden the win. With 2018 weather conditions as unfavorable as 2011 were favorable, Linden’s strength was even more beneficial.


The two-time Olympian bided her time as Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia forged a huge lead, then Gladys Chesir of Kenya reeled her in. But Linden never lost touch with Chesir. Running strong and controlled, she darted around Chesir at 35k and kept the pedal down for the remainder of the race.


In the men’s race, Yuki Kawauchi became the first Japanese male winner since Toshihiko Seko in 1987, in 2:15:54, with Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya second in 2:18:20. Americans went 3-6 and placed six in the top 10, with Shadrack Biwott (Albuquerque, New Mexico) third (2:18:35), Tyler Pennel (Golden, Colorado) fourth (2:18:57), Andrew Bumbalough (Brentwood, Tennessee) fifth (2:19:52) and Scott Smith (Laguna Niguel, California) sixth (2:21:47).


Tatyana McFadden (Champaign, Illinois) won her fifth career wheelchair title in Boston, with a time of 2:04:39. Marcel Hug of Switzerland won his fourth men’s title in 1:46:26.


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