BOSTON (USA TODAY) — American Desi Linden made a charge around mile 21 of Monday's Boston Marathon to become the first American woman to win the race since 1985.
Linden broke away from Kenya's Gladys Chesir and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia on a rainy and windy Patriots Day at the 35K mark with 2:12:22 elapsed.
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The two-time U.S. Olympian, who trains in Michigan, finished in 2:39:54 in a heavy rain. Boston has been a special place for Linden, who was fourth in the marathon last year and second in 2011.
"I love this city, I love this race, this course," she said. "It's storybook. I’m thrilled to be here and to get it done."
In the men's race, Yuki Kawauchi of Japan won his first Boston Marathon in 2:15:58. The last Japanese man to win the Boston Marathon was Toshihiko Seko in 1987.
Kawauchi passed defending champion Geoffrey Kirui in Kenmore Square. Kirui finished second in 2:18:23.
In a gesture of good sportsmanship, Linden slowed up and waited early in the race for Shalane Flanagan, the 2017 New York City Marathon champ, who darted into a Porta Potty and emerged a few seconds later. Linden helped Flanagan catch up to the lead pack.
Linden led the chase to catch Daska. She made a move at the end of Heartbreak Hill to take the lead, and Daska and Chesir couldn't stay in contact.
American Sarah Sellers was second, 4 minutes, 11 seconds behind Linden. Flanagan finished sixth as seven American women finished in the top 10.
Lisa Larsen Weidenbach was the last American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 1985.
Monday's conditions were tough for the field of 30,000 runners with temperatures in the low 40s with periods of heavy rain and wind. It was the slowest time for a women's winner since 1978.
It marked the five-year anniversary of explosions at the finish line that killed three people and injured hundreds more. Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 Boston champion, was among those running for charity. Keflezighi, who's retired from competition, ran for the Martin Richard Foundation, in honor of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the bombings.
Contributing: Associated Press