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2018 Boston Marathon: Des Linden is first American woman to win since 1985

Linden overcame the elements to conquer the field and breakthrough for the biggest win of her life.

When Mamitu Daska broke away from the elite runners at the halfway mark of the 2018 Boston Marathon, it looked as though the Ethiopian would leave the women’s race in her rear view. Desiree Linden wasn’t having any of it.

Linden led the effort to chase down Daska, then blew away the field in the final five miles to become the first American woman to win the race since 1985. Linden, a two-time Olympian, overcame 38-degree temperatures, whipping winds, and a constant downpour in Massachusetts to earn a career-defining victory in the iconic race.

Daska took a sizeable lead at the race’s halfway point and pushed the pace for several miles before Linden reeled her in, using a determined stride to occupy the top spot after cresting Heartbreak Hill. She pushed past the Ethiopian and outlasted Kenyan Rebecca Chesir to create a lead so wide the rest of the field could only be seen through backup cameras.

We witnessed history at the #BostonMarathon!

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But while Linden may have been running solo over her final four miles, she wasn’t alone. A raucous crowd braved the elements to cheer on the American, erupting into a deafening roar as the Californian turned onto Boylston Street and closed toward the final stretch. The weather opened up for her in celebration — the rain came harder than it had all afternoon to welcome her to the 26th mile.

She crossed the finish line in 2:39.54 — nearly 20 minutes off the marathon’s record, but still an amazing time given the gruesome weather.

In the end, Linden’s performance proved Sarah Hall’s prognostication correct.