Inspiration Report



Despite the horrible weather competitors faced at this years Boston Marathon, racer Desiree Linden kept pushing through to become the first American woman to win since 1985.

The two-time Olympian came out on top after she pulled past Ethiopian runner Mamitu Daska toward the end of the race. For the final five miles of the race, Linden expanded her lead and crossed the finish line with no other runners in sight. Linden won the women’s race with an unofficial time 2:39.54 — more than 10 minutes off the her personal record.

Linden led the pack as American women took home seven of the 10 top spots at the finish line including runners Shalane Flanagan, Molly Huddle and Sara Sellers. On the men’s side, the American’s took home six of the top 10 spots.

Lisa Larsen Weidenbach’s 1985 victory was the last for an American woman. This was before the race began offering prize money that lured the top international competitors to the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon.

This wasn’t the first time that the 34-year-old from Michigan ran the marathon. Linden came up short in 2011 where she finished in second place, losing only by two seconds in the official time.

“I love this city, this race, this course,” Linden said in a TV interview. “It’s storybook.”

It was a nasty day for a race. Officials announced a temperature of 38 degrees at 8:40 a.m. making it the coldest start in 30 years. This, coupled with rain and wind, made for a stark contrast of last years race, which started at 80-degree temperatures.

Sportsmanship among the Americans was on full display during the race, particularly when Linden held back toward the beginning of the race to help Flanagan catch up to the pack after stopping at a port-a-potty. In an interview after the race, Linden said she wasn’t feeling well, considered dropping out mid-race and chose to instead try to help Flanagan.

“To be honest, at miles 2-3-4, I didn’t think I’d make it to the finish line,” Linden said. “When you work together, you never know what’s going to happen. Helping her helped me.”

Flanagan and Linden have represented the U.S. together throughout their careers, including at the Olympic marathon in 2012 and 2016.

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