Des Linden's win at the Boston Marathon may have come as a surprise to some, but there's one person who isn't shocked: her friend and fellow Olympian Shalane Flanagan. She ran it in a personal best 2:22:38.
According to USA Today, the 34-year-old athlete from MI displayed incredible sportsmanship before claiming her title by actually stopping to wait for Flanagan a couple of miles into the race. Finishing with a time of 2:39:54, the California native caught then-leader of the women's race, Ethiopian Mamitu Daska in the race's second half, then left Daska and the rest of the the field in her dust over the marathon's final five miles.
Desiree Linden splashed her way through icy rain and a near-gale headwind to win the Boston Marathon on Monday, the first victory for an American woman since 1985.
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"I love this city, this race, this course", Linden said in a TV interview.
In 2011, Linden finished second at Boston by just two seconds. That was more than four minutes better than second-place finisher Sarah Sellers, one of seven Americans in the top 10, but the slowest time for a women's victor since 1978.
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Lisa Larsen Weidenbach's 1985 victory was the last for an American woman - before the race began offering prize money that lured the top worldwide competitors to the world's oldest and most prestigious annual marathon. Rachel Hyland finished fourth and Jessica Chichester finished in fifth place. In a post-race interview, Linden shared that she had told Flanagan, "I might drop out today, if you need something, some help or whatever, let me know".
US athletes fared equally well in the men's race, notes the Washington Post.
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