The prerace hopes were sky high that an American woman would win the 2018 Boston Marathon for the first time in 33 years. On Monday, Desiree Linden, two-time Olympian, gave her country what it wished for by winning her first major marathon in 2:39:54.
Linden, 34, tucked into a slow-moving pack navigating driving rains, a challenging headwind, and temperatures around 37 degrees, for the first half of the race, even aiding fellow American Shalane Flanagan to rejoin the group after Flanagan needed to take a bathroom stop right before the 20K water station.
At that point, Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia made a break for it and gapped the lead pack of women by 25 seconds. Linden and Gladys Chesir of Kenya slowly chased Daska down through the Newton hills, where Linden surged ahead after mile 20.
From there, Linden quickly created a 20-second lead over the final 5K. It was one of the slowest finishes in the last 40 or so years of Boston history, but it was also contested in some of the worst weather conditions.