Former ASU runner Desiree Linden wins Boston Marathon
Former Arizona State University distance runner Desiree Linden became the first American woman since 1985 to win the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Linden, 34, reached the finish in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds in rain and wind gusts of up to 32 mph.
The two-time Olympian and 2011 Boston runner-up pulled away at the end of Heartbreak Hill and ran alone through Brookline.
She finished in the slowest time for a women’s winner since 1978.
— Arizona State Sun Devils (@TheSunDevils) April 16, 2018
Linden was not the only Arizona native to make waves during the marathon: Sarah Sellers, the American who finished second in the race, was a full-time nurse at Banner Health Center in Tucson, according to The Boston Globe.
Sellers, who ran the marathon in 2 hours, 44 minutes, ran only one marathon prior to the one in Boston: The Huntsville Marathon in Utah. Sellers also qualified for the Olympics with her run.
Marathon officials had tweeted that Ethiopian Mamitu Daska had a good-size lead about two hours into the race.
Linden, running in her sixth Boston Marathon, made her big move at the 22nd mile.
A field of 30,000 runners fought drenching rain, wind and temperatures in the mid-30s on the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Copley Square.
A crowd of fans — thinned and muffled by the weather — greeted Linden with chants of “U-S-A!”
Linden, then Desiree Davila, ran cross country for the Sun Devils from 2002 to 2004. The California native earned multiple All-America honors.
She finished seventh at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She made the 2012 London Olympics team but did not finish the race. It was later revealed she ran with a stress fracture in a femur.
Yuki Kawauchi of Japan won the men’s race.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.