85-Year-Old Santa Cruz Runner Makes Boston Marathon History

Desi Linden battles through icy rain and near-gale headwinds to become the first American woman to win the Boston marathon since 1985

On her way to becoming the first American victor of the Boston Marathon in 33 years, Desiree Linden stunned onlookers with a selfless act of sportsmanship.

Linden cruised down Boylston Street all alone in a chilly downpour, claiming her first major title in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds.

Congrats to Linden on one of racing's greatest accomplishments. She also showed fantastic sportsmanship early on in the 26.2-mile course, leaving the lead pack after fellow American contender and current New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan stopped to use a portable toilet, according to CNN.

This year's men's race was won by Japan's Yuki Kawauchi, with a time of 2:15:58.

Flanagan finished seventh, one of seven American women finishing in the top eight.

Ron Peck didn't sugarcoat a thing as he drove home to Waterville from running Monday's Boston Marathon. You could say she knows the course - and its rolling hills and turns - like the back of her hams.

The last time a woman won the storied Boston race was in 1985, when Michigan's Lisa Larsen Rainsberger won with a time of 2:34:06. April Conrad is a nurse and has volunteered at many Boston marathons in the past.

"I'm trying to have my best Boston race ever", Flanagan said in a statement.

"Yes, I'm happy, given the conditions and the cramping, the cramping really slowed me down... so I'm happy yeah", he said.

The Boston Marathon kicked off this morning and, well, the conditions weren't ideal: heavy rain, winds up to 25 miles per hour and the coldest start in three decades.

"I knew I could get back to the pack if it was slow enough, so that was a calculated risk I took", Flanagan said.

Last year, Linden finished fourth in Boston with a time of 2:25:06, finishing about three minutes behind the victor.

Kirui, who set the halfway pace at 1:05:59, failed in his bid to become the first back-to-back Boston men's victor since compatriot Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot in 2006-2008. She is the first American woman to win the race since 1985.

"I told myself, 'Just relax, just run my race, don't panic, ' " said Biowatt, who was born in Kenya and became a USA citizen in 2012. "He just rolls with it, like, "You can be mad when you need to be mad, and I'm going to be here".

The lack of pace was a reflection of the conditions - just over 3 degrees Celsius when the race began and pouring rain throughout the morning - which Linden described as "brutal". "It's supposed to be hard", she told reporters after the race. "We register people as they specify themselves to be", Tom Grilk, who heads up the Boston Athletic Association, told the Associated Press.

But when the professional runner joined the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project, she saw the transformative effect that training for the marathon had on her team mates.

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