Two-time Olympian Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years on Monday when she broke the tape at the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds.
Linden, 34, won with a time more than 14 minutes slower than her previous two races, but course conditions were not conducive to personal- or course-record performances.
Fellow American Sarah Sellers was second, 4:10 behind Linden.
“I don’t have the right words. I’m thrilled,” Linden said on the TV broadcast immediately after the race. “It’s supposed to be hard. … I was just lucky to get it done.”
Linden finished second in 2011 with a time of 2:22:38.
In the men’s 26.2-mile race, Japanese amateur Yuki Kawauchi won in 2:15:58, his first major marathon victory. Kawauchi is known in the running community but works full time for the government in Japan and is without sponsorship. He is not regularly viewed as an “elite” marathon runner.
Kawauchi, 31, appeared stunned and emotional at the finish line. While he is a seasoned runner with more than 80 marathon finishes in his career, Monday’s time in Boston adds to his record number of 2:20-and-under marathon finishes.
The temperature Monday morning at the start line was announced at 30 degrees and rain fell throughout the race, often heavily, to make for a slower overall pace.
“For me, these are the best conditions possible,” Kawauchi said after the race.
The last Japanese man to win the Boston Marathon was Toshihiko Seko in 1987. Kawauchi is the ninth Japanese male to win Boston.
Kawauchi is dubbed a “Citizen Runner” and holds the world record for the fastest marathon in a full business suit and the top time wearing a panda costume.