After more than three decades, an American woman won the Boston Marathon! Desi Linden battled the elements and the best runners in the world to claim gold, so get to know all about her.
1. She is the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in more than three decades. The 2018 edition of the Boston Marathon may go down as one of the harshest races in the event’s 122-year-history. Runners braved flooded streets, unforgiving winds and just miserable weather, but through it all, Desi Linden, 34, persevered to pull of a history win! Desi (born Desiree Nicole Davila) broke away from Gladys Chesir, 25, of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska, 34, at the 35k mark, according to USA Today. She never looked back. After finishing the race with an official time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 53 seconds, Desi became the first woman to win the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen took first back in 1985, three months before Desi turned 2-years old!
2. This was her sixth attempt to win the race. So, “sixth time’s the charm?” Is that a new saying? It might be. She first ran the race in 2007, placing 19th with a time of 2:44:56. She finished fourth in 2017 and 2015, while coming in 10th in 2014. Prior to her win in 2018, the closest she got was in 2011. She finished second, just two seconds behind Caroline Kilel, 37.
3. She actually slowed down to wait for a fellow racer during the 2018 marathon. When Shalane Flanagan, 36, the winner of the 2017 New York City marathon (and the first American to win that race since Miki Gorman’s 1977 victory) pulled off the course for a pit stop, it seemed like Desi slowed down to wait. Many viewers celebrated this camaraderie online. “Desi Linden just slowed down to wait for Shalane Flannagan to use the bathroom during the Boston Marathon and help her catch up, that’s the type of girl power we need in the world !!!” one tweeted, per CBS Sports. “.@des_linden waiting for @ShalaneFlanagan and then running them back into the lead pack hits me where it hurts. Sportsmanship gives me all the feelings!!!#BostonMarathon”
4. She almost hung up her running shoes. After placing fourth at the 2017 Boston marathon, Desi said she didn’t feel like running again until five months later. “I hated everything about running,” she told Runners World, expressing her frustration from failing to win three marathons in the prior 14 months (she came in second at the Olympic trials, finished seventh at the 2016 Olympics and fourth in Boston.) “There is this post-Olympic hangover, for sure,” she said. “I think you throw yourself into the next big thing so you don’t [feel it]. Then it kind of kicks you in the butt at some point.”
Your 2018 Boston Marathon open women’s champion Desiree Linden!!! pic.twitter.com/D0D4hJNI9m
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) April 16, 2018
5. This is her biggest win. Breaking a 33-year drought for American women’s running has ensured Desi’s place in the history books. The victory must also be sweet for Desi, as the gold at Boston is her biggest win. Prior to this, she took the silver in the 10k meters at the 2015 Pan American Games. She also finished second in the 2010 Chicago marathon. Congratulations!