U.S. woman wins Boston Marathon
BOSTON — After slogging through just a few miles of icy rain and a near-gale headwind that made her feel like she was running in place, Desiree Linden decided she’d seen enough of the Boston Marathon for another year.
“My hands were freezing, and there are times where you were just stood up by the wind. It was comical how slow you were going, and how far you still had to go,” Linden said.
“At 6 miles I was thinking, ‘No way, this is not my day,’ ’’ she said. “Then you break the tape and you’re like, ’This is not what I expected today.’ ’’
A two-time Olympian and the 2011 Boston Marathon runner-up, Linden decided to stick around, outlasting the weather and the rest of the field to win the race’s 122nd edition on Monday in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. That was more than four minutes better than second-place finisher Sarah Sellers but the slowest time for a women’s winner in Boston since 1978.
Yuki Kawauchi splashed through the pelting rain, temperatures in the mid-30s and wind that gusted as high as 32 mph to win the men’s race, passing defending champion Geoffrey Kirui in Kenmore Square to earn Japan’s first Boston title since 1987 and the $150,000 first prize.
Wearing a white windbreaker that was drenched and billowing in the wind, Kirui slowed and stumbled across the Copley Square finish line in second, 2:25 back, followed by Shadrack Biwott and three other U.S. men. The winning time of 2:15:58 and was the slowest since Jack Fultz overcame temperatures in the high 90s to win the “Run for the Hoses” in 1976.
“For me, it’s the best conditions possible,” said Kawauchi, who competed in 12 marathons last year — six times the usual number for an elite runner — and also works as a school administrator.
Runners donned hats and extra layers, and the lead packs tried to draft off the media truck to avoid the rain that was hitting them horizontally at times. Wheelchair winners Marcel Hug of Switzerland and American Tatyana McFadden, both five-time champions, said they were unable to see through the spray that spun off their wheels.
“It was just tough, it was so freezing,” Hug said through chattering teeth. “I’m just very glad that I made it.”
On the fifth anniversary of the finish line explosions that killed three and wounded hundreds more, Linden became the first U.S. woman to win since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985 — before the race began offering prize money that lured the top international competitors to town.
Desiree Linden of Washington, Mich., runs past the location where one of the bombs exploded during 2013 Boston Marathon as she celebrates after winning the women’s race of the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday.
Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, celebrates after winning the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday.