Desiree Linden splashed her way through icy rain and a near-gale headwind to a Boston Marathon victory on Monday, the first American woman to win the race since 1985.
The two-time Olympian and 2011 Boston runner-up pulled away at the end of Heartbreak Hill and ran alone through Brookline to finish in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. That's the slowest time for a women's winner since 1978.
Linden attended Arizona State University from 2001-2005 and ran cross country and track for the Sun Devils.
“It’s cool to be apart of that and be apart of her history and her growth,” said Louie Quintana, Linden's former coach while she attended ASU. “She certainly was an underdog; she knew that and she wore that, and I think that she still wears that to this day.”
Quintana is now head cross county and track and field coach at Oregon State University.
A field of 30,000 runners fought drenching rain, temperatures in the mid-30s and gusts of up to 32 mph 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!"
“It’s special, I’ve been dreaming about this my entire life and so to get it done, to have a dream become reality is incredible,” said Linden. “The conditions play a huge factor, obviously, and I was experiencing myself but you gotta dig in and get the job done. The course and conditions, I loved it all.”