'Storybook'

After fierce rally, an American woman wins the Boston Marathon for 1st time in 33 years

Desiree Linden won the Boston Marathon on Monday with a time of 2:39:54, making her the first American woman to win the iconic race since 1985, when Lisa Rainsberger broke the tape in the contest. Linden battled a driving rain, winds and cold temperatures — some of the worst weather in the event’s history — and overcame some feelings that she might not even finish the 26.2-mile race, she said afterward. She also almost completely gave up any chance to win or finish in the top 10 when she decided to provide moral support to another U.S. runner, Shalane Flanagan, who needed to make a bathroom stop along the way.

“Honestly, at mile 2, 3, 4, I didn’t feel like I was even going to make it to the finish line,” Linden said after the race, saying she let Flanagan know she was struggling too. “I told her in the race, I said, ‘You know, if there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might just drop out.’ When you work together, you never know what’s going to happen. Helping her helped me and kind of got my legs back from there.”

What happened was: Linden battled back, finally taking the lead in Mile 22 and crossed the finish line, arms aloft, a decisive five minutes ahead of her closest competitor. That rally to victory led to an emotional moment in the chutes after she finished. Watch the video of her dramatic finish below.

Flanagan ended up pulling off a sixth-place finish. (Ahhh — women helping women. We love to see that.) And of the top eight finish places, six of them were claimed by American women.

Linden, an Olympian, nearly won the Boston Marathon in 2011, finishing just two seconds behind the winner. On Monday, the scale of her achievement was not lost on her.

“I love this city,” Linden told NBC Sports. “I love this race, this course. It’s storybook, so I’m thrilled to be here and to get it done.”

Read the full story at CNN.

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