To her surprise, she went on to rank first in the women's race, becoming the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.
At the beginning of her Boston Marathon race, Desiree Linden was not sure if she had enough to make it to the finish line. It's also the first marathon win of the 34-year-old's career. In fact, she won by 4 minutes and 10 seconds. "I'm thrilled. It's supposed to be hard". Kirui slowed and stumbled across the Copley Square finish line 2:25 later, followed by Shadrack Biwott and three other US men.
Linden finished second in 2011 with a time of 2:22:38. Linden is also a two-time Olympian - she came in seventh at the 2016 Rio Games, and had to drop out a few miles into the marathon at the 2012 London Games due to a stress fracture.
"For me, these are the best conditions possible", Kawauchi said jokingly, according to the Boston Marathon's Twitter account. At mile 7, while in the lead pack, Linden could be seen conversing with Flanagan. "I told [Flanagan] during the race '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". Her finishing time was 2:39:54.
This was the slowest time for a women's victor since 1978.
Canadian Krista Duchene finished in third place and was the only non-American runner to place in the top five.
Lisa Larsen Weidenbach's 1985 victory was the last for an American woman - before the race began offering prize money that lured the top global competitors to the world's oldest and most prestigious annual marathon. The last American man to win Boston was Meb Keflezighi, in 2014.