Desiree Linden made the best of bad conditions on Monday to become the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985.
She clearly had more than enough motivation on this rainy Monday in Boston. Linden almost ended the drought in 2011 when she was outkicked down Boylston Street and finished second by 2 seconds.
"I told her (Flanagan) in the race, I said if there's anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might just drop out", Linden said in a statement.
2 hours, 39 minutes and 54 seconds - was the slowest winning time since 1978, that only spoke to the hard conditions runners faced through the 26.2 mile course, battered by a tough wind and cold rain that kept the pace relatively slow.
"Even on a day like today where it's pretty miserable out", she added, "people show up and they embrace the race".
"I nearly feel like I have to pretend like I don't want to win it in order to do well", she said. Professional distance runners Shalane Flanagan, Molly Huddle and Sara Sellers, among several others, joined Linden in the women's race, and Americans filled six of the top eight finishers.
"I love this city, this race, this course", Linden said in a TV interview.
Flanagan and Linden have represented the US together throughout their careers, including at the Olympic marathon in 2012 and 2016. She navigated the Boston asphalt in 2:39:54.
Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi won the men's title Monday, winning his fourth marathon this year and earning Japan's first Boston Marathon win since 1987.
Kawauchi also ended a long drought for Japan.
Canadian Krista Duchene finished in third place and was the only non-American runner to place in the top five.
Correction: The original version of this story misstated the amount of time by which Desiree Linden lost the 2011 Boston Marathon.