85-Year-Old Santa Cruz Runner Makes Boston Marathon History

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

"Honestly at mile 2, 3, 4 I didn't feel like I was gonna even make it to the finish line", she said in an interview after her victory.

Sellers crossed the finish line in second place at the prestigious 26.2-mile race, in rain-soaked conditions, as a virtual unknown.

Des Linden is the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985.

A two-time Olympian and the 2011 Boston Marathon runner-up, Linden made a decision to stick around, outlasting the weather and the rest of the field to win the race's 122nd edition on Monday in two hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. The 23-year-old finished 35th in a field of more than 30,000 after covering the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 33 minutes, 9 seconds.

Sellers was a surprise, as was men's victor Yuki Kawauchi (more on the Japanese here), but as others said, Linden was built for this thinking-person's race and these conditions.

American Desiree Linden, a two-time Olympian, blew away her rivals, ending the 33-year USA drought in that race.

Her coach, Weber State's Paul Pilkington, told her go to out conservatively, and for the majority of the race, Sellers hung back. "I'm thrilled, it's supposed to be hard and I just want to thank John Hancock and the B.A.A. for giving me a chance year after year and believing in me when I didn't believe in myself". "But I heard that I won $4,200 today, which is pretty cool, so I guess at least for this year, I am a professional runner".

"I know I can run faster", she stressed.

"She just seemed like she was going to be the sacrificial lamb, doing whatever she could to help ... then I just saw her keep going. It was nice to get it right down Boylston this time, that's for sure". The winning time a year ago, posted by Kenya's Edna Kiplagat, was almost 18 minutes faster.

The Phillips Andover Academy teacher, who is moving to San Francisco with her husband in June, was expecting a personal best, somewhere around 2:39, as her marathon career enters its prime.

Immediately after crossing the finish line, Vassallo was whisked to the medical tent, which would treat thousands and thousands of runners that day.

"After that the fans came out for real", she said.

Running Boston for the first time since 2015 and her fourth time overall, Flanagan was with the leaders for the first hour before having to take a rare stop for a bathroom break. "Helping her helped me and I got my legs back from there".

"Everyone told me I was insane to do it", said Aubin, who has had been training extra hard on bikes since the surgery.

For days the race's roughly 30,000 participants had been staring at weather apps and radars, playing amateur meteorologist and praying that the forecast for temperatures in the 30s and 40s with driving rain and a 20- to 30-mph headwind somehow wouldn't come true.

The doubt was discarded when she ran 2:29:15 for fifth place at the 2013 Berlin Marathon and then took eighth at the 2014 Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon is one of the six premier marathons held around the world. She had no idea her lead swelled to a couple of minutes, but said that was a good thing. He is Japan's first Boston Marathon victor since 1987.

Yuki Kawauchi, of Japan, wins the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, in Boston.

"When Kirui went to the front I think it was because he wanted to drop Rupp, " Kawauchi said as the American eventually dropped out.

The last USA woman to win the country's oldest marathon was Lisa Rainsberger, who claimed the Boston crown in 1985. Yet, she just doesn't give up.

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