The U.S. athlete was hoping to finally "make peace" with the Boston Marathon, which she was forced to forfeit past year due to a bone fracture in her lower back. That's the slowest time for a women's victor since 1978, the AP reports.
"I'm trying to have my best Boston race ever", Flanagan said in a statement. Linden almost ended the drought in 2011 when she was outkicked down Boylston Street and finished second by 2 seconds.
She clearly had more than enough motivation on this rainy Monday in Boston.
"I just feel like it's the time", the Bostonian said days before the race. Fellow American runner Desiree Linden battled through the cold rain to win the 2018 Boston Marathon, and Flanagan was ecstatic for her compatriot. "Helping her helped me".
Today's win will surely make Linden forget about her disappointment in the 2011 Boston Marathon when she missed the grand title by just two seconds.
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Linden is the first American woman to win the race since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach claimed first place in 1985.
'It's supposed to be hard, ' said Linden, who wiped the spray of rain from her eyes as she made her way down Boylston Street alone. Having come in second place in 2011, just two seconds behind victor Caroline Kilel, taking home the top prize in 2018 came with an extra bit of relief. The top 15 winners on the men's and women's sides will also receive financial prizes, with second-place finishers winning $75,000 and third-place finishers winning $40,000 each.
"I love this city, I love this race, I love this course", Linden told NBC.
US athletes fared equally well in the men's race, notes the Washington Post.
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.