Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project veteran Desiree Linden won the Boston Marathon in commanding fashion. Linden secured her victory in a time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 54 seconds, more than four minutes ahead of the second-place finisher on a day that tested runners with driving rain and near gale force winds. She becomes the first American woman to win Boston since 1985.
“I never could have imagined how incredible the feeling of breaking the tape on Boylston would be if I tried,” said Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project Runner Desiree Linden. “This one race has been years in the making. After near misses and so many days working toward this, I feel proud and overjoyed.”
Despite the challenging conditions, Linden ran patiently, at one point slowing to help American runner Shalane Flanagan back into the lead pack. Minutes later, she surged away from the group to bridge the gap between her and then-leader Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia. She and Gladys Chesir of Kenya passed Daska with about five miles to go. Showing her true grit and determination, Linden surged again taking the lead and rounding the corner onto Boylston with her closest competition nearly four minutes behind, never looking back.
“We can’t overstate how big this moment is for Des and for U.S. running,” said Brooks Sports Marketing Manager Steve DeKoker. “She has knocked at the door of Boston year after year, and we are humbled and thrilled with her persistence. Des is a class act and now a Boston champion; all of us at Brooks are toasting to her today!”
“Des runs well at Boston because it’s such a technical course. The weather today made it a tactician’s race and we knew the smartest racer would win,” said Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project Coach Kevin Hanson. “Seeing her reach this dream of hers is beyond gratifying. I’m thrilled and so, so proud of her.”
Des’ finish today is her first World Marathon Major win, and the first win for the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project team. It also led the way for a number of other important finishes for the team, marking a monumental day for the Hansons. Teammate Shadrack Biwott finished third overall, first for U.S. men, in a time of 2:18:35. Dot McMahan finished 11th overall in 2:48:57. In addition, Brooks runner and 2018 Special Olympics USA Games athlete Andy Bryant completed his ninth Boston Marathon, finishing in 3:14:15.
Brooks sponsors professional athletes like Linden to inspire runners everywhere and to invest in the sport of running. Other investments into the sport include supporting Linden’s team the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project and the Brooks Beasts Track Club, the Inspiring Coach of the Year Award which recognize coaches who create meaningful change in their communities and the Brooks Booster Club which supports underfunded high school track and cross country teams.