Desiree Linden wins the Boston Marathon, April 16, 2018. (AP)
(FOX 5 NEWS) - On a wind-swept and rain-soaked day in New England, American distance runners—including several virtual unknowns—crushed the competition in the Boston Marathon women's division.
American Desiree Linden, a two-time Olympian, blew away her rivals, ending the 33-year U.S. drought in that race. She finished in 2:39:54—the slowest winning time in years but more than 4 minutes ahead of the runner-up.
That runner-up was Sarah Sellers, a nurse anesthetist from Arizona who trains before and after work and has no pro sponsorships. She said she was "in shock" that her podium finish earned her $75,000 in prize money, the AP reported.
Although Canadian Krista Duchene finished third in 2:44:20, American women took seven of the top eight slots in the race, according to the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon.
On an unpredictable day, these practically unknown runners all beat the finishing time of reigning New York City Marathon champ Shalane Flanagan, a U.S. Olympic medalist. A bathroom break and other challenges held her to seventh place with a time of 2:46:31.
"Those were the most brutal conditions I've ever run in," Flanagan tweeted Monday evening.
American Kimi Reed's 2:46:47 finish earned her eighth place.
Monday's race had the coldest temperature at its start time (38 degrees) in 30 years, according to the Boston Athletic Association.
During the elite part of the race, the temperature rose from the 30s to the mid-40s, but the wind chill and driving rain made hypothermia a real risk for the runners. In fact, medical crews treated more than 2,500 runners, most with hypothermia symptoms, Runner's World reported.
2018 LEADERBOARD – WOMEN
- Desiree Linden (USA) 2:39:54
- Sarah Sellers (USA) 2:44:04
- Krista Duchene (CAN) 2:44:20
- Rachel Hyland (USA) 2:44:29
- Jessica Chichester (USA) 2:45:23
- Nicole Dimercurio (USA) 2:45:52
- Shalane Flanagan (USA) 2:46:31
- Kimi Reed (USA) 2:46:47
- Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:47:14
- Hiroko Yoshitomi (JPN) 2:48:29