Linden and Kawauchi win Boston Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and Des Linden of the US celebrate after winning the men's and women's divisions of the 122nd Boston Marathon respectively

Desi Linden battles through icy rain and near-gale headwinds to become the first American woman to win the Boston marathon since 1985

Reed finished seven minutes behind the victor Desiree Linden, also an American. He ran the first (downhill) mile in 4:37, which is 2:01:02 marathon pace, to open up an immediate gap. He says he runs so many marathons mostly as a training device, with so few races in his native Kuki, Saitama, Japan.

He ran the race in 2:15.8.

Linden saw Flanagan making an emergency break (the athlete darted into a portable toilet) and chose to slow down and make sure her friend and competitor was alright. Tatyana McFadden won her fifth women's push-rim title in 2:04:39, the slowest since 1988.

Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui (JOFF-ree KEY-roo-ee) was second in 2:18:23, followed by American Shadrack Biwott (SHAD-rack BE-watt) in 2:18:35. At that point, Kirui took over, and built a multi-second lead into the Newton hills. "Who does that, really?"

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"I never gave up", Kawauchi, who became the first Japanese runner to win the Boston race since Toshihiko Seko, told reporters. "I can't help but think fate had something to do with my win today", the 31-year-old said through an interpreter at the news conference.

Kawauchi, who has always been respected in marathon racing for his ability to not only race fast, but often, has largely flown under the radar in running popular culture.

No US woman had won the Boston crown since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach 33 years ago, but Linden did it in the sixth Boston start of her 16 marathons.

But the East Africans who have dominated the professional era of the race had their worst performance in decades.

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Quick Take #1: How did Kawauchi win?

Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui, last year's victor, placed second. But Kawauchi is used to suffering as he basically averages a marathon per month. Last year's champion, Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, also returns.

Kawauchi won by simply not succumbing to the conditions.

It was October 2017 when she began to run every day again, according to Runner's World, even doing a cross-country race in Boston at the end of the month. "A lot of guys have been talking about it, trying to be the tough guy and say, 'Oh, I'm not anxious about it, I will just have to deal with it.' But you know, we will find out how many people are still intact after 30K". I knew he was up there. Temperatures climbed to 89 degrees on the course - still not as hot as the 1976 race that became known as the "Run for the Hoses".

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