It’s been 33 years since an American woman won the Boston Marathon. Desiree Linden changed that on Monday, April 16—and she did it in a super inspiring way.

According to Runner’s World, Linden has always been a pro runner known for her work ethic, not her flashy, effortless talent. She wasn’t offered big sponsorship deals at the start of her career (like many other runners are), and she finished 14 marathons before this win, coming in second three times.

Add to that the fact that the weather in Boston on Monday was abysmal. It was freezing cold, pouring rain, and there were wind gusts up to 30 mph. Linden described her “freezing hands” to reporters and those who saw her at the finish line couldn’t tell if she was crying tears of joy…or if it was just the interminable rain.

Finally, Linden told reporters she felt horrible at the start and didn’t think she was going to perform well. So, twice during the race, she put her own finish aside twice to help two other American women get ahead.

Something changed after that, though, and she was unstoppable.

Maybe she was channeling Kathrine Switzer? In 1967, when women weren’t permitted to run, Switzer registered for the race and finished, despite an aggressive man who tried to physically force her off the course. (Women were officially accepted as competitors in 1972.)

Now, what are you waiting for? If this doesn’t inspire you to lace up this week, we don’t know what will…


(Featured Photo: Instagram/@bostonmarathon)

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