Tucson woman takes second at Boston Marathon, sets sports world on fire

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Sarah Callister Sellers. (Source: Weber State Athletics) Sarah Callister Sellers. (Source: Weber State Athletics)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson woman came out of nowhere Monday, April 16, to finish second in the Boston Marathon and set the racing world on fire.

Sarah Sellers was more than four minutes behind winner Desiree Linden, who became the first American woman to win the race since 1985, but that didn't stop everyone from talking about her performance.

According to several sources, it was Sellers' second marathon ever.

Not bad for an unsponsored runner who is a nurse at Banner-University Medical Center.

Actually, that's not bad for anyone, including the world's top athletes.

Sports Illustrated and the Boston Globe did feature stories on Sellers and the Twitterverse took notice, too.

Sellers, from Ogden, Utah, competed in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs for Weber State from 2009-12.

"I think I'm going to wake up and this will be a dream," Sellers told Weber State Athletics. "It was a like a hurricane out there."

Sellers' performance wasn't the only reason for celebration for Tucson, according to the Southern Arizona Roadrunners.

Lauren Reasoner placed 22nd in the women's race while Stephen Sambu finished 14th and Abdi Abdirahman took 15th in the men's race.

Linden, who went to Arizona State University, is a two-time Olympian and 2011 Boston runner-up.

She pulled away at the end of Heartbreak Hill to win in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. That was more than four minutes faster than Sellers - one of seven Americans in the top 10 - but the slowest time for a women's winner in Boston since 1978.

"It's supposed to be hard," Linden said. "It's good to get it done."

Yuki Kawauchi passed defending champion Geoffrey Kirui as they passed through Kenmore Square with a mile to go to win the men's race in 2:15:58 and earn Japan's first Boston Marathon title since 1987. Kirui slowed and stumbled across the Copley Square finish line 2:25 later, followed by Shadrack Biwott and three other U.S. men.

"For me, it's the best conditions possible," Kawauchi said with a wide smile through an interpreter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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