Recalling the conditions as "brutal" and her freezing hands, Linden told reporters she felt the weather took speed away from others, meaning she could settle in and focus on winning the race.
Marcel Hug of Switzerland notched his fifth win in the men's wheelchair division, while American woman Tatyana McFadden also won her fifth title. "I'm thrilled", Linden said on the TV broadcast immediately after the race.
Linden finished the race with an unofficial time of two hours, 39 minutes and 54 seconds.
We saw their friendship play out in real time at the 2018 Boston Marathon. She finished second in 2011.
Des Linden's win at the Boston Marathon may have come as a surprise to some, but there's one person who isn't shocked: her friend and fellow Olympian Shalane Flanagan.
"It was definitely toughest conditions, on the cold side, that I've run in", she added.
Linden saw Flanagan making an emergency break (the athlete darted into a portable toilet) and made a decision to slow down and make sure her friend and competitor was alright. "I told [Flanagan] during the race 'if there's anything I can do to help you out, let me know, because I might just drop out.' When you work together, you never know what's going to happen".
It was a nasty day to run 26.2 miles through Boston.
According to ESPN, Linden's time was the slowest time for a women's victor since 1978. but a win is a win. The last time the United States boasted such an impressive feat was in 1985 when Lisa Larsen Weidenbach was the victor of the Boston race.
Canadian Krista Duchene finished in third place and was the only non-American runner to place in the top five.