He discovered he was the leader as he approached the finish line, where he had been told winners would be waved to the right, others to the left.
He now holds the world record for sub-2:20 marathons. This time she made the turn off of Hereford with a lead of more than half of a mile. That was more than four minutes better than second-place finisher Sarah Sellers, one of seven Americans in the top 10, but the slowest time for a women's victor since 1978.
Chichester, who resides in Brooklyn as a nurse practitioner, finished as the No. 4 US woman after Desiree Liden of MI became the first American to win the women's division since 1985. But Sellers' finish may have been the most improbable.
"Well I think there is probably not a single person in Boston who thought I would win this today", said Kawauchi in a post-race interview.
Her days are taken up by work at the Banner Health Centre in Arizona, and she wakes up at 4 a.m.to get her training in. But it was worth it: Sellers leaves Boston with $75,000 in prize money.
The 31-year-old from Saitama holds down a full-time job working as an administrator at a local high school, and trains without the aid of a coach or sponsorship. A prolific racer, he was also chasing the world record for most career sub-2:20 marathons, so while he was in the states, he hopped into the Marshfield (MA) New Year's Day Marathon - a completely amateur race with no entry fee - even though the temperature was just 1 Degree (-13 Celsius) and he won it in 2:18:59 (he was the only finisher).
So when she had to stop running the marathon Monday after about 15 miles of it, there was no doubt in her mind she was going to finish.
Once it did, she changed into a set of dry clothes and hit the streets again with her husband to finish the race. One year before the biggest win of her career, Linden felt she needed a break.
She served as the pacesetter for a memorable day for American runners, who claimed seven of the top-10 spots in the women's race and six of the top 10 in the men's. "I've always said the 2014 race was epic, and it was, for obvious reasons".
"I had a strategy going in, and it all kind of went away with the weather forecast". "I'm just very glad that I made it".
But for one day, Sellers could say she was among the best.
It's not like Rachel Hyland popped out of nowhere.
"The poor weather certainly didn't help", she said. "She's a little bit taller, so you'd think the wind would be detrimental, but she's really strong". She said the reality of her accomplishment has yet to sink in. Linden passed Chesir at the cemetery and began her long lonely run to Copley Square. On Wednesday, she will return to the health center to work a nursing shift, living the same life as she did before.