- Desiree Linden fought through the elements to become the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.
- Early in the race, Linden impressed commentators with a show of sportsmanship, hanging back as a fellow American racer took a bathroom break, and then helping them catch back up with the pack.
- Even with the short delay, Linden was able to get back on track, and wound up completing the course four minute faster than her nearest competitor.
Desiree Linden made the best of bad conditions on Monday to become the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985.
While her time – 2 hours, 39 minutes and 54 seconds – was the slowest winning time since 1978, that only spoke to the difficult conditions runners faced through the 26.2 mile course, battered by a tough wind and cold rain that kept the pace relatively slow.
Linden’s run was a memorable one not only for her triumph over the conditions, but also for her sportsmanship displayed on the course. Almost an hour into the race, fellow American runner Shalane Flanagan took a quick detour to use one of the restrooms set up just off the course.
Shalane Flanagan's detour to the port-a-potty. pic.twitter.com/lLLCyLhVYz
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) April 16, 2018
Rather than racing on with the group, Linden chose to hang back with Flanagan and help her make up the lost time and rejoin the main pack. It was a display of sportsmanship that impressed many watching the race.
Actions and behaviors show people who you are. Much respect for @des_linden in waiting and helping Shalane get back up to the pack. To me, this shows that they are in it to get an American to win, regardless of which on it is.
— Steve Magness (@stevemagness) April 16, 2018
The race was undoubtedly one that Linden will never forget. Having come in second place in 2011, just two seconds behind winner Caroline Kilel, taking home the top prize in 2018 came with an extra bit of relief.
While the weather didn’t do the racers any favors in their efforts, Linden didn’t seem to mind the intervention from Mother Nature. “It’s supposed to be hard,” she told reporters after the race. “It’s good to get it done.”
You can watch the final stretch of Linden’s winning race below.