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Des Linden waited for a teammate, almost dropped out before winning 2018 Boston Marathon

Linden held back early, and it helped her push to the front late.

Running: Boston Marathon Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Des Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985 by crushing the field with a dominant finish. She almost didn’t get there in the first place, however.

Linden told teammate Shalane Flanagan she was considering dropping out of the race after a slow start had her questioning whether she could finish. With her race uncertain, Linden slowed her pace and dropped to the back of the women’s elite group to wait for Flanagan after a bathroom stop.

Then, she set her sights on the leaders and mowed down the field en route to a historic victory.

“Honestly, at mile two, three, four, I didn’t feel like I was even gonna make it to the finish line,” Linden told NBC Sports after the race. “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. Helping her helped me, and I kinda got my legs back from there.”

Twenty miles later, she was a champion. Her teamwork and sportsmanship didn’t go unnoticed.