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.
Shalane Flanagan's detour to the port-a-potty. pic.twitter.com/lLLCyLhVYz— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) April 16, 2018
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.
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