The first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years waited for another racer to use the bathroom during the race and still won by 4 minutes

  • 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.

See more of Linden's run: 

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Desiree Linden -- winner of the 2018 Boston marathon
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Desiree Linden -- winner of the 2018 Boston marathon
Apr 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Desiree Linden (USA) during the 2018 Boston Marathon. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Desiree Linden (USA) during the 2018 Boston Marathon. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Desiree Linden crosses the finish line of the 2018 Boston Marathon winning the women's division. Linden was the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Desiree Linden celebrates after crossing the finish line of the 2018 Boston Marathon winning the women's division. Linden was the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: 2018 Boston Marathon women winner Desiree Linden celebrates with the trophy at the ceremony after the finish line on April 16, 2018. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Desiree Linden of the United States poses for a photo after winning the women's division of the 122nd Boston Marathon, April 16, 2018. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: 2018 Boston Marathon women's winner Desiree Linden celebrates on Boylston Street after she crosses the finish line on April 16, 2018. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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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.

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.

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.

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SEE ALSO: A look inside Boston Marathon champion Des Linden's daily routine, which features 12-mile morning runs and two breakfasts

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