BOSTON (CBS) — Early on in the Boston Marathon, when elite runner Shalane Flanagan pulled off the course for a pit stop, it appeared fellow American runner, and the future champion Desi Linden slowed down to wait. The moment of comradery was not lost on viewers.
Desi recalled her thought process to reporters after the race:
“Early on in the race, I was feeling horrible and I just kind of nudged [Shalane] and said ‘hey, I might drop out. There’s a good chance I’m going to drop out today. If you need something–block the wind, whatever, let me know.’ And so she nudged me and she’s like ‘I’m going to hit the bathroom. And I was like ‘well, if it slows up, great, if not I’ll try to tuck in and bring you back to the group.’ That was that. When I got back to the group and kind of connected, Molly was at the front and Daska and I was like well, I should probably help Molly reconnect to that. Then I turned back and I was in third or and fourth and I thought, I probably shouldn’t drop out. So I kept going.”
Many on Twitter celebrated Desi’s move to stay back with Shalane, saying it was good sportsmanship and a moment of girl power.
At that point, the runners had been going at a slower pace than normal for a marathon race. Rainy, windy, and cold weather made it the slowest women’s race since 1978.
Both would catch up with the lead pack and Desi would go on to win the race, becoming the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.
Desi took the lead from Gladys Chesir of Kenya just before mile 22 and never looked back. She finished with a time of 02:39:54.
Shalane would finish in seventh place for the women with a time of 02:46:31.