Shalane Flanagan competes at the 122nd Boston Marathon.
Only a few kilometres into the race, Flanagan had to drop out of her lead position for an an emergency toilet stop.
The race marked five years since the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy in which two explosions near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260.
The runner was convinced the 2018 Boston Marathon was going to be her swan song - a final chance to win the 26.2-mile race. It was a display of sportsmanship that impressed many watching the race.
"I just feel like it's the time", the Bostonian said days before the race.
It was the culmination of a statement Flanagan made in the aftermath of her own major marathon win the previous fall. "It's storybook. I'm thrilled to be here and to get it done", Linden said. That was more than four minutes better than second-place finisher Sarah Sellers, one of seven Americans in the top 10, but the slowest time for a women's victor since 1978.
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. The 34-year-old defeated a challenging field and extremely hard weather to record her first major win. I told her [Flanagan] I said let me understand since I might lose out, when there's anything I can do to assist you. Nearly 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.
On her way to becoming the first American victor of the Boston Marathon in 33 years, Desiree Linden stunned onlookers with a selfless act of sportsmanship.
The race was undoubtedly one that Linden will never forget.
"It's storybook", the victor of the 2018 Boston Marathon added.
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. Canadian athlete Krista Duchene finished third, at 2:44:20.
USA athletes fared equally well in the men's race, notes the Washington Post.
Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi won the men's title Monday, winning his fourth marathon this year and earning Japan's first Boston Marathon win since 1987.