Boston Marathon: 2018 Recap

If you’re a fan of running, chances are you watched the Boston Marathon last Monday. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and among the most famous road races in the world. The qualifying times are tough, the field is competitive, and the course is incredibly challenging. Naturally, this attracts many of the best elite runners in the world, all hoping to earn the title of Boston Marathon champ.

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Among the women’s elite field this year was an incredibly strong American team, made up of names like Shalane Flanagan, Des Linden, and Molly Huddle. While this is clearly a team who knows what they’re doing, the conditions Boston brought were certainly enough to give them a run for their money. With chilly temps, intense gusts of wind, and nonstop, downpouring rain, anyone who finished the race that day was basically a superhuman.

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The women’s race is always one to watch, but this year it was especially exciting. Around mile 11, Shalane Flanagan did something pretty unexpected: she stopped at one of the bathrooms along the course. And considering how fast the elite women’s pace is, it takes a lot to catch back up. As all of this went down, Des Linden made the decision to stick back with Shalane and give team USA some support. That’s a pretty incredible display of sportsmanship considering the fact that Des probably thought she’d be sacrificing the rest of her race. And for awhile, that seemed to be the case. Des struggled to get back into the race, and lagged behind the group. However, in the latter part of the race, Des somehow made a remarkable recovery, pulling ahead and maintaining a strong pace that carried her across the finish line in first place.

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Not only is this a remarkable story because Des was the first American woman to win Boston in 33 years (which is amazing on its own), but it’s also an incredible display of true sportsmanship paying off. Des had absolutely no expectation of winning the race. In fact, she expected to drop out because she was feeling so terrible. She figured that if she couldn’t win, she would help another American team member to do it.

These are the kinds of moments that running is all about, and it just about brought me to tears to see Des break that tape.

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