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Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden waited for fellow-runner's bathroom break during the race

Desiree Linden became the first American woman in more than 30 years to win the Boston Marathon. (REUTERS)

Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in more than 30 years on Monday morning. More than an hour into the iconic 26.2-mile race, though, Linden took a quick break.

Linden was running in a pack with fellow American Shalane Flanagan, the defending New York City Marathon champion. Flanagan suddenly nudged Linden and was seen running off to the side to quickly use what television announcers called a “portable facility.”

Or, more simply, she had to take a bathroom break.


“The pace was slow, and I was just being a lady,” Flanagan told the Boston Globe after the race

Flanagan, though, didn’t take the break alone. Linden, who said she felt “miserable” early on in the race and even contemplated dropping out, waited up for her.

“She nudged me and said she was going to the bathroom,” Linden said. “So I said well it’s slowing up, but if not I’ll try to tuck in and bring you back to the group.”

The break only cost the runners about 15 seconds — which is an incredibly fast bathroom trip.


And because the pace was slower than normal — due to the torrential downpour that battered the runners throughout the race — Flanagan decided it was a good time to take the pit-stop.

“I knew I could get back to the pack if it was slow enough, so that was a calculated risk I took,” Flanagan said. “Des certainly didn’t have to wait. That was very kind of her to do that. She didn’t have to do that.”

The break didn’t hurt Linden in the end, either, as the 34-year-old won the race with a time of 2:39:54 — more than four minutes ahead of American Sarah Sellers, who took second place in just her second marathon ever.

Hey, when you have to go, you have to go.

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