Yesterday, Desiree Linden won the Boston Marathon. I was loosely watching a live-feed of the finish line, along with the leaderboard standings. Pretty close to the finish, it looked like she'd be finishing within a second of Edna Kiplagat. In 2011, Desiree's chase at a Boston win ended with a second place finish - by two seconds. I almost jumped up and started cheering when the finish line camera showed she was on her own.
Seriously. By the time she came into view no one else was even close. She beat the next finisher, Sarah Sellers, by four minutes. And Sellers didn't even know she was running for second! In all, US women were seven of the top ten finishers.
But the part I like best? A longtime favorite runner of mine, Shalane Flannagan, needed a pit stop very early in the race. Desiree Linden stopped with her so Shalane - a friend and teammate - would have someone to run with to catch back up to the pack. And on Twitter, when Kara Goucher sent congrats and praise to Desiree - people tweeted back at Kara that she had gotten this whole thing started.
I often think about how in the part of the pack I run, nobody will win. So we cheer each other, we smile a lot, we remind our fellow runners that we can accomplish what we've set out to do. If someone has extra energy, they send it out. If someone needs it, they take it in.
And I'm almost in tears that this is what happens - at least for women - at the front of the pack as well. Today, there is no finer example in sports of how you do it right.
Hat tip to everyone who ran that race yesterday. The conditions have been described as the worst ever.