I don’t follow the professional running scene much, but congratulations to Desiree Linden, the first female American Boston Marathon winner since 1985! The weather was completely bananas; I’m pretty sure I would have hung it up in the first few miles, myself. Des almost quit herself!
Runner’s World has a great write up on how her helping a fellow runner might have been the boost she needed to carry her through. Amazing stuff.
Speaking from my vast experience of races (which consists of couple of dozen races in half a dozen years, resulting in two 3rd places in my age group. #sadtrombone) I can totally see how making connections during the race helps both sides. At my earliest races, I got nothing but love and respect from everybody, probably when I needed it the most.
I always tried (and still try) to pay it back at other races and pretty much anytime I meet up with other runners. Everybody who has the guts to show up at any race, 1 mile to Marathon, earned the right to be there and is no less deserving than anyone else there that day.