By Nicole Brewer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When Desiree Linden crossed the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon, she became the first American woman to win in more than three decades.

“That’s very impressive,” said Adam Spanganberg of Fairmount.

On the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Linden was one of 30,000 runners taking on the challenge through ice, wind and rain.

“I can’t run three miles, so running a marathon in terrible weather is amazing,” admitted Stacey Helmers of Gladwyn.

If 26.2-miles was the test, she passed with flying colors. But, it was a pit stop that earned her extra credit when reporters discovered she slowed down to help her fellow runner, who had to use the restroom.

“Early on in the race, I was feeling horrible and I just kind of nudged [Shalane] and said ‘Hey, I might drop out. There’s a good chance I’m going to drop out today. If you need something–block the wind, whatever, let me know,’” said Linden during the post-marathon press conference. “And so she nudged me and she’s like ‘I’m going to hit the bathroom. And I was like ‘well, if it slows up, great, if not I’ll try to tuck in and bring you back to the group.’ That was that. When I got back to the group and kind of connected, Molly was at the front and Daska and I was like well, I should probably help Molly reconnect to that. Then I turned back and I was in third or and fourth and I thought, I probably shouldn’t drop out. So I kept going.”

That move could have set her back, but instead, propelled her forward. Not only did she continue the race, she found herself leading the pack.

On social media, some called it sportsmanship, others girl power and Americans working together.

Whatever you call it…

“She takes the spirit of running and the Boston Marathon to heart,” said Spanganberg.