The weather wasn’t the only strange story from this year’s Marathon

Runners climbed Heartbreak Hill.
Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
Runners climbed Heartbreak Hill.

The runners facing down driving rain, blowing wind, and generally miserable, weird weather weren’t the only odd story out of the 122nd Boston Marathon.

From the drama of the bathroom break heard ’round-the-world, the story of a runner hitting the race after an all-night drive and 30 minutes of sleep, to a life-changing event one man faced on the course, here are some of the strangest moments from Monday’s Marathon.

Sarah Sellers placed second. So who the heck is she?

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Sarah Sellers.

As Desiree Linden soaked up glory as the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in decades, many spectators had a burning question: Who the heck is Sarah Sellers, the American who finished second in the race, about four minutes behind Linden?


Sellers is a 26-year-old full-time nurse working in anesthesiology at Banner Health Center in Arizona, her husband, Blake Sellers, told the Globe in an interview on Monday.

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In an interview with the Globe, Sarah Sellers said the whole thing felt “surreal,” and that she at first didn’t think she actually came in second overall. And no, she doesn’t yet have plans for the $75,000 prize money she won, but it sounds like it will be helpful.

“My husband and I both just finished graduate school, so hopefully we’ll be able to put a dent in our student loans.”

The biggest show of sportsmanship may have come from a bathroom break

Shalane Flanagan took a surprising detour during the Marathon.

Over an hour into the race, Flanagan stopped to use what television announcers referred to as a “portable facility.”


Perhaps what was more surprising, however, was fellow American Desiree Linden’s decision to wait for Flanagan to catch up — a move that demonstrated unity and respect.

The delay cost Linden approximately 10 to 15 seconds. She won by more than four minutes.

Molly Huddle finished 13th — and then needed an emergency root canal

Despite a challenging final few miles, Molly Huddle still finished her Boston Marathon debut. Unfortunately, she now appears to be headed for some dental work.

For much of the race, Huddle, 33, followed a little ways behind eventual US winner Desiree Linden.

Yet Huddle struggled over the final part of the race, winding up 13th (2:50:28). And according to a post-race tweet, she now needs an emergency root canal:


Despite her tough finish, Huddle said she was “proud to share the road with” Linden, who became the first American woman to win in Boston since 1985.

That’s one strong American finish

Desiree Linden captured her first major marathon win Monday and become the first American woman in 33 years to win the Boston Marathon.

Tatyana McFadden won the women’s wheelchair division, her fifth Boston victory.

And they weren’t alone among American athletes who claimed top spots in Monday’s Marathon. Among the female elite runners, Linden was one of seven Americans who finished in the top 10 in that race. And while Yuki Kawauchi of Japan placed first in the men’s elite race, six of the top 10 men were American runners.

Rachel Hyland finished the Marathon on Monday and was back to work teaching on Tuesday

Rachel Hyland (center), shown on Beacon Street in Brookline, finished fourth in Monday’s Boston Marathon.
Rachel Hyland (center), shown on Beacon Street in Brookline, finished fourth in Monday’s Boston Marathon.

When Rachel Hyland, 31, ran her first Boston Marathon in 2012 in a blistering heat, she set a then-personal record, finishing in 48th place in the women’s division in 3:06:18.

For the 2018 Boston Marathon, her second Boston Marathon and her ninth marathon overall, Hyland faced the other side of the extreme weather spectrum. She ran on Monday in biting cold, howling wind, and pounding rain, and she ultimately fared far better than in 2012, coming in fourth in 2:44:29.

Hyland, who’s originally from Lake Bluff, Ill., said that the burst of wintry weather last month may have played to her advantage.

“This [race] didn’t feel too bad coming off of an intense winter,” Hyland said. “Especially in March, there were a lot of snowstorms, so I was ready for the weather.”

But she won’t get a day off following her Marathon success. Tuesday was a work day for Phillips Andover staff.

“It is not April vacation for us,” Hyland said, “so I will be back at school. . . . I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

Willa Wanke drove all night from Toronto — and then ran the Marathon on 30 minutes of sleep

 Willa Wanke, left, and another runner at the airport in Toronto.
Willa Wanke (left) and another runner at the airport in Toronto.

For these Canadian runners, it was practically a Marathon just to get to Boston.

Willla Wanke, a 52-year-old teacher from Penhold, a town in Alberta, Canada, drove overnight from Toronto with three other runners after the second leg of their flight from Vancouver was canceled. The voyage took the determined marathoners nearly 11 hours.

“It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure,” Willa Wanke told CBS Boston ahead of the race Monday morning.

Despite getting about only 30 minutes of sleep, Wanke was at the starting line Monday morning for another grueling adventure Monday morning. It didn’t stop her: she completed the Marathon in 4:01:45.

A runner found out he was going to have a child — during the race

 Cassi Delatorre waited at the finish line for her husband, Xavier.
Cassi Delatorre waited at the finish line for her husband, Xavier.

Xavier Delatorre had suspicions that his wife, Cassi, was pregnant with their third child, but Cassi spent weeks working to keep her pregnancy under wraps. At least until Marathon Day.

The Silver City, N.M., mother of two had bigger plans in mind for her pregnancy reveal — a colorful sign waiting for her husband at the finish line.

“A new little runner is approaching the finish line. December 2018,” Cassi Delatorre, 24, wrote on a 2018 Boston Marathon sign that she decorated at the Marathon Expo over the weekend.

For Xavier Delatorre, who is 26, Monday’s Marathon is his first in Boston, and it’s the couple’s first visit to the city together.

“I wanted to make the big announcement here at Boston to make it a little bit more special,” she said.

Nicole Yang, Andrew Mahoney, Jaclyn Reiss, Matt Stout, and Felicia Gans of the Globe staff as well as Nik DeCosta-Klipa, Kevin Slane, and Hayden Bird of contributed to this report. John Hilliard can be reached at