Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Famous Boston Marathon Cheat

Another article from the Boston Herald describes the Rosie Ruiz scam 25 years ago in which a 27-year-old office worker from New York City sneaked into the last mile of the Boston Marathon and took the women's title. It's amazing that it took eight days before the true women's winner, Jacqueline Gareau, would be officially acknowledged. The funny thing is that Ruiz jumped into the race so early that she crossed the finish line with a world record time of 2:31:56 (over 2.5 minutes sooner than the real winner's time of 2:34:28.) It left many at the post-race events in a state of confusion.

At least Ruiz didn't win any money (from the previous article I learned money prizes didn't start till 1986). The article mentions the likelihood that she didn't intend to win, but mistakenly jumped in too early and was swept up by the crowd. What's really bizarre is that Ruiz never has admited she cheated. Perhaps it's like an OJ type of thing. Or as the George Costanza character from the Seinfeld sitcom once said: "It's not a lie, if you believe it."

The true 1980 Female winner, Jacqueline Gareau, received a well deserved honor yesterday by being the race's grand marshal in which she rode the 26.2-mile course in a car, and got to jog across the finish line at Copley Square. She had a humorous quote: "I felt funny because I run only 100 meters. I think I'm like Rosie now."

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