Someone just wrote me with a sure-fire suggestion on how I can win the Nashville Half Marathon next week.
He related a true story about Rosie Ruiz who fraudulently won the Boston Marathon. On April 21, 1980, amateur runner Rosie came from out of nowhere to win the women’s race.
Suspicions about her performance were raised the next day, after race officials found that Ruiz didn’t appear in videotapes of the marathon until near the end of the course. It turns out she started the race and after a few blocks hopped a subway for much of the course. She ran the final mile or half-mile, and then proudly accepted the winner’s medal.
A week later Ruiz was officially disqualified from the race, and the winner was proclaimed to be Canadian Jacqueline Gareau. Oh, Rosie. For shame.
(I wonder if I can catch a cab?)
While technology in the running world has changed a great deal, the reaction of the popular media has not. As they still do with any scandal that erupts in today’s world, newspaper columnists, TV and radio talk show hosts, and other humorists had a field day making jokes about Rosie’s Ruse:
Now Rosie Ruiz … sells her own line of running gear. Rosie Ruiz shoes–so comfortable that when the marathon is over your feet feel like they’ve only gone a mile or two.
—David Kindred, Washington Post