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Woman who managed to cheat-win the Marathon by riding the Green Line when the trolley was faster than the runners may be dead at 66

Eight Days of Glory: The Myth of Rosie Ruiz

The Washington Post reports on the apparent death of Rosie Ruiz, the women's non-winner of the 1980 Boston Marathon, at 66. Bryan Marquard, the Globe's obituary writer, discusses how he had to sit on the story, trying to confirm that the Rosie M. Vivas listed in a Florida obituary was the same person.

Man dressed as hamburger beats Green Line down Comm. Ave.

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They had to make sure she did not take a shortcut on the stairway to heaven.

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"Rosie Ruiz' ruse" is towards the end but as a kid I watched this tape AT LEAST 100 times...

(Plus, you get a Donald Fagen song out of it)

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And a few minutes after her story the Barry guy at the NBA All-Star game was probably the best (and most ridiculous) imposter of all time.

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Switzer is absolutely skeptical of her ... but in a completely classy way.

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Those were the days! The Green Line was faster than running! Couldn't do that now.
"Should we walk or do we have time to take the T?"

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When the Boston Marathon was a true amateur event, with ALL runners participating in ONE race.

And I say that anyone who could make such good time on the Green Line on Patriots Day still deserves a medal.

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You mean because it used to be limited to men only? And there was no wheelchair division?

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?

Just a guess...

Anyways, if the marathon had continued to be amateur-only, it would not have continued. Today, the Boston Marathon is a world class event because of the changes it made.

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That marathons take place even without elites and prize money. There's a marathon that takes places in Yonkers that began in 1907, and they aren't giving Boston Marathon money out to participants.

Having elites only means that you get runners that can complete a marathon in under 2 hours, 30 minutes. Roadman only wishes that there were more runners that would take 6 or 7 hours to get it done. Why, I can never figure out, since that is more of a disruption on the city, but perhaps he loves the pure joy of running.

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The 2018 winner famously ran that in subzero weather. He was pretty much a walk-on for the Marshfield Marathon, but his ability to complete the race at pro speed pegged him as the one to watch when the weather was horrid for the Boston Marathon. The press didn't know him, but the coaches for the other athletes did.

https://www.si.com/edge/2018/01/02/yuki-kawauchi-new-years-day-marshfiel...

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I don't know if you have an axe to grind with the BAA or something but STFU about the prize money in the marathon already. See also this thread. No one cares that you're slow or whatever and didn't run a BQ time (or BQ-whatever) or yearn for the simple days when women weren't allowed to run.

And that Yonkers race wasn't run for 20-some years and has 200 participants, so, great comparison.

@Adam maybe mute these two whenever the marathon is mentioned.

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Why are you hating on the Yonkers Marathon and those who run it? I mean, by dismissing it, you are feeding into Roadman’s rant.

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She maintained that she won the marathon her whole life. And the rightful winner, Jacqueline Gareau, never got her winners medal. But the article is right, as awful as it was, it forced big marathons to take womens running and accuracy seriously.

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Jacqueline Gareau was awarded the medal in a special ceremony the following week. Her running time broke the previous record for fastest marathon by a woman. She also was honored in 2005 as honorary Grand Marshall of the Marathon.

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Even though she cheated, that must've been a great feeling running down Boylston getting all the adulation.

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That's probably why she cheated.

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In 1980, the end of the Marathon route was still at the Pru.

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Also, joke from way back when:

What do Jimmy Carter and Rosie Ruiz have in common?

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Rodgers, who had been staring at her with the blank expression of extreme, dehydrated fatigue, said a few minutes later. "I don't believe it. I don't believe that woman had run a marathon. She wasn't tired enough."

bill rodgers mens winner 1980 boston marathon

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Rogers even made a comment about Ruiz just not looking like a runner and having cellulite in her legs

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While I think Rosie was found to have taken the subway during the NY Marathon, I don't think she actually took the T during the race in Boston - that's just an urban legend. She simply entered the race towards the end.

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determined that Ruiz had indeed crossed the starting line in Hopkinton, but there was no evidence to verify that she had passed several of the intermediate checkpoints. So, she didn't enter the race at a later point on the course.

As the Riverside Line is close to the Marathon route in Newton, but does not need to be shut down while the runners pass (unlike the Boston College and Cleveland Circle lines), it is a reasonable assumption that Ruiz used it to bypass part of the Marathon route.

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You remember incorrectly =P That's the way urban legends go.

There is no record of Ruiz in Hopkinton, nor anywhere else along the route. By all accounts, she joined the runners from the crowd a half mile from the finish line.

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a) the B and C lines aren't shut down either. The B line stays on the north side of the marathon route and runs normally. The marathon crosses south of the C Line, which is cut off from the Cleveland Circle yard, but operates out of the stub-end terminal at Cleveland Circle.

The reason to take the D Line is that the 30 minutes it takes to get to Kenmore from Woodland (likely faster in 1980) cuts off about 9 miles of the course, which saves a considerable amount of time. Of course, it's usually so jammed with tourists on Marathon Monday that it is slower.

Second thing, see reply upthread.

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Granted I've only just been reading the details about this today, but that's also what I read. She took the subway in the NY marathon to the finish - and when people asked her why she was wearing a race number she said she had hurt her ankle.

This has always been a really interesting story to me. As someone who has run several marathons and really sucked at most of them, I can't really wrap my head around wanting to do something like this. Just having completed a marathon is such an immensely gratifying thing to think about - it's a thing that literally no one can take away from you. I really can't imagine how messed up I would become if I knew I hadn't actually done this thing that I'm telling everyone I did.

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whether Rosie Ruiz took the subway during the NY Marathon, took the T during the Boston Marathon, or entered the Boston Marathon race towards the end, cheating is still cheating. She deserved to be disqualified.

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They were guaranteed not to run.

That and "The reason she had a better time in Boston? Our subway system is better" are the only two jokes I remember but there were definitely more. Anyone else have some?

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I keep reading about how she hopped on the course along Comm. Ave. and this article talks about someone who was watching the race just outside the Dugout while her friends (who saw Ruiz jump into the race) were "near the CharlesGate" which is described as being about a half block away from Comm. Ave.

First of all, so it seems clear that the route used to go down the stretch of Comm. Ave. along the BU campus, which is where the Dugout is. Just curious if anyone knows when the route switched to Beacon Street.

Second, the article's author says she saw Ruiz run by (and that it actually is what inspired her to want to run a marathon). So where is this "CharlesGate" that she's talking about where her friends saw Ruiz jump in? Was it a place or a street? The only Charlesgate I know is down where Comm. Ave. crosses the Muddy River which is below Kenmore Square.

Thanks if anyone has any info.

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If you can’t figure out where Charlesgate is I don’t know what to tell you.

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What I was trying to figure out is how, if the author says she saw Ruiz run by her location "just past the Dugout" on Comm. Ave., her friends who were at Charlesgate (which is further down the course) could have seen her jump into the race. I thought perhaps there was some other "CharlesGate," as the author referred to it. I can see you know less about it than I do. Thanks for the help.

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or something very close to it, ever since it was extended to 26.2 miles (moving its start point from Ashland to Hopkinton). The start and finish lines have been moved slightly over the years, and it now goes under Mass Ave instead of across it, but it never went down the part of Commonwealth Avenue next to Boston University.

Charlesgate is between Kenmore Square and Mass. Ave, where the Bowker Overpass crosses over Comm. Ave.

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So the locations in that article must be wrong then. The author says: "We situated ourselves just past the Dugout Bar on Commonwealth Avenue, a hangout frequented by students and professors alike... The location was ideal that we chose so we could readily high five and encourage the runners and partake in the marathon mystique." That sure sounds like she's saying her location was on the marathon course itself. Thanks for the info Ron.

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I'm guessing they went to the Dugout on Comm Av for a few drinks to watch to early stage of the race on TV, then as the leaders got closer (maybe passing BC?), they left The Dugout and walked either a few blocks down Saint Mary Street to Beacon or a few blocks down Comm Ave to Kenmore.

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Good thing we have people like good old Maude Gorman to carry the torch.

https://www.marathoninvestigation.com/2018/08/maude-gormans-cheating-dis...

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With the long history of unexpected hiccups surrounding the Boston Marathon, the name Rosie Ruiz will live forever. As the saying goes, "every knock a boost." Good for her. Her 15 minutes of harmless amusement hearkens to a day when the marathon was largely a fun Monday holiday of family entertainment watching amateur runners, some running for kicks, others very serious but none running for the prize money (there wasn't any) that has infected the modern incarnation of the event and made it corporate and unwatchable. For the younger readers, it wasn't long ago that those fans who couldn't make it to the course could watch live, wall to wall coverage on every local TV channel. Now it's down to one TV station bothering with it, coverage long over before the core runners cross the line.

It was amusing today to watch running purists and even newscasters not even born or located here in 1980, expressing lingering disgust for Ruiz over an incident that harmed nobody other than perhaps the real winner who was recognized later. 2013 showed us what a real atrocity could do to the marathon. While cheating should be condemned, in this case it provided, then and now, far more laughs than harm. Equally fun was watching the stodgy, "everything is on the level" race organizers realize they had been duped. Let her rest now.

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But she tearfully stuck to her public story to the bitter end, and never ran another mile in her defense. She was later convicted of embezzling and trying to sell two keys of coke to the Feds. She deserves the rep she has and it’s way too late to call it a lark.

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She deprived the rightful winner and the runners up of their deserved and earned accolades.
No crown for them. 1/2 the cheers. Screw her.

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No, arguably the Ruiz incident made Gareau more famous. The incident appears on the second line of her wikipedia page which she probably wouldn't have without Ruiz. In those days the "prize" was a crown of thorns or laurel wreath. She got hers after the hoax was revealed. Nobody would be mentioning 1980 or Gareau without Ruiz. Ruiz was ahead of her time by pioneering the "everyone's a winner" meme now rampant in amateur sports.

As for Ruiz jumping into the race late, that's likely but there were reports at the time that she was in Hopkinton at the start. It's unclear if she had a car or outside help.

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But don’t let your distaste for those dang smart people who exercise make you side with drug dealers. You don’t need to ramble on about “all these dang kids get a trophy today anyway.” Next you’ll be telling us there was no such thing as peanut allergies when you were a kid and don’t believe in them. We’re all set, thank you.

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Like, you know, pretending to be a cop on an Internet discussion board. No one's really getting hurt.

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Lots of talk here about Boston vs. New York / marathon + trains. I'm geographically confused, but anyway, here's an alternate possibility: she took a NYC train while running the Boston marathon, because it was faster than waiting for a Boston train.

Makes sense?

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