The Sports Archives Greatest Moments – Boston Marathon Hall of Shame

One of the greatest moments in sports archives history was a not-so great moment that occurred during the 1980 Boston Marathon. Take a second and visualize a runner emerging from a crowd of people standing on the sidelines about a half-mile from the finish line. This runner subsequently finishes first and becomes the third-fastest women runner in marathon history. This is precisely what happened in Boston!

Rosie Ruiz did the unforgivable not only in Boston but also in the New York Marathon just a year earlier. Ruiz was seen using the NYC subway system as a means for a short-cut and was never seen crossing the finish line. Nevertheless, she was given a time of 2:56:29, placing her 11th among women, and qualifying her for the Boston event. It wasn’t until later that NY officials voided her time after videotape revealed that she never crossed the finish line.

The Boston debacle was a little different. The Boston officials became suspicious right away when Ruiz began talking to the press about her miraculous finish. Not only did she not remember her ‘split’ times, but it became clear that she did not know what ‘split’ times were! More groundwork revealed the fact that checkpoint officials never saw her on the course. Moreover, other top runners never saw her pass them and two Harvard students stated that she emerged from the crowd just prior to finishing.

As Boston officials were scrambling, Ruiz was enjoying the limelight. She went on many interviews informing the public of her lack of knowledge of the Boston towns she supposedly ran through and how she trained for only 1.5 years and did not understand what interval training was. Finally, later in the week, word came from the Boston authorities that Ruiz would be disqualified and her name stricken from the record books forever.

Not too long after the Boston scandal, Ruiz would be arrested for embezzlement and also for her involvement in a drug deal. However, to this day, she has sworn to have completed the Boston Marathon!  I believe her …. NOT!

Rosie Ruiz

It's all over for Rosie Ruiz at the Boston Marathon!

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