Rosie Ruiz

Last updated

Rosie Ruiz
Personal information
NationalityCuban
CitizenshipUSA
Born(1953-06-21)June 21, 1953
Havana, Cuba
DiedJuly 8, 2019(2019-07-08) (aged 66)
Lake Worth Beach, Florida, United States
Height5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Life partner(s) Margarita Alvarez
Sport
CountryCuba
Sport Track and field
RankDQ
Event(s) 1980 Boston Marathon

Rosie M. Vivas [1] (née Ruiz; June 21, 1953 – July 8, 2019) [2] was a Cuban-American woman who was declared the winner in the female category for the 84th Boston Marathon in 1980, only to have her title stripped eight days after the race when it was discovered that she had not run the entire course. She is believed to have jumped onto the course about a half-mile before the finish.

Boston Marathon marathon running race held in Boston, Untied States

The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon race hosted by several cities in greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts, United States. It is always held on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897, the event was inspired by the success of the first marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. It is one of six World Marathon Majors. Its course runs from Hopkinton in southern Middlesex County to Copley Square in Boston.

Contents

Early life and education

Ruiz was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to Memphis, Florida with her family in 1962 when she was eight years old. [3] After emigrating to the United States, Ruiz was separated from her mother and lived with aunts, uncles, and cousins in Hollywood, Florida. In 1972, she graduated from South Broward High School and then attended Wayne State College in Nebraska. She graduated with a degree in music in 1977. [1]

Havana Capital city of Cuba

Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

Memphis, Florida CDP in Florida, United States

Memphis is a census-designated place (CDP) in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The population was 7,848 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Bradenton–Sarasota–Venice Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Hollywood, Florida City in Florida, United States

Hollywood is a city in Broward County, Florida, between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The average temperature is between 68 and 83 °F. As of July 1, 2017, Hollywood had a population of 153,627. Founded in 1925, the city grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now the twelfth-largest city in Florida. Hollywood is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people at the 2015 census.

New York City Marathon

She moved to New York City in the 1970s, eventually finding work with Metal Traders, a commodities firm. In 1979, she qualified for the New York City Marathon and was credited with a time of 2:56:29, the 11th woman overall—enough for her to qualify for the Boston Marathon. [4]

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

New York City Marathon marathon running race held in New York, United States

The New York City Marathon is an annual marathon that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest marathon in the world, with 52,812 finishers in 2018 and 98,247 applicants for the 2017 race. Along with the Boston Marathon, it is among the pre-eminent long-distance annual running events in the United States and is one of the World Marathon Majors.

Ruiz's application for the NYC marathon arrived after the cut-off date for the race, but she received special dispensation from the New York Road Runners due to her claim that she was dying of brain cancer. [5]

New York Road Runners non-profit organisation in the USA

New York Road Runners (NYRR) is a non-profit running organization based in New York City whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. It was founded in 1958 by Ted Corbitt with 47 members and has since grown to membership of more than 60,000. NYRR serves nearly 600,000 runners of all ages and abilities annually through hundreds of races, community open runs, walks, training sessions, and other running-related programming, with nearly 250,000 youth participating in free fitness programs and events nationally, including 125,000 in New York City’s five boroughs.

After the 1980 Boston Marathon (see below), New York City Marathon officials investigated Ruiz's run and concluded that she did not run the entire course, so on April 25, 1980, she was retroactively disqualified from the race. [6]

Boston Marathon

On April 21, 1980, Ruiz appeared to win the Boston Marathon's female category with a time of 2:31:56. Her time would have been the fastest female time in Boston Marathon history as well as the third-fastest female time ever recorded in any marathon. [7] [8] [9] However, suspicions mounted about Ruiz almost from the beginning. Men's winner Bill Rodgers, who had just won his third straight Boston Marathon, noticed that Ruiz could not recall many things that most runners know by heart, such as intervals and splits. [4] Other observers noticed that Ruiz was not panting or coated in sweat, and her thighs were less lean and muscular than would be expected for a world-class runner. She later released stress-test results showing her resting heart rate as 76. Most female marathoners have a resting heart rate in the 50s or lower. [3]

Interval training is a type of training that involves a series of low- to high-intensity workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. The high-intensity periods are typically at or close to anaerobic exercise, while the recovery periods involve activity of lower intensity. Varying the intensity of effort exercises the heart muscle, providing a cardiovascular workout, improving aerobic capacity and permitting the person to exercise for longer and/or at more intense levels.

In addition, her time of 2:31:56 was an unusual improvement, more than 25 minutes ahead of her reported time in the New York City Marathon six months earlier. When asked by a reporter why she did not seem fatigued after the grueling race, she said, "I got up with a lot of energy this morning." [10] Some female competitors thought it was odd that, when asked what she had noticed about the suburb of Wellesley while running through it, she did not mention the students of Wellesley College, who traditionally cheer loudly for the first female runners as they pass the campus. Most seriously, no other runners could recall seeing her. The eventual winner, Canadian Jacqueline Gareau, was told that she was leading the race at the 18-mile mark, while Patti Lyons was told she was second at the 17-mile mark. Ruiz could not have passed either of them without being seen. [9] Several spotters at checkpoints throughout the course also did not remember seeing her in the first group of women. In addition, she did not appear in any pictures or video footage. [7]

Two Harvard students, John Faulkner and Sola Mahoney, recalled seeing Ruiz burst out of a crowd of spectators on Commonwealth Avenue, half a mile from the finish. Not long after that, freelance photographer Susan Morrow reported meeting her on the subway during the New York City Marathon and accompanying her from the subway to the race. She lost touch with Ruiz after that, but came forward when the news of Ruiz's dubious Boston win broke. According to Morrow, she met Ruiz on the subway and together they walked a distance to the finishing area, where Ruiz identified herself as an injured runner. She was escorted to a first aid station and volunteers marked her down as having completed the marathon, thus qualifying her for the Boston Marathon. [4]

New York City Marathon officials launched an investigation and could not find any sign of Ruiz near the finish line. On April 25, based on this and other evidence, the games committee of the New York City Marathon retroactively disqualified Ruiz from the 1979 race, with marathon director Fred Lebow saying she could not possibly have run the entire course. [6] [3] Later that week, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) disqualified Ruiz from the Boston Marathon. While New York's action seemed to have automatically disqualified Ruiz from Boston as well, Boston officials wanted to do their own investigation before taking action. [4] Gareau was declared the female winner, with a time of 2:34:28—at the time, the fastest recorded for a woman in the Boston Marathon up to that point. [11] Lyons was moved up to second; her time of 2:35:08 was the fastest ever recorded for an American woman in a marathon at that juncture. [12]

During a CTV interview in July 2019, Gareau said that she felt pity for Ruiz, but had no ill feelings toward her. [13]

Aftermath and death

In 1982, Ruiz was arrested for embezzling $60,000 from a real estate company where she worked. She spent one week in jail and was sentenced to five years' probation. [14] [15] She then moved back to South Florida, where she was arrested in 1983 for her involvement in a cocaine deal. She was sentenced to three years' probation. [15] [16] In April 1993, she was working in West Palm Beach [15] as a client representative for a medical laboratory company. [17] As of 2000, she still maintained that she ran the entire 1980 Boston Marathon. [4] However, an acquaintance, Steve Marek, said that she admitted to him a few months after the race that she had cheated, recalling that "she jumped out of the crowd, not knowing that the first woman hadn't gone by yet. Believe me, she was as shocked as anyone when she came in first." [2]

Ruiz died of cancer at age 66 on July 8, 2019, in Lake Worth Beach. [2] [18]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Marquard, Bryan (August 7, 2019). "As in life, apparent death of Rosie Ruiz shrouded in a bit of mystery". The Boston Globe . Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 Sandomir, Richard (August 8, 2019). "Rosie Ruiz, Who Faked Victory in Boston Marathon, Dies at 66". The New York Times . Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 Scorecard. Sports Illustrated , May 5, 1980.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Burt, Bill. Rosie's Run. The Eagle-Tribune , April 16, 2000.
  5. Staff, Writer (April 19, 1993). "Whatever happened to Rosie Ruiz?". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio). Associated Press . Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  6. 1 2 Amdur, Neil (April 26, 1980). "Miss Ruiz Deprived of New York Finish". The New York Times . p. 24. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  7. 1 2 Mass Moments: Rosie Ruiz Steals Boston Marathon. Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, April 21, 2006.
  8. Rosie Ruiz wins the Boston Marathon at Museum of Hoaxes
  9. 1 2 Moore, Kenny. Mastery and Mystery. Sports Illustrated , April 28, 1980.
  10. Kidd, Patrick (August 22, 2007). "The top 50 sporting scandals". The Times. London. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  11. "Seko Clocks A Boston Record". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. April 21, 1981. p. 19. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  12. "Rosie Ruiz Tries To Steal the Boston Marathon". Running Times. July 1, 1980. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  13. Case, Andria (July 24, 2019). "Canadian Boston Marathon winner inducted into Hall of Fame 39 years late". CTV News Channel (Canada). Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  14. Hornus, Tony (April 24, 1982). "The Boston Marathon: One of Kind Event". Argus-Press . Owosso, Michigan. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  15. 1 2 3 "Whatever happened to Rosie Ruiz?". Toledo Blade . AP. April 19, 1993. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  16. "Rosie Ruiz arrested for cocaine dealing". Spokesman-Review . Spokane, Washington. AP. November 19, 1983. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  17. "Rosie Ruiz Says She'll Run Again". AP. April 20, 1998. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  18. "Rosie M. Vivas Obituary - West Palm Beach, FL". Dignity Memorial. Retrieved August 5, 2019.