Following on from the last news item with Rob Sloan cheating to finish 3rd in the Kielder Marathon in England, here is a piece about a more infamous runner...Rosie Ruiz.
Back in 1980, Rosie Ruiz 'won' the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:31:56 setting a new course record in the process. This was a 25 minute improvement on her time in the New York Marathon when she 'finished' in 2:56:29.
After her victory, she was asked by a reporter why she didn't seem fatigued after the grueling race? She replied "I got up with a lot of energy this morning."
Here is a video clip of her running in Boston...
However after the race, cracks began to appear in her story. No one could recall seeing her out along the course. The other leading women didn't see her. Jacqueline Gareau was told that she was leading the race with 18 miles to go, while Patti Lyons was told she was second at the 17-mile mark; Ruiz couldn't have passed either of them without being seen. Several spotters at checkpoints throughout the course didn't remember seeing her in the first group of women. She also didn't appear in any pictures or video footage. She was also spotted joining the race from a crowd of supporters about 800 metres from the finish.
After the race and with all of the subsequent publicity, a photographer came forward to say she had met Rosie Ruiz on the subway during the New York Marathon and had walked with 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. New York Marathon officials then launched an investigation of their own, and couldn't find any sign of Ruiz near the finish line. Based on this and other evidence, New York Marathon director Fred Lebow disqualified Ruiz from the 1979 race, saying she could not possibly have run the entire course.
Later that week, the Boston Athletic Association disqualified Ruiz. Jacqueline Gareau was declared the women's winner, with a time of 2:34:28--at the time, the fastest ever recorded by a woman in the event.
As a result of the scandal, the Boston Marathon and several other races instituted a number of safeguards against cheating that are still used today. These include extensive video surveillance and chips that monitor electronically when runners arrive at various checkpoints on the course.