Rosie Ruiz, a 27 year old Cuban American hailing from New York City, was declared the winner of the 1980 Womens' Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours 31 minutes 29 seconds, which would have been the fastest female time in the Boston Marathon ever and the 11th quickest recorded time for any female marathoner.
|Bill Rogers winning 1980 Boston Marathon|
When a reporter asked Ruiz how she was able to best her marathon time from the New York City marathon by 25 minutes, Ruiz quipped that she woke up with a lot of energy that morning. Ruiz could not remember anything about fans at Wellesley College, a female Seven Sister College of the Ivy League, which always roots loudly for the leading female runner in the Boston Marathon. But the most damning evidence from the Hub came from two Harvard students who reported that Ruiz burst through a group of spectators on Commonwealth Street, a half mile from the finish line.
New York Marathon officials investigated a report from a freelance reporter who stipulated that six months before the Boston Marathon she rode the subway train with Ruiz and watched her report herself injured by the finish line, and she was credited with finishing the NYC marathon in 11th place, thereby qualifying her for the Boston Marathon.
After doing their own investigation, the Boston Athletic Association disqualified Rosie Ruiz and declared that Canadian Jacqueline Gareau was the winner with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 28 seconds, which was the fastest time for a woman in Boston Marathon history.
The BAA staged a ceremonial photo finish for Gareau with 3,000 spectators to give the woman her due, but Ruiz had stolen the spotlight by grabbing the garland that Patriots' Day and remains infamous.