Cheater! How Rosie Ruiz Won the Boston Marathon

Find out how Rosie Ruiz cheated her way to first place for all female runners in the 1980 Boston Marathon!

I’ve always wanted to win a marathon. I’ve been informed it won’t happen since I need to start running first… unless I try cheating. The reality is, I don’t want it bad enough to cheat my way into a marathon win. But Rosie Ruiz did exactly that at the Boston Marathon in 1980.

Rosie Ruiz will be remembered in sports history for all the wrong reasons. She joined a long list of athletes who believed they could game the system and got caught. It all started when Ruiz missed the deadline for the local New York City Marathon, and instead of accepting her mistake, she used her brain cancer as an excuse and was allowed to register. Yet Ruiz did not have brain cancer then.

Ruiz started strong in the New York City Marathon but exhausted herself before the halfway mark. Instead of accepting the loss, she snuck onto a subway train and crossed the finish line as if she’d run the entire race. Her time qualified her for the Boston Marathon, which is known as the world’s oldest marathon (basically, it’s a big deal). Six months later, after significant training, Ruiz started the marathon and… caught a subway ride to the finish line! Again! Except this time, she was the first female to finish, which quickly raised some concern among the other top runners.

Find out more about Rosie Ruiz and how she scammed her way to first place in the Boston Marathon in 1980: