By Rosie Ruiz
As the 30th anniversary of that fateful day approaches, I would like to look back and defend myself. I hope to offer explanations that shed new light on my story, and maybe shed light on the medal that will be given back to me when everyone realizes I did not, in fact, jump in the race at the end and then sprint gaily to the finish line at the Boston Marathon in 1980.
Let us analyze the accusations. Firstly, they say I was not breathing very hard at the finish. That is because I was in really good shape -- good enough shape to run a whole marathon. Secondly, they say I was not sweaty. This point is moot, as we all know ladies do not sweat. And maybe there are no photographs of me running the race because I was running so fast it's just a blur.
They say I was "softer" than the other runners. Sometimes people are just softer than other people. Why is it that we like soft lighting, and soft, delicious, just off the conveyor-belt Krispy Kremes, but when it comes to our marathoners, we say Oh, you are too soft, you must have taken the subway to the finish line like a big fat donut eating cheater?!?!?
When I was asked to describe what I saw along the way, I said "beautiful countryside and lots of houses and churches." I'm not sure what the problem is. Clearly, I saw stuff. Is Boston not beautiful? Does it not have houses? Does it not have churches? If I had to list all of the things I saw along the way, you would be very tired indeed -- almost as tired as if you had run the entire Boston Marathon like I did.
They say I also cheated at the New York City marathon a few months prior. Ok, you got me. But that city is hilly, it smells like moonshine made in a street urchin's bathtub, and then suddenly you're in the West Village where it's no longer a grid and somehow West 4th and West 12th intersect. I mean are you kidding me???!?
I would never skip part of a marathon. That's like accusing me of skipping parts of my work day by taking naps, naps after sneaking out and bingeing at Krispy Kreme, and then coming back to work in a frosting-induced haze only to pass out on my desk and get drool in my hair. It just doesn't make sense.
To the people who say they saw me put a metrocard in my pocket as I approached the finish line, first of all, those hadn't been invented yet, and secondly that was the New York Marathon, which we've already been over.
As to my running clothes: some people swear they saw me rip off a blazer and pencil length skirt and pull my heels off and spit out part of a donut and then throw all those clothes and mushy food on the side of the road and then start running in the shorts and t-shirt I was wearing beneath. The donut was for carbo-loading. The clothes were so I would have something to wear after the race, because those tinfoil blankets are a joke. I ran in nylons because they offer support and also they elongate the figure. And that wasn't frosting on my shoes. It was dust from the road that I picked up when I was running so fast. Hard, crystaly, delicious dust.