(Reuters) – Rosie Ruiz, the woman who famously crossed the line first at the 1980 Boston Marathon before being disqualified for cheating, has died of cancer at the age of 66.
Cuban-born Ruiz never admitted that she had not completed the entire marathon course but was disqualified eight days after the race after witnesses said they had seen her step out of the crowd near the finish.
Organizers were also unable to find Ruiz in any photographs taken along the race route and in post-race interviews she had appeared unfamiliar with some of the basic terminology of running.
The incident happened before the era of automatic timing chips that record times of competitors at regular intervals.
Ruiz had been fighting cancer for over a decade, said the obituary on a Florida funeral home website that announced her death.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney