This is not Rosie Ruiz, guilty in 1980 of faking the Boston Marathon.
It's the opposite, actually, and very 2005: A Toronto runners' group admits to assisting its members at the back of the pack in taking a short cut of "several miles" at Washington's Marine Corps Marathon last month:
Some of the slowest runners were encouraged to take a shortcut. They left the route and rejoined it, shaving off several miles and ensuring that they would be able to reach the key bridge and finish the event within the seven-hour limit. ... between 150 and 200 others finished without following the full course, (the race director) said.
I'm not going to jump on a group for promoting healthier lifestyles, which is what JeansMarines, the group in question, have been doing for some time, and good on them for it.
But this story points to an overused misnomer -- this current "running boom". It's more like a walking boom, and one of its prime tenets is this myth that 42.2-kilometre marathons are healthy for anyone to do after a few months of training from scratch with like-minded newbies at your local shoe store. And so the aging baby boomers stretch out the fields at major marathons like Washington, where they have to institute rules to prevent excessive straggling. And in a few cases, because they can't finish within the rules -- because they really shouldn't be in there in the first place -- they cheat.
"The only reason they would cheat is just personal bragging rights -- which you gotta live with."
Rosie got a bum rap. At least she cheated to win.