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Rosie Ruiz Says She’ll Run Again

April 20, 1998 GMT

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Rosie Ruiz claims she still has the medal from her ``victory″ in the 1980 Boston Marathon, and that she’ll be back to run again in 2000.

``I’m going to do it by the book,″ she recently told The Palm Beach Post.

Not that she feels she didn’t do it by the book before.

Ruiz was stripped of her victory eight days after being credited with a 2:31:56 finish _ the third fastest time in women’s history. Officials accused her of jumping into the 26.2-mile race a couple of miles before the finish.

She claims she has collected photographs and other evidence from supporters to prove she ran the entire race on April 21, 1980. Her ``victory,″ she still insists, was a ``triumph″ for women in sports. And her medal is tucked safely somewhere in South Florida, but she won’t say where.

``It hurts me to know I did something so good but got so many problems,″ Ruiz said Friday.

She is reluctant to go public with the evidence she claims can clear her.

Ruiz, 44, goes by Rosie M. Vivas, the name she kept since August 1986 when her 2 1/2-year marriage ended in divorce. She says she’s a client representative for a medical lab company and is living in nearby Tequesta.

She’s been running from controversy for nearly two decades, not just from the marathon debacle. She’s been sued by landlords and spent time in a Miami jail for selling cocaine to an undercover officer in 1983.

She claims the short hairstyle she wore in 1980 may have caused officials to miss her when scanning the videotapes of the route _ believing she was just another male runner. She blames being stripped of a medal on politics _ saying people wanted the favorites to win, not an amateur.

``What I can promise myself and the American public who believes in me is to run again,″ Ruiz said Saturday in a written statement to the newspaper.

``I may not win this time, but I will be there and I’ll run again, the entire course just as before, except this time I’ll be more prepared ... I’ll look just like any other runner. I’m sure they won’t mistake me this time.″