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Marathon notebook: Plenty of memories for Gareau

By Barbara Huebner, Globe Staff, Globe Correspondent, 4/16/2000

Jacqueline Gareau is happy with her life. At 47, she devotes most of her time to her 71/2-year-old son, Yannick, has taken up cycling, and is enjoying the journey of growing older and ''learning to sit still.''

She hopes Rosie Ruiz has learned a few things, too.

''I wish she has more wisdom,' said Gareau yesterday, in town to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her 1980 win that almost wasn't. After leading much of the way, Gareau crossed the finish line in a course-record 2 hours 34 minutes 8 seconds only to see Ruiz on the victory platform. After a weeklong investigation, Gareau was named the winner after it became clear that Ruiz had run only the very end of the race. The race's finish was reenacted, and Gareau was presented with the laurel wreath and medal she deserved.

''Boston will always be something for me,'' she said. ''People have been so nice to me. It's like I've made more friends that way than if I would have won right away.''

A few years after the famous fraud, Ruiz came up to Gareau at the Orange Bowl 10K in Miami and introduced herself. ''I recognized her,'' recalled the Quebec native who three years ago moved to Boulder, Colo., to buy a pair of Mountain Sports stores with her husband. ''I said, `Why did you do that?' I thought she was acknowledging that she made a mistake, but she said no, she ran it and she would do it again. So I kind of forgot about her and said, OK, bye-bye.''

Her 1980 win was not the only time Gareau ran Boston. She came back the next year, improving her time to 2:31:26, but finished fifth. She finished second in 1982 and 1983. ''I did my best to win again,'' said Gareau, citing the 2:29:27 she ran in '83, only to trail Joan Benoit Samuelson's world-record 2:22:43. Gareau had hoped to mark the anniversary by running again this year with the goal of breaking 2:45, but has been bothered by a bad knee. Fortunately, the knee doesn't hurt when she runs uphill, so she's got her eye on the Mount Washington Road Race in June, which she has won twice.

As for Ruiz, ''I don't wish to see her until she changes, and I hope she changes because I feel sorry for her,'' said Gareau. ''She lives the wrong way if she's like that. It would be great for the world to see she's back on the good roll again.''

A fund run

At yesterday's media brunch, when defending champions Joseph Chebet, Fatuma Roba, Franz Nietlispach, and Louise Sauvage received their bib numbers, Boston Athletic Association president Frank Porter said this year's race is projected to pump $80 million into the local economy.

Unveiled at the breakfast was the newest class of inductees into the Distance Running Hall of Fame, which already includes such Boston legends at Samuelson, Bill Rodgers, and John A. Kelley. The newest members are seven-time Boston winner Clarence DeMar, 1982 Boston victor Alberto Salazar, track legend Steve Prefontaine, and Grete Waitz, nine-time winner of the New York City Marathon.

Among the anniversary athletes introduced were three-time winner Rosa Mota of Portugal (1987, '88, '90), the only athlete to win a marathon at the Olympics, World Championships, and Boston.

Another win for Kelley

Runner's World has named Kelley its Runner of the Century.

Kelley, 92, made his first Boston Marathon appearance in 1928 and did not finish. He won the race in 1935 and 1945 and last completed the Boston race in 1992 at age 84.

''Johnny has become the symbol for road racing in America,'' said Guy Morse, Boston Marathon race director. ''As the experts of the sport, the honor that Runner's World has bestowed upon Johnny by naming him Runner of the Century is both an appropriate tribute to his contributions and a source of pride for anyone who has ever competed.''

As grand marshal, Kelley will precede the race in a pace car. He has served as grand marshal since 1995, excluding last year when he was ill.

At yesterday's media brunch, Kelley was presented with a special jacket for the honor. As he was returning to his seat, Roba - who was mightily impressed the day before to learn Kelley had run Boston 61 times - stood up to shake his hand.

Looking back

What better venue for an exhibit of Boston Marathon memorabilia than in the town in which it all starts? That was the idea proposed to the Boston Athletic Association by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Hopkinton, which had the property - its headquarters at the former Terry family homestead and dairy farm on Route 85 - to make the exhibit a reality.

One year and more than 200 Marathon-related memorabilia later, the Alliance's ''Millennium Marathon Celebration,'' six rooms full of art work, photos, scrapbooks, newspaper articles, and even a bottle of wine with Kelley on its label, is in full swing.

''We've had visits from schoolchildren to senior citizens, and the exhibit is really a celebration of Hopkinton's place in Boston Marathon history and the people behind the scenes who have helped make it all work,'' said Adeline Stevens, a board member and treasurer of the 270-member Alliance.

The exhibit is open noon-6 p.m. today and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow. The address is 98 Hayden Rowe.

The collection includes tributes to townspeople like former police chief Francis Bowker, longtime Hopkinton Marathon Committee chairman Rob Phipps, and former BAA Board of Governors member Harold Rathburn, who videotaped his marathon reminiscences as part of the exhibit.

A worthy honor

Joe Concannon, the Globe sportswriter covered the race for decades before his recent death, will be honored tomorrow with reserved spots on the men's press truck and in the main press room. A tribute to the highly-respected veteran Friday night was attended by, among others, Salazar, Samuelson, Andy Ronan, and former world-record holder Steve Jones ... Lornah Kiplagat, a 25-year-old Kenyan running Boston for the first time, has used her own money to start a camp in Eldoret geared toward teenage girls. Over school holidays, she said, about 40 attend, ''and we will run together.''

Globe correspondent Andrew Tripaldi and Marvin Pave of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

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