Ryan walks back exaggerated marathon time
September 4th, 2012
01:08 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan walks back exaggerated marathon time

(CNN) – Exercise enthusiast Paul Ryan back pedaled Monday on his claim of a marathon time of under three hours, attributing the mistake to over two decades of time passed and a back injury.

Ryan said in an August radio interview with Hugh Hewitt that his best marathon time was under three hours, which would mean the fit Wisconsin congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate held under seven minute miles for the 26.2 miles race–an impressive feat for even the most avid runners.

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Runner's World magazine raised questions about Ryan's time last Friday, shortly after the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Then Ryan's staff issued a statement to the magazine last Friday where he admitted misstating his time by over an hour, finishing the 1990 Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota race in just over four hours. The GOP vice presidential candidate said his brother pointed out his mistake, in the statement published on the magazine's website on August 31.

"The race was more than 20 years ago, but my brother Tobin-who ran Boston last year-reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three. If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight," Ryan said in the statement, which the campaign confirms was sent to the magazine.

Ryan blamed the fudged personal record on time passed and a back injury in an interview with WTOL in Toledo on Monday.

"I literally thought that was my time. It was 22 years ago," he said in the interview. "You forget sort of these things. I hurt my back when I was in my mid twenties, so obviously my perception of races and times were off."

Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is also an active runner, jumped on the mistake Tuesday linking Ryan's exaggerated marathon time to his character.

"I must confess, I do not do an under-3 hour marathon," Sebelius joked to the Ohio delegation at the Democratic National Convention. "Anyone who starts with the notion that you have to make up your marathon time tells you all you need to know about Paul Ryan."


Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan
soundoff (628 Responses)
  1. ohgran

    If you don't remember something, why just pick something that sounds good? If he didn't remember his time, why didn't he just say he didn't remember? Sounds to me like this guy wants to look like he's perfect in everything he does and says then likes to twist what he's erred saying to still look like he's right.

    September 4, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Da Marathon Man

    Right, the exercise enthusiast didn't remember that running marathons under 3hrs gets close to the women's world record times (minus 20-30 min. but who would care about such details?).
    What's more unsettling is this young law maker's English: " Tobin- [brother] reminds me that he ... has never himself ran a sub-three" marathon."..... he has never himself RAN that time? outch, outch, this hurts. Can we all please get our law makers to speak proper English? Please please....

    September 4, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Larry

    Is the truth that much of an inconvience for these GOP candidates? Only goes to show what would lie ahead under their reign. NO thanks!

    September 4, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. tDonkey Party

    Ev @ 1:29pm – Your words are the words of a gullible, delusional crazy person. Mitt has over a quarter billion dollars stashed around the globe, and you envision him as some sort of governmental hobbyist. Insane!

    September 4, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. plenty

    Ryan like all Repugs lie so much they don't even "remember" the truth.

    September 4, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Kevin

    Ryan may have "peddled" a sub 3 hour time but he would have back "pedaled" from his claim.

    September 4, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Indiana Voter

    Democrats seem desperate if this is the sort of thing that they are now criticizing.

    September 4, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Folks, he meant to say 2-1/2 x 2 equals four (4) hours NOT 2-1/2 +. Can he stop lying? Not what the catholic church must have taught him! What a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive. . . . And can't stop!!!
    Never realized that this guy who thinks he is god's gift to women doesn't have a butt! :)

    September 4, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. ritmocojo

    He's not 'Lyin' Ryan' for nothin'.

    September 4, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Bryan

    Lyin' Ryan and Etch-a-Sketch! Perfect pairing!

    September 4, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. ShawnDH

    Surprise! Ryan LIES about something else.

    It would only be newsworthy if Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney told the truth about something. Anything.

    September 4, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Paganini

    Anyone who has ever run a marathon knows exactly what their finishing time was. Period. The guy is 42, not 82 – he would remember his time if he actually ran one.

    September 4, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. SCOTO

    Politics – where lying is a way of life

    September 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Perryboy

    Ryan is a BIG @ss lier...just like Mitten.

    September 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Nari

    I am QUITE SURE he runs real fast when his pants are on fire... which might be quite often.

    lol.

    September 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Steve Boback

    steer clear of this insecure sociopath; he may have been prom king, but he still feels he is owed Mr. Popularity, no matter how many lies it takes.

    September 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    BinaryTooth wrote:

    This is the most important issue of the election.
    --------------------------
    I agree. Credibility and accountability are the most important qualities in a candidate, no matter what they stand for.

    September 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. Cant change the facts

    Ryan ran that marathon in under 3 hours because his pants were on fire. – Rudy, NYC

    September 4, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. GOP = madness

    Ryan blames his white lie on an old back injury?

    September 4, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. John

    He just said that to get the girl.

    September 4, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. Cam Spurgeon

    A serial liar can't keep up with all the lies he has told and will start to backtrack with more lies. The american public will see that and hopefully will get him put of office.

    September 4, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. umwhynot

    You mean a politician actually lied about something? Get out!

    September 4, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Dann DFW

    I train with a group of people who participate in endurance events. The one TRUTH I know about any running enthusiast is that if you ask them their PR (Personal Record) for a marathon they can tell you to the minute what it is. To misstate your time by over an hour is deliberate. Don't take my word for it. If you know someone who ran a marathon ask them what their PR is. If you don't know someone go watch a local race and talk to the runners.

    September 4, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. mike electrician

    Poor memory on a back problem?? who knew that was where his brain was, I would have guessed even lower...

    September 4, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Slow Runner

    Time to look for Paul Ryan's secret Kenyan birth certificate.

    September 4, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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