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. realitybites

    Moose, Reagan had an excuse. Alzheimers.

    September 4, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. carlos

    he did backtrack but he keeps on lying, really sick and the ones who support the backtrack team of lyin ryan and etch a sketch

    September 4, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Goose66

    I know my best 40 from high school football, although I would be lying if I didn't say that it may have been shaved by a tenth or two over the past 30 years. It is accurate in my mind, though.

    September 4, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Oh boy

    Just throw it and se where it sticks, maybe there are enough fools out there.

    September 4, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    anyone who has run a marathon knows EXACTLY what their time was. What a liar!

    September 4, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Oh boy

    Just throw it and see where it sticks

    September 4, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Goose66

    I know my best 40 from high school football, although I would be l-y-ing if I didn't say that it may have been shaved by a tenth or two over the past 30 years. It is accurate in my mind, though.

    September 4, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Mittens 'n' Munster are Liars

    Ryan's a liar about everything, apparently. But then again, I'm not surprised. Repubs have been lying to us for years, including tax cuts for the rich create jobs here to invading Iraq being a cakewalk that will pay for itself.

    And let's not forget one of the biggest GOP whoppers of all time: President Obama exploded the deficit, when what he did was have the stones to put the cost of two unfunded wars and unfunded Medicare Part D on the books (both run up by the previous Bush, who hid the costs).

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    September 4, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Da Marathon Man

    No, Ryan isn't fibbing about his birth certificate. Neither is Pres. Obama. The Fibber in charge is Mitt fibbing about taxes.
    Oh, Clint Eastwood, Obama isn't the only 'lawyer' in the race for the presidency. Both Mitt and Ryan have law degrees, and Ryan's wife is a lawyer herself. So, you should have used a script perhaps, a teleprompter? Because your musings were funny but also pathetically lame from the land of drama and hollywood.

    September 4, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. DandyStryker

    I know my time from 20 years ago. I keep a written record. Most avid athletes do. No ... ly'n Ryan didn't just make an honest mistake. He lied about his marathon time in the same way he lied about Obama closing that car factory. Ly'n Ryan lied by knowingly telling an un-truth.

    September 4, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Goose66

    Now what about those two comments requires moderation? I even attempted to respell the word "lying" in the second one. The CNN censors have kicked into overdrive during the convention.

    September 4, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. mrhapiguy

    Telling the truth appears to be difficult for Mr. Ryan.

    September 4, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    Is that what they call it when you get caught in a lie these days? "I didn't really mean what I said, let me just walk it back"?!?!

    Between that and Romney's retroactive resignation from Gain Capital, this Republican campaign is a joke!

    September 4, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. cmkc

    First time, I've heard of a back injury causing amnesia or other frontal lobe problems.

    September 4, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Joe

    Marc S – under 3 hours is a world class time? I did a sub 3 when I was 16, and it wasn't anything special.

    September 4, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. RichardR

    I'd like to someone fact-check his claim that he's climbed all 54 fourteeners in Colorado. An impressive feat for anyone to accomplish.

    September 4, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    Hey lying marathon man pie face, we still WANT TO SEE YOUR BUDDY'S TAXES and we won't soon forget that YOU and AKIN ARE AGAINST WOMEN!!

    September 4, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Concerned

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” – President Abraham Lincoln

    September 4, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. jolouisville

    Palin was ignorant but she wasn't a liar..... neither he nor Romney can tell the truth; but one thing they have both been truthful about and that's where they stand: They stand anywhere that will get them elected

    September 4, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Jessie P.

    Wake up people!!! My family and I are registered Repubicans and will be voting for President Obama because Mitt and Paul are for big business and the wealthy only.......and we are middle class. If you think Mitt and Paul are the answer, then I have a big bridge to sell you! They both lie more than Pinnochio and want to get rid of Medicare and Social Security. Unless you are extremely wealthy........do yourself and your children a favor and vote for President Obama!!

    September 4, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Concerned

    "Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce... and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate." — James A. Garfield, assassinated President of the United States

    September 4, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Terry

    I'll bet he cheats at cards too. What a pair he and mittens make, neither is able to tell us the truth. Their theme song should be John Lennons "just give me some truth" but that would taint the work of a great artist

    September 4, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Dana

    I ran a marathon 19 years ago, had 2 back surgeries, and I know my time to the second. This has nothing to do with politics and won't affect my vote.

    September 4, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Gene

    Does this guy ever quit lying and hoping he can get away with it? Thanks for fact-checkers and those with just plain common sense.

    September 4, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Roger

    What a crock!. Keep talking Ryan. Everytime you open your mouth you are picking up votes for Obama. These guys have no idea what truth is. Just throw it out there and their ignorant followers suck it up.

    September 4, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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