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. Lando

    So Ryan's brain is in the spinal column...that makes sense..weird memory

    September 4, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. HEHE

    He even lies about the completely inconsequential things... What a great guy.

    September 4, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    By the time Obama got his stimulus passed, unemployment had risen over 10%. When you lose 800,000 jobs a month under Bush, that does not stop immediately, it takes some time to get the program in place to start putting people back to work.

    September 4, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Adam

    It's like the really annoying person on Facebook who posts the length of his runs and thinks everyone is going to be impressed. I really don't care about how fast you can run. What I do notice about this guy is his lying, his big ego and his lack of respect. I can't stand guys like this. They exist to lord it over everyone and feel superior. No thanks.

    September 4, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Joe Martellaro

    This entire thread is symptomatic of why our country is in the shape it's in. WHO CARES how fast any politician from either party can run a marathon?? It is entirely unrelated to anything important in running our country. Yet, the media breathlessly reports the alleged "gaffe,", and someone from the other side immediately is trotted out to make fun of he or she who makes the "gaffe." STOP IT! It distracts attention from serious issues, and contributes mightily to the general feeling of disgust among the governed.

    September 4, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Daveinil

    WOW, This is big news! Come on CNN, find something real to talk about.

    September 4, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Paulyballgame

    Are the Obama supporters really this naive? Marathon times? Tax returns? Claims of murdering women by giving them cancer? How can people not care about the real issues in this country? Jobs, housing, deficit, taxes...

    It's mind boggling to me how people can be so easily distracted.

    September 4, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Kenneth Janowski

    Liar, liar shorts on fire.

    September 4, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Rick in AZ

    Given the choice of telling the truth or telling a lie, a Republican will always opt for the lie.

    September 4, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Max

    Oh What an AVID LIAR. What else is Paul Ryan Lying about on the campaign trail???

    What a liar...this time he' caught!!!

    September 4, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Hagar67

    How desperate are the liberals on this site. Ryan didn't forget his time because of the back injury morons, he quite running because of the back injury which has led to 20 years of no marathons since his last one. Honestly, how stupid are you?

    September 4, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. jnblucy

    What a liar! Marathoners are totally obessed with their finish times, and especially their personal records (PRs), and they have a pretty darn good idea of what their best times are... You may be off by a minute here and there, but AN HOUR??!!! If he is willing to add an hour to his marathon time, imagine what he what he might do with his budget calculations.

    September 4, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Indie in VA

    His sore back made him forget his marathon time.

    Uh huh.

    Perfect Republican he is.

    September 4, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. David Simpson

    Nobody who has hauled their body through 26 miles forgets what their time was. ESPECIALLY, if – as was the case w/ Lying Ryan – he just missed breaking 4 hours.

    This may seem like a little thing. But all dudes – as well as babes who are athletes – know this fact: if somebody will lie about something like this, you can't trust them as far as you can throw them.

    September 4, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Robert Rose

    "[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted . . . in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods." -Adolf Hitler

    "Fact-checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." – Ashley O'Connor, Mitt Romney's Ad Strategist

    The truth does not matter to them. They lie because it allows them to bend reality with a segment of voters.

    September 4, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Bleedingheart

    Ryan caught in a lie? Will wonders never cease?

    September 4, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. gordyb

    Everyone knows their personal bests and if they exaggerate them its only to pump up the ego. Its a lie that indicates character. Ask a golfer whats your low score, ask a bowler whats your high score, ask a runner wants your best time, rounding is forgivable had he said four hours ok, but to say three which is a hour less and puts him in a elite class of runner, he knew he was lying. He is a party hack and was caught..what else will he lie about?

    September 4, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. mike

    Myth Romney did a great job choosing Paul Ryan! It was a bold choice! He choose the biggest liar of them all!!! Myth's lying wasn't pathological enough, so he choose Ryan! Great job Myth!

    September 4, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Minnesota

    Amazing. A man messes up a marathon time from 20 years ago and now hes a pathological liar. Does anyone remember Obama talking about how old his daughter wasin a Washington news conference? He referred to her as 13 years old.. twice, she was 12. Does this make Obama a liar too?

    September 4, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. irunner

    There is no way any marathoner forgets either his first or fastest marathon – regardless of the number of years past. I would forget my kids' names first!

    September 4, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Bob

    The GOP "doctors the truth" on deficits (Bush left two ongoing wars and the RX plan unpaid and growing in cost) (Bush and the GOP congress gutted the revenue stream to pay for tax cut for hedge fund speculators....while killing "surpluses as far the eye could see LEFT BY CLINTON), the voter suppression disguised as nonexistent "voter fraud", individual rights except where women's reproductive systems are concerned, and "weapons of mass destruction" that shame still General Powell.

    Josef Geobbels didnt have this level of unparalleled gall.....or immeasurable guile.

    September 4, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. MNAnonymous!

    Mr. Ryan didn't make a mistake he just lied. You don't forget a time below 3 h for a marathon, but you can lie about it! A stupid lie for that matter, because it is so exaggerated!

    September 4, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. 1+1=2

    Just one more exaggeration notch in his "I am a conservative" belt.

    September 4, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Art G

    Lies, pure and simple. Just like pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth.

    September 4, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Shameful MrRyan

    No good scoundrel. Nothing more than a dirty liar.

    At least we can trust the Obamas!

    September 4, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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