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. 1ofTheFallen

    Obama has spent millions of $$$ to hide his college transcripts from the public and your upset about marathon times from 20 years ago. In addition none of Obama's class mates even remember him at Columbia? Ryan hasn't gone over to Saudi Arabia and bowed to King whose citizens killed thousands of Americans in 9/11.

    September 4, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Daniel

    One does not forget ones pr in a marathon, the pain of doing it imprints itself on your brain. He is just a blatant lier who cannot be trusted anymore than his running mate.

    September 4, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. rchirico221b

    You can run, but you can't hide.

    September 4, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. mike

    "GOOD GRIEF!!! I gave birth and don't remember the exact time"
    But you no doubt remember if it was a boy or a girl!!!!

    September 4, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    IF your government helps, this plant SHOULD be here the next 100 years. ~~~ Obama 2008 (pre election).

    GW Bush was in charge and did NOT help that plant.

    FACT.

    September 4, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. 1ofTheFallen

    43.8 million Americans are on food stamps and worried about feeding their kids. Current 23% Unemployment/Underemployment and trillions $$ of taxpayers dollars spent and the unemployment is the same as 4 years ago. All this and Dem's spend time talking about marathon times from 20 years ago. No wonder they have done so poorly at managing he economy.

    September 4, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. sally

    I think overpromising and underdelivering is a different issue than flat out lying. Ryan is a liar not only about his personal achievements, but also about why Obama should not be elected for a second term....
    this is more worrying to me, than a president who has done a lot of good, and still has a lot more work to do. We should hope that the senate and house are also run by the democrats, so maybe we can get more good stuff done and it will not be blocked as we have see a lot of over the past two years.

    September 4, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. LYN.

    TJ you really hate the man.I suppose you want him to walk on water, You credited him for nothing,Yet you credit Ryan for lying. What a country.

    September 4, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. dah

    It wasn't his back that he injured.

    September 4, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. rocketscientist

    "In 1994 I ran the Twin Cities Marathon in 3 hours, 5 minutes and 29 seconds. That was the closest I ever got to breaking 3 hours. I have run 37 complete, 1 DNF and I can't tell you all of my times, but I can remember my PR. If you are a serious runner and you would have to be to run 3 hrs, you do not forget your best times, no matter how much your back hurts."

    I agree with you Paul (great time btw, mine's 3:20 in the LA marathon. You got me beat!). It's pretty hard for me to believe Ryan forgot his best time by that much. But, then, he is a professional politician.

    September 4, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. MNAnonymous!

    It's just that the time he claimed is so outrageously small... he would be a pro-athlete. Any amateur runner would know that a pace below 7:00 min is extremely fast! I'd remember that even if it were a half marathon! The lie is just so silly it's like talking or forgetting about the time you fished that 300 pounds catfish (when it was actually a half pounder)!!

    September 4, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. rtharris

    A sub three hour marathon is a ilestone in distance running and he claims to be a world class runner but then recants when hes called on it.HES A WORLD CLASS LIAR AND THATS ALL HE IS

    September 4, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. BinaryTooth

    This is the most important issue of the election.

    Obama 2012

    September 4, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. NotGOP

    Imagine that.... A politician who lies to make himself look better than he really is in life.

    September 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. kathy/Minnesota

    Paul Ryan has been exposed, since his "BIG" roll out he has been caught in one lie after another. And now this morning on the Today show, he try's to justify a "LIE" he told at the convention,Hey Mr. Ryan, you lied, we called you on it,how long are you going to defend, what we all know that is "NOT" true? That type of behavior, is such a turn off.

    September 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Bob

    Ryan lies. Mitt lies. The 'Pukes will vote for them anyway.

    You can't fix stupid.

    September 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Demin Magdalen

    So the claim was all good, as long as the truth didn't come out. mmmmm....

    September 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Tom Wilcox

    Grandma's Marathon? My time in June, 1992 was 4:05:48. About when Paul ran it but 4 minutes slower. I was 47. Believe me, I ran 9 marathons and I remember every one! So would he!

    September 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. reasonablebe

    right. he doesn't rmember because something like that would not stick in an avid runner's mind or memory. right. he has no idea how fast marathoners run. right...

    so what else has he exaggerated, or just plain mislead us about? his antics remind me of teenagers running for class president– say anything, promise them free ice cream at every lunch, shorter school days, no final exams, whatever to get attention so that maybe they'll see your name on the ballot and vote for you....

    not quite as thoughts of grandeur as Palin had claiming foreign policy experience because she could see Russia from her house or yard, or whatever, but just as telling....

    what does this say about character, truth and veracity??? add that to Romney's hidden $$, and what do we have?

    September 4, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Bolaji09

    What, Me Worry?

    September 4, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. metekrop1968

    You can't trust nothing coming out of the mouth of this man. Sham on Mr. Ryan. I don't know how can Americans let you in the white house after listning in all of these lies before you get into.

    September 4, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. reasonablebe

    oh, I believe that. right. he doesn't rmember because something like that would not stick in an avid runner's mind or memory. right. he has no idea how fast marathoners run. right...

    so what else has he exaggerated, or just plain mislead us about? his antics remind me of teenagers running for class president– say anything, promise them free ice cream at every lunch, shorter school days, no final exams, whatever to get attention so that maybe they'll see your name on the ballot and vote for you....

    not quite as thoughts of grandeur as Palin had claiming foreign policy experience because she could see Russia from her house or yard, or whatever, but just as telling....

    what does this say about character, truth and veracity??? add that to Romney's hidden $$, and what do we have?

    September 4, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Andrew

    Paul Ryan has incrdible disrespect for our intelligence if he thinks we are buying his explanation. This is absolutely not an honest mistake. Nobody who runs could in any conceivable way confuse a 2 hour and something marathon with a 4 hour and something marathon. This would be the equivalent of saying "I made $300,000 dollars in 1990" when in fact you had only made $30,000. You just can't confuse the two, no matter how bad your memory is.

    His claim that he just forgot is ridiculous on its face, and it suggests a real problem with the truth. He is either comfortable lying to himself, or lying to the public. Or both. Either way, he is looking a lot like a liar. Not good.

    September 4, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Dutchman

    Ryan must have an extremely poor memory. I ran a marathon (my only one) in 1978 (34 years ago) and I still remember my exact time: 4:04:12. I suspect Ryan just threw out a fast time to impress people, assuming no one would ever bother to research it. If he fibs on things like this, his role on the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and the closing of the Janesville auto plant, think what he would do on the really big things. I would hope our elected officials would have something called character and integrity. Maybe that's a "bridge too far" in this day and time. Too bad for our nation - we are the losers.

    September 4, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. lindylou123

    Ryan can't tell the truth about anything! He lives in a world of lies and knows not the truth about anything. He'll take away your Medicare and lie about it – he'll sell out your Social Security to wall street, and lie about it
    He voted for every Bush thing that caused the huge deficit and now lies that he is the one to fix it
    He claims to be a Christian but all he does is lie – sickening

    September 4, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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