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. kim

    Maybe this is how Ryan "forgets" about what his party under G. Bush did to this country. Niether Ryan nor Romney could tell the truth if thier lives depended on it.

    September 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. 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 and likes to twist what he's erred saying to still look like he's right. Time to go to confession, Ryan. I'm sure your priest has a seat waiting for you.

    September 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Mark

    Let's blame Ryan's poor memory on the Bush administration

    September 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Gordyb

    No one forgets a personal best, he was pumping his ego. Lying about something small is an indication of what he might lie about if elected. Ask a golfer, what is your low score, ask a bowler, what is you hig score, ask a runner , what is your best time, they all know unless they are lying to pump themselves up.

    September 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Andrew

    Rosie Ruiz, meet Paul Ryan. You two should have a lot to talk about.

    September 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Ross

    I see Ryan is as honest with his marathon run as he is with his run for VP.

    September 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. reasonablebe

    and don't forget to add that the other students running for president don't have the same shiny nose you have, or that they don't have your great hair, or don't have a pool they promise you can swim in, or any other inane thing- or make up something about them and start a rumor......

    September 4, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Goforwand

    Now you know Mr. Ryan...FINISHER TIMES LIVE ON THE INTERNET FOREVER!!! Welcome to the National Spotlight! Guess he won't be using that one to impress friends and constituents anymore ;)

    September 4, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. EddiboyS

    Just another example of right wing candidates taking liberties with the truth. One more reason not to trust either Romney or Ryan.

    September 4, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Charlie

    Ryan blames Obama for closure of the Janesville plant, even though GM announced the closure while Bush was still president. He criticizes Obama for not pushing for enactment of Simpson-Bowles recommendations, without disclosing that as a member of that commission, he voted against the recommendations. His budget plan calls for trillions in spending cuts, but he refuses to say what programs he will cut. His silly braggadocio about his marathon time is a minor matter, but the record is clear: he is campaigning on a platform of deception and deceit.

    September 4, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. gar

    Paul Ryan is Washington elitist who will do and say anything to get elected.

    September 4, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Randy, San Francisco

    Ryan's lies prove that he lacks character to be one heart beat from the presidency.

    September 4, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Is it to late to give Rubio the job ?

    At least he only lies about what year he left Cuba.

    September 4, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. zeb

    I once ran under 10 seconds in the 100m.....

    ... wait, I forgot, it was really Carl Lewis who did that (must be that back injury.... or was it that brain injury?)

    September 4, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. shortmemories

    "I hurt my back when I was in my mid twenties, so obviously my perception of races and times were off."

    This makes absolutely zero sense. How does a back injury, 5 years after the race in question, impair one's memory? This guy can not tell the truth, even when he is walking back a lie. Goes to character.

    September 4, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Lyin Ryan should be an Olympian

    Walk back nothing. He got called out for being the liar that he is. He should stick to telling big lie after big lie - in this case he should have said he ran a marathon in just a shade over 1 hour...yeah that's the ticket!
    Truth and facts don't seem to be on the GOP side, they're not intended to be the factual party as we well know courtesy of Kyl.

    September 4, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. mike

    Ryan is full of baloney. Anyone who has run a marathon knows their best time as well as their birthday. BTW mine was 2 hours and 43 minutes at the age of 36 and that's a fact.

    September 4, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. TrueIndependent

    Obama is killing us, I remember that!!!! Don't care about his marathon time as long as he is willing to get us out of the HARD things. Failing education system, bankrupt medicare that Obama has ignored, failed immigration that Bush and Obama have ignored, too many wars, too many unemployed and struggling americans, too much golf (by our gov't officials) and a president, speaker of the house and senate leader smoking while telling americans to BE HEALTHY!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. flippity flop

    Starting with the I don't recall trick already???? Crazy pubs

    September 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. TrueIndependent

    Almost as dumb as telling americans that they didn't build their own business..........

    September 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Gezellig

    @1ofTheFallen "Obama has spent millions of $$$ to hide his college transcripts"

    So what is the strategy here, tell a lot more lies so Ryan's don't stand out? Why would Obama spend one penny hiding records that are confidential by law? That is like me accusing Romney of spending millions of dollars hiding his tax returns. He does not have to spend a penny to "hide" his @1ofTheFallen "Obama has spent millions of $$$ to hide his college transcripts"

    So what is the strategy here, tell a lot more lies so Ryan's don't stand out? Why would Obama spend one penny hiding records that are confidential by law? That is like me accusing Romney of spending millions of dollars hiding his tax returns. He does not have to spend a penny to "hide" his confidentail tax returns, unless you consider the millions he is spending to run for an office he won't get because the American people won't trust a man who won't trust them. tax returns, unless you consider the millions he is spending to run for an office he won't get because the American people won't trust a man who won't trust them.

    September 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. livingston

    Paul Ryan, you sir are a lair and that tells us all we need to know.

    September 4, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Hammer1!

    The essential question: "Is your marathon PR better today than it was 22 years ago ?" In Paul Ryan's disingenuous mind, the answer is obviously yes..

    September 4, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Bill

    It's not necessarily a lie. It's just a symptom of "The Older I get, The Better I Was" syndrome. I think all former athletes get it to some extent. I sure have been guilty of it before with no real intent or need to deceive,

    September 4, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Gezellig

    @1ofTheFallen "Obama has spent millions of $$$ to hide his college transcripts"

    So what is the strategy here, tell a lot more lies so Ryan's don't stand out? Why would Obama spend one penny hiding records that are confidential by law? That is like me accusing Romney of spending millions of dollars hiding his tax returns. He does not have to spend a penny to "hide" his confidential tax returns, unless you consider the millions he is spending to run for an office he won't get because the American people won't trust a man who won't trust them.

    September 4, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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