Ryan walks back exaggerated marathon time
September 4th, 2012
01:08 PM ET
10 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. kakaraka

    So this guy keeps lying? Everything he's saying is not credible from now on. I cannot trust this guy. He got a credibility issue.

    September 4, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. RGCC

    Ryan seems to struggle with the truth.

    September 4, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. BlkPwr817

    I have a feeling he'll be walking back a lot of things he's said up until this point. The American voters aren't gonna let him get away with "LIES & ALIBIS" come November...

    September 4, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. IntelligentDesign

    We should go to his events and hold signs with his finish time. Just as a reminder. we don't have to argue or make a fuss just hold the sign high.

    September 4, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. crush

    He said 3 hours, but meant 4. He was off by 25%. Yes, let's put this brilliant numbers guy in charge of revamping medicare and social security.

    September 4, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Serially Lying Ryan

    Can someone remind Ryan of what serial lying does to the career of a young politician?

    Unlearning the Romney traits after losing in November might not be as easy as he thinks.

    September 4, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Jon

    people make mistakes

    September 4, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. PJ

    "....tells you all you need to know about Paul Ryan".
    Amen to that. He has to "defend" his speeches, "walk back" his claim to marathon fame, he lies, distorts facts
    and in general is a fish out of water. Goes to lack of character, inexperience in the "big world" of politics,
    and judgement. Romney is a mess, and Ryan is a loser.

    September 4, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. ufadoof

    Next tells how you can walk on water while simultaneously balancing a budget on your nose.

    September 4, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Lyan Ryan, a sociopath in the foot steps of Senator Joe McCarthy, also a Republican from Wisconsin.

    Pull a Boehmer, Cryan Ryan: Talk about your war injuries or being CEO of Oscar Meyer.

    Lyan Ryan, upholding the lying stereotype of politicians. Get some sunshine on this cancer.

    September 4, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. ART

    Give him a break maybe he embellished a little but one thing is true Ryan can out lie anyone in one minute. You can actually tell when he is about to lie, just look closely, its when his mouth is open

    September 4, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Dan

    My choices are this guy, or that wind bag Joe Biden? Ughh, let us hope that whoever wins, we do not need to rely on either of these incredulous people to assume the Presidency.

    September 4, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Martha in CF

    And why is this news? I wonder though, does he lie about everything?

    September 4, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. alan_turing

    What's wrong with a 60 minute mistake? Well, everything actually. Almost anyone can "run" a 4 hr marathon. Those who have run a sub 3 hr marathon know this is a case of Rosie Ruiz. The guy is a pathological liar.

    September 4, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. ronjayaz

    The question is: Will he walk back all the other lies in his hyped speech? He's still Lyin' Ryan to me. But he's a cute liar!

    September 4, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. SA in OO

    So what, not a big deal. He's not running for a spot on the US marathon team.

    It's the lies that are substantive and relevant to whether you could trust him as a VP that are worth noting.

    He worked on the committee and then voted against the budget plan he criticizing Obama for not passing.

    He voted for the "stimulus plan" he now castigates the president for.

    And the auto plant in Janesville, that his father worked at closed before Obama became president.

    To Ryan and Romney facts just seem to be an inconvenience. Hire these two if you really think Obama has done nothing to turn the country around, but don't then expect them to level with you when they start wheeling and dealing to the benefit of the rich right wing money men who are funding the bulk of the negative campaign against the president.

    September 4, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. Give me a break

    Are you telling me any of you have not forgotten the exact details – especially the exact time- of something you did 22 years ago? I didn't realize so many Americans had photographic memories..

    September 4, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Boomer in Mo

    How does hurting your back make you forget things? Is he still on strong meds or something? I hurt my back bad enough to need surgery to remove a torn disc, which I would like to forget but can't.

    September 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. cali girl

    Just proves the RAyn is a liar What else can he lie about? The GM plant in his hometown. Medicare and Welfare lies abut President Obama.

    September 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The stench of burning polyester preceeds this guy.

    September 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Ronnie

    When he lose the election he will walk back on every other allegations he has made against the President...
    LYING RYAN made it again !!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. scarf

    I broke my foot about 20 years ago. That's why I claimed I won a Nobel Prize and a Medal of Honor.

    September 4, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Ev

    Let's forgive him because he is actually one who at least put a budget to follow. He's a smart guy to help us out of this debt and no plan but words... Our pres didn't even have a budget except one neither party would or could vote on... but want to share my thoughts. I don't ever do this but today I am... & I'm a mom & a grandma who is concerned for our country.
    Here's the facts! We are going down as a country if Obama isn't out! . He is full of empty hyped rhetoric!! Not meaning to sound rude but we really need Change! FYI Mitt never took a cent for his service but wants to fix America. 1st he donated his inheritance, unpaid intern in the governors office 8 years, served a 2 year mission, took no pay for the Olympics 3 years, no pay for Massachusetts Governor. That's the kind of man Mitt is & wants now to just help America!! No one would do that! No one! He's a good man. Quit listening to all Obamas great speeches – unbelieveable! A vote for Mitt IS a vote for America!! Not to mention the 7 of 10 states with top jobs are run by republicans We NEED MITT!! Don't blow it again!! Last chance! <3

    September 4, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. DrPete

    Maybe he just lost his marathon results when they got mixed in with Mitt's tax returns.

    Funny how all the vitriol about how we need honesty and transparency in government is quieting down from the right now that we've got these two winners running.

    September 4, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. J

    How does a back injury affect your memory???

    September 4, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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