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. Lando

    Liar...it was not a back injury....it was BRAIN INJURY STUPID......

    September 4, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. allens

    ryan and romney are a perfect pair. both esxtreme liars and both not showing their tax returns. at this point it is obvious romney i hiding something significant. he is done in my book. americans have had enough liars and cheats in government. we do not need them. you have to be a fool to vote for them with the cards they are showing (and not showing)

    September 4, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. GOP is Dead

    Barry Goldwater would not have admired a liar – neither Ryan nor Romney. The Republican Party is dead – replaced with these low-life politicians who are bought and paid for by the fat-cats. Do Evangelicals want a white man in office so badly they'd vote for a Mormon with an integrity problem?

    September 4, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    Unemployment is 8.3% today, it was 7.8% when Obama took office.

    How many US jobs were lost per month when Obama took office? How about today?

    Oh those silly little facts getting in the way of your straw argument.

    September 4, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Da Marathon Man

    Did anyone notice Ryan's use of the English language? " Tobin [his brother said he ] has never himself ran a sub-three..."
    " has never himself RAN a sub-three..." A lawyer, law maker and elected representative speeky bad Englishy? Or perhaps just a folksy touch to lure in the simple minded along with the sub 3hr marathon... just wondering...

    September 4, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Every Marathon runner absolutely knows their PR. I've run over a dozen marthons and can tell you my time within a couple minutes on all of them. I still remember my first Marathon 30 years ago at the age of 10: my time was 3:57:40. My PR: 2:39:39. Eat that Ryan!

    September 4, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Robyn

    So, Mr. Ryan lies, even when there is absolutely no reason to lie.
    I suppose he is then well prepared for when he has a reason.

    September 4, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Culvert

    "..First time, I've heard of a back injury causing amnesia or other frontal lobe problems".... I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.... just thought I'd throw that in. But I don't remember the details, it's the old hernia.

    September 4, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Dick martin

    O M G ! Now THATS a reason for losing the election !!!! Are you KIDDING ME ?????

    September 4, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. steve

    I always forget things when I get a back injury. It kinda goes with the territory - Hurt your back, forget the facts.
    I hurt my back one time and after couldn't swing my golf clubs cause my back forgot how... and another time I hurt my back and forgot to take out the garbage and caught hell from my wife - I think - I think it was her... can't remember.

    September 4, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Dave

    Not surprising. If you fact check everything Ryan says you'd realize he either makes stuff up, or stretches the truth on many things. RMoney and Ryan are not to be trusted. I'll take a slow Economy any-day before I bow down to these Corporate Apologists who want nothing but to take your money and run with it (to offshore accounts).

    September 4, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. joe doherty

    lying about running the boston marathon, the guys a fraud just like the rest of the party! bring on november, landslide is on our side.

    September 4, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Aliwisious Davendander III

    Um, I don't think it was his back that made him forget. I think it's the narcotics he's addicted to after having back problems like his god father and fellow LYING hack rush that is making him forget. It might also explain why he can lie with such ease. Most addicts can tell a real whopper without evening batting an eye and come up with a million excuses for their off behavior. Narcotics lower inhibitions. Maybe Mr. Ryan needs a drug test?

    September 4, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Bismarck

    Once a liar, always a liar. Thus, fit to run for GOP Veep.

    September 4, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. tom zbikowski

    He sorta forgets things----–like the truth------

    September 4, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. N. Shapiro

    Lyin' Ryan, he'll lie about anything .
    Could this guy be a psychopath?

    September 4, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Tim

    Editors: It's "back pedaled", not "back peddled". C'mon people, have some pride in your work here, unless you're suggesting Ryan is selling some lumbar elixir . . .

    September 4, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Hey Seed

    I remember vividly how many goals I scored in hockey over 30 years ago. Hate to admit it that Ryan shares my home state. Oh well, that is the LEAST of the lies he had told up to now.

    September 4, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. carlos

    UDidntBuildThat....your own name in this blogsphere is a lie, you have the intellect of a grape......but grapes are nutricional...ICK

    September 4, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Rick CT

    If your business is successful, you didn't build it.

    September 4, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Marty, FL

    Lyin' Ryan is not trustworthy. Real marathon runners remember a personal best as a badge of honor.

    So Ryan lies about lying to cover-up his lies. Sad.

    September 4, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Femi A

    America has just unearthed a great specie – a human mind that is confident in his lies and representing (that should actually be misrepresenting) a sizeable proportion of the population. African leaders will be laughing their heads off. Is this the best foot they can put forward after the WMD lies?

    September 4, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Penny

    That is one of the worst excuses (back injury – what the?) I have ever heard. It simply makes not one iota of sense. Wow.

    September 4, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Facts don't LIE

    this little mistake I can easily look over......but the OTHER lies like the welfare one, Medicare one, and the GM plant closing one now I just CAN'T overlook those, sorry!

    September 4, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. kola

    Call a spade a spade. Rayan is a pathalogical liar! What crediduibity does a man who parades his mum on a national stage and lies to her and our senior citizens that he is out to protect medicare. We all know that is yet another lie. Voucherizing medicare and not having the gut to stand up and tell the truth shows he lacks any integrity.

    September 4, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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