Ryan walks back exaggerated marathon time
September 4th, 2012
01:08 PM ET
11 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. Wise1Speak

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

    = = = = =

    YES, Martin! Ryan & Romney's habitual lying is a very good reason to pull the lever to elect Obama & Biden for 4-more years!!!

    Think about it! Because of the constant lies, Ryan & Romney's character is questionable, and their credibility is shattered. If they lie about such small non-issues like marathon times, then they will lie about reasons to go to war and get good American soldiers killed for nothing.

    September 4, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Dennis1020

    I'm a Democrat, but really, who cares what someone's marathon time was 20+ years ago?!? Thi scountry has much bigger issues to contend with. I'm much interested in hearing how MItt Romney is going to create 12M new jobs (presumably he means in this country) during his first term in office. If there is some "silver bullet" for doing that, I have to ask why he has kept it secret during the six years he has been running for POTUS.

    September 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. indyreader

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

    Huh? The causal link there is eluding me. How does hurting your back *obviously* change your perception of races and times? I guess this is why I'm not a good runner.

    September 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Chris

    Why would he lie about something like this? What a complete fool.

    September 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. J. Davis in Knoxville, TN

    This guy sure has a hard time telling the truth. I think he is very very dangerous to our country.

    Everyone, please watch the Dems convention this week and you will see the great things Obama has done for this country! The piece done by Jessica Yellen this weekend was fantastic!

    September 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |

    Nobody cares about this obvious error by Ryan. What we care about are statements that he KNOWS are absolutely untrue: Obama let a steel company go out of business, that Obama takes $750billion "away" from Medicare, etc. I was raised a Catholic and we were taught not to lie.

    Lyin' Ryan ... the lies were coming out about one a minute from this guy ..

    September 4, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Jane

    Lyin Ryan.....

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Independent_me

    Sing to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy – Please feel free to add a chorus and your own verses:

    Lyin' Ryan ran a race
    It was a marathon;
    Took four hours or more to finish
    But claimed in three “twas done!

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Tim

    What's really sad is that he really believes his excuse will be taken as truth by many. And it will.

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Mark

    Ryan like the other Republicans LIE. We have known it since Bush was elected President under big lies. K. Rove pushed Bush with all ADS that were LIES. BUSH was a fraud President.

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. JM

    Maybe lyin Ryan can walk back his lie on saving medicare when he's out to end it.

    September 4, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Jojola

    Why lie about something that can easily be disproved? Doesn't he realize he is running for second in command and every statement coming from his mouth is placed under a microscope? The simple fact Ryan felt the need to lie about something as minor as his personal best in a marathon makes me question his integrity altogether (or lack thereof). Lying comes too easily for Ryan and this is not a good thing for us Americans.

    September 4, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. GOP factually challenged

    Ryan has something in common with Romney....pathological liar.

    September 4, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Ludwig Tomescu

    It's ok not to tell the truth, when you run for the hardest job in Amerca, but it's not ok when you apply for a janitorial job. Hypocrisy and greed is the norm in politics today.

    September 4, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Olaf Big

    Oh, come on, give Ryan a break. He shamelessly exaggerated, but it does not matter. It's his views that make him unfit to be VP, not a little harmless lie or genuine forgetfulness about his marathon time.

    September 4, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Mark

    Wish Ryan would tell the truth about all the bills he passed with Bush as President, how he helped create the largest Debt our nation every have. Tell us the truth Ryan. How you voted for 2 wars, not in a budget, never funded. voted for big tax cuts, not funded. And then we suffered the largest job lost ever under Bush. And then about the worst recession under Bush. You have a great record Ryan. Tell us about how good you are. Let the people know about the real Ryan.

    September 4, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Gurgyl

    GOP lies, lies, lies.....idiots. Nonsense to USA....

    September 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. FlotsamJetsam

    Can't the man be truthful about anything?

    September 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Neocon13

    Lyin' Ryan. Lying is so ingrained in GOPers that they can't tell the truth about anything.

    September 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. UDidntBuildThat

    So CNN, Treasury Dept just announce the US deb hits just $16 Trillion. Shhhhhh!

    September 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. MikeD

    You can forget your time of the run by minutes but by a whole hour. Come on People...Nobody can be that gullible as to believe a word coming out of thi guy's mouth-and lying about the original lie makes this guy a serial liar. His statement about the plant closing(Obama didnt do a thing about it) while his boss Mitt Romney wholesale opposed the auto industry rescue is another blatant lie. Presumably under a Romney/Ryan scores of other auto plants would have closed and the auto industry would be in shambles. Think hard America, do we really want these two guys to be in charge of your future?

    September 4, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Everyman

    Ryan later boasted that he ran the 100 meter sprint in less than 10 seconds.

    September 4, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. FLIndependent

    What in the world does a back injury have to do with his lying about the time? This guy will say anything to make himself look good – no wonder he was voted Biggest Brown Noser in high school.

    September 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. mary

    Why should we expect the truth from these guys. He brought up his marathon time...I don't think he was specifically asked about it...just bragging and he got it wrong by more than an hour...He said it was under 3 hours and it was 4+.
    Romney and Ryan keep telling the same lies over and over because they know the uneducated won't catch them at it and will believe them. That's why so many believe those "Big Lies" when the hear them. Repeat them often enough and people will believe, not because it is true, but because they keep saying them over and over.
    If you think they won't lie when elected, think again. They will make up reasons to go to war just like Bush did with Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, Al Queida wasn't in Iraq until after we invaded because Saddam wasn't about to let them have any power in his country, there were no WMDs. The truth is that Bush was planning on a war in Iraq BEFORE he was inaugurated and any excuse he could come up with would suffice...thus all the lies.

    September 4, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. UDidntBuildThat

    OOO debt clock just ticked pass $16Trillion. Lets talk about Ryan mispeaking about a marathon he ran 22 yrs ago. Why that's unpatriotic that u cannot remember how long u ran for!!! We should arrest this traitor!

    September 4, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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