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. Norma Vessels

    Once someone gets into the habit of lying, they usually keep the very bad habit.

    September 4, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. alan_turing

    Anyone who has run a marathon for time knows this "person" has trouble with the truth.

    September 4, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Ken

    I would not believe a word that this man has said – even if his tongue cme notarized!!

    He is "saving" medicare?? That's as rich as his race time! Imagine the wars that he could get us int!.

    September 4, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. nilla

    I wonder how many numbers in his budget are off!

    September 4, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Mittens 'n' Munster are Liars

    To those posters who think Munster lying about his marathon time isn't a big deal, think about why he was lying in the first place: To gain some street cred as some kind of macho tough guy to offset Mittens' milk-toast persona.

    The last person you should want a heart beat away from the presidency is someone this immature, insecure and dishonest, regardless of your politics – PERIOD.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    September 4, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. UDidntBuildThat

    Richard-Anonymous you get over it. We are not concerned if you don't remeber that info–my mother had four children and she remembered the smallest details. ...
    I doubt that she remembered everything! Speaking of liars don't u remember the whoppers Obama told to get elected? No? How about his surrogates, Axelrod, Wasserman, Cutter, Pelosi etc? Are they beacons on the truth? They lie to ur face over and over. I bet u remember every single details 22yrs ago. Ryan mispoke about something insignificant that happened 22yrs ago. Obama lies everyday about what he has done as president over the last 4yrs!

    September 4, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    It's obvious that Mr. Ryan has been in Washington for a long time; he lies & then backtracks with great ease.

    September 4, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. philtration

    I don't care what time he ran a Marathon in but I do care that he and Romney are compulsive liars.
    It has been proven over and over again and if that does not bother you then you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself what kind of person you really are.
    Romney and Ryan have already shown who and what they are and if joking away your obvious character flaws when you get caught is ok then how do you trust them to run the country?
    No more used car salesmen who will say anything for a vote or a buck.

    September 4, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Real Runner

    As an avid marathon runner I saw this issue start early last week. The running boards have been active about this for some time. To go from a sub 3 to a 4 hour marathon is like saying I pitched in the majors to playing baseball in high school.

    Who the heck lies about their PR's??!! Why would you lie about something so trivial?

    To say he forgot is a joke, I don't know one runner who can't tell you their PR's and if he couldn’t remember, why wouldn't he just say "I don't remember"? Instead he needed his ego stroked "YA I was fast"

    September 4, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Brian

    What does a back injury have to do with lying about the time he posted? And he has a brother named Tobin? For real? Seriously, what planet do his supporters hail from?

    September 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Lenny Pincus

    All the little lies add up to one big liar. His VP speech was a string of lies. He continues yesterday by saying 1.4 million companies went bankrupt last year–it was actually 48,000. Perhaps he actually believes himself, which is even sicker.

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. NickAnast

    Well, now that Ryan has admitted this lie, maybe he'll admit that he voted against the Simpson-Bowles report, that his budget plan won't actually balance the budget until 2040, and that he really does want to kill Medicare and replace it with an inadequate voucher program.

    September 4, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. rmoffatt

    Crazy stuff – to lie about a small, nothing – what kind of character will deal with the big stuff? Character? Non-existent. He could no sooner lead the United States of America (should the worst happen) – than an umbrella company. And, frankly, this is what he needs. He is a pretty boy who has walked with his looks. Too bad about his back injury. Regardless of this, it has affected his mind.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. kaligaclark

    He back tracked on this, he back tracked on the plant in his home town. He back tracked on medicare... Guess he will be doing LOTS of backtracking since EVERYTHING that comes out of his mouth is a LIE!!! This marathon lie sounds like the old leader in Korea that lied about making holes in one in golf... Guess they are more similar than ryan would like!

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Woman In California

    Now you know why Willard picked him and in case you don't, they both are pathological liars.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Norm

    The GOP found themselves a very enthusiastic liar.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. FLIndependent

    @LB who said Ryan is going to lose this for Romney. That may be, but I honestly think Romney is going to lose this for Romney!

    September 4, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. George

    It is okay to lie to get something you want like winning an election if you can't do it on your previous failed policies. Like telling lies to get someone to sleep with you. The ends justify the means. Telling lies about your marathon times is just hubris but saying a GM plant closing was the other sides fault when it happened under your sides watch is deplorable.

    September 4, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    Give me a break wrote:

    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..

    Well, now you know. Most of us don't make public appearances and state things we know are either 1) a flat out lie; or 2) can be fact checked at any given moment. It seems your Boy Wonder never grew out of lying doesn't it?

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Boris

    Having run several marathons, I can guarantee that every single runner knows exactly what his/her best marathon time was, regardless of when it happened. It would be like forgetting where you were on 9/11, it just doesn't happen.

    If he lies about something that minor, he will certainly lie to get elected. Oh wait, he already has.

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Slow Runner

    So, if the difference between 2:50 and 4:01 is apparently only a rounding error, did Romney actually pay tax at an 18+% rate? We can disprove phony marathon times, but not Romney's returns.

    September 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. The REAL TRUTH...

    @UDidntBuildThat – instead of parrotting the foreign-owned Faux Noise Enterntainment channels propaganda on Obama's so-called lies... perhaps you could share some of the FACTS about those "lies".. ya know.. like give a few examples. We don't need Grand Obstructionist Party nominee examples of lies, the media and commentary is littered with them.

    September 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Steve Anderson

    "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."

    I've got a bad back myself. That's why I'm sure I won the 1980 presidential election. Or maybe it was the 100m dash at the Olympics. Or that Oscar. Oh, well, I know I did *something* amazing back then...

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Jim (retired AF colonel)

    Lyin' Ryan makes Sarah Palin look good! Does he think with his back?

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. npforever

    Didn't Nixon Lie or maybe that was okay lets elect Watergate 2

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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