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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. sayquitter

    Ryan has shown he is willing to say whatever lie and do anything if he thinks it advances his selfish political interests.
    Paul Ryan is a pathological liar.

    September 4, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. marty

    Get a life, people!! The time of his marathon obviously isn't something he has obsessed about. At least not like some of you are. And as far as liars, BO is second only to JB in telling tall tales.

    September 4, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. ooshie

    How true that his perception of races is off.

    September 4, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. yogi

    Great! if he keeps walking back we won't see him anymore after a while.

    September 4, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. john willow

    Ryan probably pulled a Rosie Ruiz and took a short cut during the marathon. Now he can't remember what time he made up.

    September 4, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. Cheryl

    If you had achieved a major athletic accomplishment like running a marathon in under 3 hours, you'd remember it. It's not just that Ryan lies. It's that he's so bad at it.

    September 4, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. john willow

    "Get a life, people!! The time of his marathon obviously isn't something he has obsessed about. At least not like some of you are. And as far as liars, BO is second only to JB in telling tall tales."

    You know nothing about running and less about politics.

    September 4, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. yogi

    A very important question is why is he lying all the time. It is pointing at serious character flaws and it would definitely not qualify him to be a VP, and even scarier to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. This is what the GOP finally came up with, what a pathetic pair!
    Obama 2012.

    September 4, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Wake up People!

    If someone lies about something so trivial, one has to ask oneself, what else will he or she lie about? I can't understand the everyday people that come here and make up every excuse in the book to justify R & R's lies, do you people hate President Obama so much that you condone pathological lying?? I'm very glad that we don't teach our children to hate others because they are different.

    OBAMA 2012!

    September 4, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. RNC's movie moment: 'Empty Chair vs. Warm Stool' featuring Batty Harry!

    Sounds like Lying' Ryan is very accustomed about lying to compensate for other "manly" shortcomings...

    September 4, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. NameJS

    Ryan obviously has no problem lying to promote his personal agenda. My wife has run two marathons, both ten years ago. She could tell you down to the second what her times were.

    September 4, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. jj

    John Willow....you need to get a clue..it's not about what his time was....it's about him lying about it.

    September 4, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Mikithinks

    Why tell the truth when a lie will do.

    September 4, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Tony

    For Ryan, Romney and Republicans, denying reality has become so ingrained that when Obama wins in November, Ryan will claim that the media make up the results and half of Republicans will believe him.

    September 4, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Roscoe Chait

    He told a fib. I am shocked. A would-be politician and confessed scoundrel told a lie.

    September 4, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Scott Z

    "I ran a 3 hour marathon", "I can see Russia from my house". I see a pattern...

    September 4, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. NameJS

    To follow up my last post, I don't think Obama is perfect but at least he is honest, IMO. Ryan and Romney either hide the truth (ie tax returns) or lie to promote their political agenda (the GM plant, Medicare, etc.).

    September 4, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. marty

    I'd like to be a little bug in the Confessional and listen to Ryan and his Catholic political cohorts confess their sins.

    September 4, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  19. timz

    I last ran a race more than 25 years ago and I still remember my best 5K and 10K times, at least the nearest 10 seconds. If I'd run a marathon I'd be even more likely to remember that time accurately. If Paul Ryan put in the time and training to run a marathon, I'm sure he remembers his time, too.

    To be blunt, when Paul Ryan claims to have run a sub-3 hour marathon he's not mistaken . . . he's lying. Not only is he a liar but, even more disturbing in a person running for high public office, he's a self-aggrandizing liar. I wouldn't vote for this guy for dogcatcher.

    September 4, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. yogi

    The GOP did check his background and now they can't tell which elements on his resume's are lies. VP material, what a shame!

    September 4, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  21. Terry

    If you only run one Marathon, you don't forget your time. I ran one 31 years ago. My time was 3:35. Nobody can make a mistake of one hour.

    September 4, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. Howie76

    An athlete who lies is called a cheater.

    September 4, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Bill

    there is no way you would forget it if you did a sub 3 marathon. It's like the first time you broke 90 playing golf, or your best score in golf. You just don't forget that. He followed one fib with another fib – O My. I'm almost thinking he is an Obama plant put there to guarantee Obama the win!

    September 4, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. edog

    Of course he did! GOP way... Lie and if you get caught, walk it back like it was no big deal and just an oversight.

    September 4, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. glenn

    anyone who runs a marathon under 3 hours spends month of running over 40 miles a week, he's dedicated and doing it to the point of obsession, it's not something you just do, he would be proud of it and would never forget it, he may exaggerate by a few minutes, but over an hour? that makes you a liar.

    September 4, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26