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. pkrbkr

    This guy is suppose to be a policy "wonk" and accuracy with figures????? Give me a break! Lyin' Ryan....if he lies about the small stuff, what else is he lyin' about? Obama/Biden for Truth in 2012

    September 4, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. Atul Chaudhary

    How about President's US geography knowledge, remember 57 states? He retracted his statement, move on.

    You can't shy away from facts like unemployment at 8.3%, 23 million unemployed, and gas price close to $4.00. Let's talk now.

    September 4, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    The uhbama lied about being in all 57 states.

    September 4, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Luke Brown

    What does "walk back" mean? Is that the same thing as admitting you lied?

    September 4, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. yogi

    A good example of the opposite of true statesmen. These two liars want to buy and lie their way to the White House only to favor their 1% buddies. Wake up America!
    Obama 2012

    September 4, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. Pete

    Romney,Ryan a pair of pathelogical liars,so bad at times they truelly believe themselves,that's pathedic!!FOX republican stratigist stating Ryans speech was great but the lies,inuendoes were countless or after a minute or so they quit counting,more the latter..So you delushional republicans remember one thing,you've always voted for losers,the most recent in Bush 43,McCain,so in my opinion and most other intelligent people you should do one of two things,quit getting losers that are business men,especially Mormon or better yet quit voting ,either way ya won't be told how stupid you are for 4 more years.Being born with the stigma of being republican must be a heavy burden to carry,but if you're that stupid ya got to be tough,right!!!

    September 4, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. joe fabeets

    And this is supposed to be a significant story in an enonomy headed for the toilet and an adminstration bought by George Soros ?? Brilliant journalism –

    September 4, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  8. Killbucket

    GOP is now two for two. What will the VP choice in 2016 look like?
    Any kid who ever tried to pretend he knows Karate understands this fully, and wonders why Paul didn't learn this lesson in Grade School likewise.
    I can only surmise that he's not used to having his statements read back to him, and checked for accuracy.
    I've said before that growing up in a sterile, unchallenged environment will make you ill prepared for a real world confrontation. Here's proof.

    September 4, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. cyberclone

    I remember trying to get my 10K race times under an hour some 30 years ago. Ryan's memory reminds me of Homer Simpson remembering his youth. Do we want a Homer Simpson as Vice-President?? I think not, Memory or Lie either one not in my America. Don't the Liars know that some facts are recorded???

    September 4, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Independent

    @wake up people....I don't hate Obama in fact I think he is a great person but NOT a good president!!!!! You want to talk about liars, let’s talk about all the PROMISES that Obama made to get elected!!!!!!!! Get over yourself, if you are not obsessed about running you could easily lose track of how fast you ran a marathon!!!! 2, 3, 4 hours who give a crap! I doubt he is that obsessed about running since he doesn't have time to be! All you Dems say is that the GOP are LIARS, well guess what ALL politicians are starting with the current POTUS!

    September 4, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Harvey

    Another politician's "I misspoke." farce. Just like the "23 million unemployed." Dont' confuse me with the facts is their mantra.

    September 4, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. CAL USA

    The reason he lies is clear when you see the postings of his sheep here. Instead of recognizing the lie, they try to deflect it with equally bogus arguments, like 23M unemployed (real number 11M) and George Soros buying the administration. I bet most of these morons don't know anything about George Soros, or can point to any super PAC he supports or any big contribution he has made. He has become the ultimate GOP boogeyman with no effort to do so, and no evidence of it.

    September 4, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Yeah......and I ran the 100 meter in about 7.5 seconds and run a 3.8 40 yard dash.

    Trust me.........

    September 4, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Basky72

    Lying ryan.
    We don't need two liars in the white house. They cannot taste it because the truth is bitter in their mouth.

    September 4, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. Alan

    I ran sub three hours three times in 40 marathons. I remember each of them exactly the time, when they occurred and what race they were at. You do not forget those things. If the guy can't remember his own marathon time... what else will he forget.

    September 4, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. lynn

    ryan be lyin

    September 4, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. Marvin Gerbilman

    And I'll bet he plays golf as well as Kim Jong-Il did, too.

    September 4, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Independent jim

    what hasnt Ryan or Romney lied about .. I dont believe Romney is a natural born citizen ..I havent seen his Birth Certificate .. the long form or the short form ..we all know his family defected to Mexico .. were his parents born in mexico or Africa or europe ..nobody knows

    September 4, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. The Unsub

    Is Lyin Ryan's favorite TV show "Lie to Me?"

    September 4, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Oiseaubay

    No runner ever forgets his best times. At worst you overstate by a few minutes. My best is much closer to 3:14 but I would say 3:13 or at worst I' ve actually stated it as 3:10 that is a lie and I feel unease in guilt (blame ego). But 1 hour... that's a bold-faced lie!

    September 4, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. The Unsub

    Where's Joe Wilson when you need him? YOU LIE!

    September 4, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. 21k

    what's the hades does a back injury have to do with remembering what should be a "burnt-into-your-brain" achievement? i think anyone who finishes such a race will have their time, plus or minus a minute, memorized for all time. is he kidding? what's next?: "oh, i sprained my ankle, so i forgot how much of a drain on society my own mother was, feeding from the public trough"

    September 4, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  23. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Good thing we keep records, helps to keep people from lying to the Public!!

    September 4, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  24. sonnyday

    I haven't run a marathon in many years, but I remember every one of my marathon times. I also remember most if not all of my half marathon times. I remember the target pace for a 4 hour marathon to this day (9:09 min/mi) off of the top of my head. The degree with he "embellished" his time is startling. Golf analogy: this is not "improving your lie" or taking a mulligan. It is saying you shot a 62 at WingedFoot or Pinehurst on your first round ever.

    September 4, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. judith

    No surprise here. Ryan's convention speech was full of lies and it doesn't surprise me that he'd lie about his athletic prowess.

    September 4, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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