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. Vote for Scumbag

    Was Lyan Ryan's marathon on the moon or the bottom of the ocean?
    Did he run it with Todd Akin and Larry Craig?
    No foot dragging, just happy feet.

    September 4, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Dan (Atlanta)

    The media are wimpy and have no backbone. Call it for what it is. Ryan lied and got caught by runner's world. And lying about something as mundane as a marathon time gives some insight into why he told lie after lie after lie during his speech. He's clearly a pathological liar. It goes well with Romney, who's a pathological flip-flopper and seems to have no core, no ethics, and no soul.

    September 4, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. Vote for Scumbag

    Call Rush and Beck!

    Ailes and Murdoch need a fix at FOX, to patch up the Bishop's boy's shoes.

    Those Lyan Ryan shoes that he bought from Mercury, when he ran his marathon on Venus, or Pluto, or where ever his political junkets take him to be fiscally conservative.

    Lyan, accountants would say you are a liability.
    Your assets are now measured on the Palin-index of credibility.
    I can see Russia now from my back door, as fast as I can run to it in sub three time or weather.

    September 4, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. Bonnie

    He just "misspoke", people. Please forgive him. I will pray for him and his family and this nation when I go to mass this Sunday.

    September 4, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. delaney

    What does the back injury have to do with forgetting? I broke my wrist in 8th grade, so obviously my perception of time must be off right? Stupid.

    September 4, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. The Unsub

    Oh..Oh, I think Ryan's cheese just slid off his cracker!

    September 4, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. Lying Ryan

    Yeah, he just misspoke multiple times at the convention and it is now ongoing. Have the AMERICAN PEOPLE become so enamored of hairdos and hype that they are willing to vote a pair of OUTRIGHT LIARS into the Whitehouse?

    September 4, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. craigles

    Romney picked the right running mate...two peas in a pod. They're both liars. And you know their fellow liars will vote for them.

    September 4, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. yogi

    @ Bonnie. "Misspoke" ? Where have you been? So all is well after Sunday? No more lies from Ryan, please don't hold your breath.

    September 4, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  10. KP2

    As a runner, you always remember your best time in any event. Period.
    He just plain lied and got caught.
    Either he lied or is very prone to hyperbole.
    Either way, it doesn't bode well for us.

    September 4, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. John E

    Your first marathon time is something you never forget.

    September 4, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. DENNA

    @ Jon

    people make mistakes
    Sigh, you are another GOP apologist. Ryan is a liar.

    September 4, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  13. Israel

    Ridiculous. Is this really news? Anyone who runs knows that you can look up the times. GIve me a break. He obviously made a mistake. Why not read some REAL news and argue about REAL issues.

    September 4, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. inathens

    AHH – there we go. Now democrats have some substance to really go after Ryan. He misstated his marathons time from 1990. Great democrats. Have fun with it. (You're a sad party if this is what you've got. No record. No success. No budget in 3 years...)

    September 4, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. griffbos

    second time he has back tracked in such a short time can't either of them be honest

    September 4, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. Mark Kainz

    Can this guy say anything true? This coupled with his speech (full of "factual errors") makes me wonder if everything he has said is a fabrication.

    September 4, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  17. voter

    Anyone who runs a marathon will remember their time, since finishing one is significant enough. Sounds like Ryan is very comfortable exaggerating to boost himself.

    September 4, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. sqeptiq

    My first triathlon was almost thirty years ago and I can assure you I remember my time WAY closer than an hour...like about fifty minutes closer.

    September 4, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  19. Martybbcnn

    My MarathonPR is 3:54:15.
    My Ryan PR is 2:44:15.
    Don't you dig me more?

    September 4, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. Martybbcnn

    I would never trust someone that tried to slip this time under 4 hours.
    One hour and ten minutes?

    Oh, forgive me, his back hurt.

    September 4, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  21. Joseph B

    So he doesn't remember his time from his Marathon – and he apparently doesn't remember economics or how to do math.

    September 4, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  22. Steven Colo

    Poor guy probably couldn't tell the truth now even if he tried.

    September 4, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  23. Bill

    A couple of people on here have already mentioned this but as a marathon runner myself I thought I would state it again...Your first marathon time and experience you never forget...I can recall exactly what time I finished at and that was over 10 year ago...Sounds like Ryan might have a self esteem problem and needs people to be "impressed" by him...Just sayin!

    September 4, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  24. Thomas

    What else would you expect from a guy who's married to a lobbyist !

    September 4, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. JCube

    Perfect person to round out the Romney ticket. Romney hides the facts, and Ryan makes them up. This is the best and brightest the GOP can find? Really?!

    September 4, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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