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. ontime25

    Lyin' Ryan is in over is head. The national stage isn't his fortay. Ryan is the type of guy that used to lie about how many Nintendo cartridges he had. He should just stick to being a county commisioner or a city council guy.

    September 4, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. LJH2012

    Unless you are a professional runner, running a marathon is something you never forget. It is a little over 26 grueling miles that test every fiber of your being. At the finished line you look up and see your time and that image is forever etched in your memory. Paul Ryan has a habit of "stretching" the truth. Facts mean nothing to him.
    Also, Mr Ryan can you tell me, truthfully...if that's possible...how you plan to pay for your "Smoke and Mirrors" budget!
    Also, tell your running mate we are still waiting for him to release his tax returns.

    September 4, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Lori

    Young pups full of themselves who are loose and careless with memory and the facts and breezy with respect for women and those who haven't quite got their act together like deserving Republicans are gonna get us in deep trouble with budgets, women's rights, and health care. Grow up sonny and grow a heart and empathy for others.

    September 4, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Penobscot

    At least he's not fibbing about his birth certificate.

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Craig Adams

    This guy has now lied on about 10 things- wow-- what an intro to the Nation.

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. bxgrrl

    CORRECTION: Ryan's TRYING to walk it back. He cannot. The Repugs should rename this ticket Lier #1 and Lier #2.

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. jfc1

    won't be long before someone points out that that time would put him in the top 100 on the Boston Marathon or the Marine Corps marathon and is very like claiming to be a Navy SEAL sniper

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Penobscot

    At least he's not fibbing about Fast and Furious.

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. elltee

    Wow the Democratic party must be REALLY desperate if this is all the "dirt" they can come up with, it is actually pretty entertaining

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. UDidntBuildThat

    Oh yeah, Romney & Ryan blatantly lying but Obama and Biden, well they only tell the truth and their word is golden.

    Like "if we pass the stimulus, unemployment will be under 8%"; "if we pass Obamacare, health care preminums will go down"; "if u elect me, the Janesville GM plant will be around for 100 yrs"; "if u elect me gitmo will close"; "if u elect me the tides will subside and the seas will start to cool"; "if u elect me, I will change Washington and give u a more transparent govt"

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. wgf

    Such much to say:

    1) Runners never forget their best times, even it was from 20 years ago.

    2) He ran over 4 hours and said that he ran 2:50. It's not like he said that he ran 3 hours when actually it was 3:40.

    3) His allusion to rounding is great - as if rounding to 3 would even be an option when the number is greater than 4. I mean this is supposed to be the GOP's numbers guy, and he can't even handle rouding 4:01 to the nearest hour ?

    The more Ryan talks the less impressive he becomes. He's a pathological liar - he can't help himself.

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. najie2

    If yu're a runner, a one-hour difference is a lot of difference. YOU DON'T MAKE A MISTAKE LIKE THAT. Let's face it: Those 2 republicans are just downright blatant liars. WE DON'T NEED THAT KIND IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

    September 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Chelopez54

    once a liar. always a liar! If you ran ONE marathon- you would never forget yur time – even if it was 10 hrs. you finished, that is the winning time to you, why lie? How many OTHER things is he boasting abpout that is untrue- Oh, yeah, he and Mitt a good fit and good for the country! LIE!

    September 4, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Seriously not a big deal to me, but don't tell me if you ran a marathon you would not remember the EXACT time down to the second you finished. Especially when under 3 hours is the gold standard, like a hole-in-one would be for a golfer.

    They don't call him Lyin' Ryan for nothing.

    September 4, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Stefanie Fletcher

    I guess we have just gotten the beginning glimpse into rounding up politics!

    September 4, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. demogoat

    Sounds like more GOP facts.

    September 4, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. daeh ttub

    Paul Ryan is simply an inept bald-faced liar. This either speaks of his intellect or character – perhaps both. As a marathon runner, you never forget sub 3 hour marathons (Olympic pace) or plus 5 hour marathons (nightmares). I can understand fuzziness about a marathon time around 4 hours plus or minus 30 minutes as most of us mere mortals are stuck there.

    September 4, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. beth

    Now, he has to lie about personal accomplishments too..has Palin been reincarnated in male form?

    September 4, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. UDidntBuildThat

    Daniel-It just gives us an insight into his character.
    Do the lies Obama tells us give any insight into his character, or does he get a pass?

    September 4, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Rich Parks

    If The GOP budget guru from our very popular obstructionest congress can't even tell us when his running mate; Willard Romeny's tax/budget plan balances, you can't very well expect him to be able to handle complex issues regarding how long it takes to run a marathon. Dr. Ryan Mcoy turns to Starship overseas enterprise Capt'n Willard wann-a-be Kirk and says "Darn-it Willard, (Jim) I'm a budget Guru! not a time keeper"

    September 4, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. "We Built This"... Campaign On Lies

    Both Romney and Ryan should walk back their entire campaign!

    September 4, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    @give me a break
    Ran two 35 years ago, no training, just did it.
    5:20 & 4:15 +/- 5 minutes. I could look it up, but it was not under 3 or 4.

    Now for a lie, 22 years ago I walked on the moon and drove a moon buggy. Ok it was 25 years ago, let me rule the country, I am forgiven.

    September 4, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Bill

    Sorry, anyone who runs a marathon will ALWAYS remember their time. Period. Not a mistake. If he had run multiple marathons he might forget one or two, but would still remember his best time. Pants on fire. Creepy, you have to impress people like this.

    September 4, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Lisa

    "I hurt my back, so my perception of time is off?" Seriously? Not only does he lie a lot, he can't even come up with a believable excuse...

    September 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Pander Bear

    Great. Now he can start "walking back" his lies about Medicare, GM plant closings, Budgeting, claims about the President and every other LIE he's told since being in the spotlight.

    September 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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