In a radio interview last week, Ryan claimed he ran a marathon in just under three hours, an almost unbelievably impressive time. For the record, winners of the New York City Marathon usually clock in around 2 hours and 10 minutes, while the average marathon time is somewhere around 4 hours and 30 minutes. That would make Ryan one impressive athlete.
But despite Ryan's claims that his best time was "two hour and fifty-something," it turns out Ryan's actual time was much, much higher. Runner's World delved into the matter and found several factual inaccuracies with Ryan's story.
From Runner's World: "Ryan's name does not show up in the 1991 race results provided by Grandma's. Runner's World checked 11 years of results for Grandma's Marathon, from 1988 through 1998, and found a finisher in the 1990 race by the name of Paul D. Ryan, 20, of Minneapolis. Ryan's middle name is Davis, and he was 20 in 1990. The finishing time listed was 4 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds."
So there you have it. Ryan's best time is significantly higher than previously stated. To be fair to Ryan, though, 4 hours is still a pretty impressive time, just not nearly as amazing as his earlier record.
Did Ryan Fail To Remember?
Additionally, the original radio interview made it appear that Ryan ran several marathons in his younger years. However, both Runner's World and a Ryan spokesman can confirm that the vice presidential candidate has only run one marathon in his time, back when he was 20.
Ryan responded to the controversy by claiming that because the race was so long ago, he remembered his time as being much higher than it actually was.
"The race was more than 20 years ago," Ryan said through a spokesman to Runner's World, "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."
Misremembering races from more than 20 years ago isn't too big of a deal in the long run. Who doesn't occasionally tell themselves a little white lie about the past? But Ryan's inaccuracies are especially disconcerting coming on the heels of his RNC speech, which was riddled with falsehoods.