Fact Check: Paul Ryan Exaggerates Marathon Claim : The Two-Way : NPR

Fact Check: Paul Ryan Exaggerates Marathon Claim : The Two-Way : NPR:

Last week, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan claimed he'd accomplished an athletic feat: He had run a marathon in under three hours. The claim came during an interview on radio host Hugh Hewitt's program.
"H[ugh] H[ewitt]: Are you still running?
P[aul] R[yan]: Yeah, I hurt a disc in my back, so I don't run marathons anymore. I just run ten miles or yes.
HH: But you did run marathons at some point?
PR: Yeah, but I can't do it anymore, because my back is just not that great.
HH: I've just gotta ask, what's your personal best?
PR: Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.
HH: Holy smokes. All right, now you go down to Miami University ...
PR: I was fast when I was younger, yeah."
A "sub-3:00" marathon? The congressman is known for his athletic prowess, but that's still a blistering pace. According to a nifty calculator on the Runner's World website, in order to complete a marathon in, say, 2:59, the calculator suggests Ryan ran a mile in 5 minutes, 37 seconds on average. Then he'd have to sustain that pace for 26.2 miles.
The speed is so fast that Runner's World checked his claim — and couldn't find it. It did locate one marathon he participated in: "Grandma's Marathon" in Duluth, Minn., on June 23, 1990.
He finished in 4 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds.
Friday, a spokesman for Ryan told the magazine the Republican vice presidential candidate has indeed run just one marathon. And, Ryan issued this statement:
"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."
Runners posting on the Runner's World website are outraged: Many are listing their own PR (personal records) with date and marathon name.
Incidentally, Ryan's marathon time is a little bit slower than former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the previous GOP vice presidential candidate. Her marathon personal record is 3:59:36.

Runner's World Fact Checks Paul Ryan's Marathon - Turns Out He's Not Faster Than An Endurance Horse, After All
Not impressed. How fast did you claim you ran that marathon, again ? Paul Ryan caught fibbing by Runner's World.

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan made the startling claim in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt that he had run a sub 3 hour marathon. About a 2:50 "something." Works out to 6 minute and 48 seconds per mile.

Not only would this have put him in the elite class of human runners, it would have made him faster than a lot of Tevis endurance race horses, which average about 7 to 8 minutes per mile, for the winning times, and at the slower rate of about 4.5 mph if they want to complete the race for the buckle.

Runner's World magazine took it upon themselves to fact check Paul Ryan's time claim for the marathon he supposedly competed in, searched 11 years of records, and found that there was exactly one recorded instance of a Paul D. Ryan finishing the 1990 Grandma's Marathon of Duluth, Minnesota, in 1990, with a time of ....

• 4 hours, 1 minute, and 25 seconds.

That means that the runner is traveling at the much more pedestrian rate of ... 9 minutes per mile.

By comparison, this year's Olympic marathon winner, Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, ran the race in 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 1 second, which rounds off to one mile ticked off every....
... 4.88 minutes

At first, in response to Runner's World, a spokesperson for the Romney- Ryan campaign said "His comments on the show were to the best of his recollection."

Many of the comments at Runner's World were along the lines of this: "How could anyone NOT remember the details of their personal best like that ?" and "If you are a runner, the fastest way to lose your credibility among other runners, is to lie about your times."

Ryan finally issued a correction for himself, after the media outcry.

This follows the series of fact checks that were done following Ryan's now notorious RNC Convention speech in Tampa, where Ryan made claims that were not true about many things, such as:

1. The closure of the General Motors plant in Janesville, implying it happened under this administration. (Shut down in 2008, when Bush was President.)

2. Medicare. (Ryan's own budget called for drastic Medicare cuts).

3. Deficit. (Bush era tax cuts, Bush era foreign wars, and Bush era not putting the war funding IN the budgets, instead doing it on a contingency appropriations basis as a gimmick, to hide the fact that the wars were done on credit.) Ryan voted for those tax cuts and those wars.

4. Safety Net - Ryan quote - "The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves...." (Ryan budget performs 62% of its cuts to programs that benefit the people with the lowest incomes, such the working poor, and elderly poor nursing home patients who are on Medicaid. )

5. The world Credit Rating Downgrade, dished out by Standard & Poor. The Republican party threatened to shut down the Federal government on this issue of raising the debt ceiling, which also would have caused a default. You can't complain about debt, while voting to decrease government revenues (refusing to restore tax rates from Clinton era which did balance the budget) at the same time. If you perform a draconian cut to domestic programs, as was proposed by Ryan's Roadmap, you perform a draconian cut to consumer demand that is supposed to raise the GDP.

Ryan, to the best of the nation's recollection, can't remember what he's been doing in Congress for the past dozen years, if that is the same Paul Ryan who was giving the speech in Tampa. It's so bad, even the athletic and health worlds are noticing.

With 65 days to go before Tues, November 6th, if Paul Ryan told a lie every 2 hours and 50 minutes during the working day, that would be 208 lies, or "loss of recollections" before the election. Followed by the need to clarify the record 208 times, or issue another denial, and dig in further. Talk about a marathon... He's buff, he's tough, he's off the cuff, puffed and guffed. The Romney campaign will somehow have to reduce this to a more acceptable rate, (and forbid anyone from lighting a match anywhere nearby) while at the same time proposing more tax cuts.... good luck with that split !

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