Thursday, September 6, 2012
Paul Ryan caught in lie over marathon time
Why are liars always attracted to religion and politics? Paul Ryan said in a radio interview last week that his personal best running a marathon was "under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something." Note the specificity. He didn't say "I don't recall" or "somewhere around 3 or 4 hours." He knew what a good time was. Also, any marathoner knows his/her personal record, and to claim a sub-3:00 marathon is to put yourself ahead of people like Lance Armstrong, who has finished slightly above 3:00 (I think it was 3:01). World records set by Kenyans and Ethiopians are around 2:03.
It turns out Paul Ryan has not run a marathon in less than three hours—or even less than four hours. A spokesman confirmed late Friday that Ryan has run one marathon. That was the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, where Ryan, then 20, is listed as having finished in 4 hours, 1 minute, and 25 seconds.
His excuse was lame ("[the] comments on the [radio] show were the best of his recollection.") I don't buy that given the specificity ("two hour and fifty-something"). He was doing what almost every politician does at one time or another -- lie his ass off. However, in the Internet age, lying about something as verifiable your marathon time is ridiculous and brazen. My times are easily accessible online. For example, I just ran the Ogden Marathon with a time of 4:25. Of course, I was twice his age at the time of his marathon, and I wasn't even pushing very hard.
This incident doesn't give me much confidence that Ryan will tell the truth in other contexts, particularly about things that are more difficult to verify.