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I'm Faster Than Paul Ryan (And I'm Not Lying)

Okay, the very first disclaimer I have to make here is that this is not a political story. For real. It just involves a politician... so let's not get all political on this. Pretty please.


So we all know that politicians lie. Right? Obama lies, Romney lies, blah blah blah. Name a politician and they lie (yes, even Ron Paul). Most of us just tend to make amends for the people we like because they're just "making a point" or stretching the truth or spinning the numbers or something like that.


But last week Paul Ryan lied about something super-serious:

His marathon PR.

(Hey, PR also stands for Paul Ryan... coincidence? Probably.)

So, on to the real story. If you haven't heard already (and I bet you have if you're reading a running blog) last week in an interview with some dude named Hugh Hewitt, Paul Ryan (Mr. PR) got asked about his running history and made a claim...

Anyway just check out the awesome part of the interview:
HH: Are you still running?
PR: Yeah, I hurt a disc in my back, so I don’t run marathons anymore. I just run ten miles or less.*
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...
 *corrected from "yes" on the website's transcription

A two hour and fifty-something?!?! "Holy smokes" is exactly what I would expect a conservative interviewer to say. Personally I would have probably used one of two four-letter words in place of "smokes" but whatev. Same thought. Hugh Hewitt and I react in the same way when someone tells us they ran a marathon in under three hours.

So this relatively innocuous interview (with a cell-phone disconnection in the middle of it) gets posted online and the mainstream media is like, "Eh who cares?" Because really, who does care? (Me. I totally care about this!) But then the investigatory journalists over at Runner's World are like:

 "WTF OMG LOL! Oh no you didn't just say that!"

and they start looking into it. And they quickly find out that he didn't actually run a sub-3:00 fact he ran a 4:01:25.

And now there's a Paul Ryan Time Calculator and stories from ABC, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and Slate, among others (because it's hilarious, obviously). But Runner's World scooped them all. Well played Runner's World.

Seriously though.

This is hilarious.

Even PR (and his brother) think so:
"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."

And with that highlighted sentence he makes this even more hilarious.

AFTER saying he ran a sub-3:00,
AFTER being called on it and looking silly (and maybe like a liar),
and IN the statement where he's admitting that he was wrong, he says that if he "WERE" to round his time, it would be to four hours rather than three.

Dude. For serious this time. You ran a 4:01. Of course you would round that to 4. Why would you ever round that to 3? And, actually, you don't even need to round it anymore because some obsessive running nerd (who I so admire right now and must be so excited about this whole "scandal") sifted through over a decade of records from Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota (seriously, could it have been a better marathon?) and found your exact time for you.

You're welcome.

Oh and I ran a 3:59:23 at NYC last year. Look it up Runner's World.

So, Paul, you know more about economics than me and I will never be a congressman... but I am totally 2 minutes faster than you.


Because your back is just not that great.


  1. Hahahahahaha this is a great post. Way to go speedy!!!

  2. LOVE it! And I heard about this too and also found it HILARIOUS! And yes, only some of us runners would fully appreciate this story! And someone also said...if you ran a sub 3:00 marathon, you would remember the EXACT time because it's that good! Not "two fifty something". lol. Why lie about it anyway? To get runners on your side?

  3. I mean i always round my times down by at least an hour, you know, for the tangents and stuff. See you on Sunday when i PR this half in 55 minutes. Boom.

  4. By his math, I am an Olympic champion based on PR - yay for me! ;)


  5. I love everything about this story. ESPECIALLY the part about how it gets marathon running in the national spotlight. There are so many good articles coming out about this, especially from The New Yorker and The Atlantic.

  6. Hahaha. I'm just pissed his time is better than mine by 3 minutes. That will change on Sunday.

    So since my dad ran a 3:04 marathon 30 years ago, can I say I ran a 3 hour marathon because he is related to me and because I was probably spectating at the ripe old age of 1? :)


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