AP reports that that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan fudged the numbers concerning a marathon in which he participated in 1990.
Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt last month that he ran the marathon in his words, in “two-hour and fifty something”, which is less than 7 minutes per mile. Here is the relevant portion of the transcript:
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 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 reporter from Runner’s World found Ryan’s real time, which was 4:01. When confronted, Ryan said that he should have rounded down to four hours instead of three. So it was a rounding error, let’s move on.
Except that Ryan gave a number rounded off to the nearest ten minutes (2 hour and fifty-something), not to the nearest hour. And even after 22 years, it is hard to believe that he confused a time of just over four hours with one just under three. Hours are benchmarks, an exact time might be hard to remember, but not the number of hours it took.
My assessment is that Ryan lied. So what? It is just a marathon, right? Well ask yourself, what if Obama had been the one who shaved a quarter off his running time? Would he get a pass?
I got no pleasure out of writing this post. I am disappointed in the man, He’s just another politician.
Postscript: In the interest of fairness, I present this from Runner’s World, concerning another politician, who cannot ‘remember’ properly…
“The November 2004 issue of Runner’s World reported that (John) Kerry had run Boston in the 1970s but gave no supporting details. ESPN looked into the claim and wound up concluding ‘there’s no official record of his feat, and his campaign did not provide further details despite repeated inquiries.’
“In an e-mail to Runner’s World last night, Tom Derderian, author of Boston Marathon, said, ‘It is very hard to prove a negative, but in doing my research I read every account in every newspaper about the Boston Marathon. I would have seen and noted that a US Senator ran.'”