Sunday, September 2, 2012

Paul Ryan's Little White Marathon Lie

(The Blue Fairy:) "A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face." (Jiminy Cricket:) "Well... guess he won't need me anymore. What does an actor want with a conscience, anyway?"

Some stories are just too good not to blog about. With the U.S. Presidential election campaign in full swing...or should I say full "mud sling," there's plenty of foddor to pick from. I woke up this morning and my twitter feed was abuzz with Paul Ryan's little white marathon lie. Seems that the public is interested in Senator Ryan's physique and exercise regiment. He's been noted as a P90X disciple and I was interested to hear that he was also a marathon runner just like me and Christian Grey.

The twist in the story is that he claimed to run a sub three hour marathon. I nearly choked on my morning coffee. Ryan last week told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he had run a marathon "Under three [hours], high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something." According to my magic training spreadsheet that would be 26.2 miles at a 6:41 pace. The LA Times stated "Even for someone like the hyper-fit Ryan, sub-3 is a substantial accomplishment...a pace most recreational runners can't hold for even a mile or two."

That's a decent 5K race pace for me. The story goes on to say that a number of folks mentally challenged the story, then proceeded to check out how fast he really ran his marathon.

Built more like a rugby player than the lean frame that would typify a sub three marathon runner, Runner's world expressed skepticism and the real facts came out. Ryan ran a single marathon—the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn. – and that race lists his finish as 4 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds. Over an hour off the time he stated and run at a 9:13 minute per mile pace.

Not even close. One thing about runners is we know what our PR (personal record) is. If you've only run one race, that's your PR. Mine happens to be a 3:21.  The other thing about runners is we remember all the details about our very first marathon; I know what shirt I wore, I know the color of the "cherry tomato" blister on my toe, and I know my time.  I can still taste the beer and how good it was.

Aside from the few well publicized cases (such as Rosie Ruiz*) where runners cheated, I've found marathon runners to be quite honest when it comes to their performances. We do have (at least I do) plenty of excuses for why we didn't run faster in a race, but I never met a runner who didn't know their times.

As the Blue Fairy aptly told Pinocchio, lies tend to grow. I've had this conversation many a time with my boys. While I don't condone lying under any circumstances with my kids, I've also pointed out situations where it's ridulous to lie about something you don't even need to lie about. Lie's tend to pile up and you have to tell more lies to cover the ones you've already told. My favorite in the house was the airsoft gun wound on one of my boy's forehead. He said it happened cleaning his bathroom. Yeah, right! Like he'd ever cleaned the bathroom before.

Applying the same logic to Mr. Ryan, why would you lie about something like that? Some voters would have been impressed with the mere fact that he completed a marathon. Not that that has anything to do with qualifying yourself to run the country. Now he's backpeddling on the topic. If he ran a much slower 4:01, perhaps he was literally backpeddling that day in Duluth as well.  Mr. Ryan...I think you might have just lost a few runner votes on this blunder.

Author's Footnote:  Rosie Ruiz won the 1980 female Boston Marathon shaving 25 minutes off the previous record. Only problem is she got busted for taking the subway in the New York Marathon, and her "flabby" thighs were one of the first clues that maybe she wasn't a world class marathon runner.  In 1982, Ruiz was arrested for embezzling $60,000 from a real estate company where she worked.  She then moved back to southern Florida, only to be arrested in 1983 for her involvement in a cocaine deal.

3 comments:

  1. What else is he lying about?

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  2. What a stupid thing to lie about! There doesn't seem to be a single honest person to vote for this go around... (has there ever been?)... but since I live in Utah, it doesn't really matter if I vote or not... the state is going to Romney/Ryan.

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  3. After all the lies he's told, why would anyone believe ANYTHING Ryan says?

    No, he didn’t run a marathon in under three hours.

    He lied about the GM plant in Janesvile, Wisconsin that was closed while George Bush was still President, in December 2008: but Ryan in his speech at the Republican Convention falsely blamed the closure on President Obama. Now Ryan is wriggling, trying to claim he didn’t say it (yet another lie).

    There’s a reason why Paul Ryan is known as Lyin’ Ryan.

    And no, I do NOT believe Lyin’ Ryan climbed “close to 40″ of the 54 “fourteener” peaks (14,000 ft. or so) in Colorado.

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Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine