Paul Ryan explains marathon mistake

In an interview with Toledo News Now Tuesday, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan explained that a back injury contributed to his inflated marathon-running claims.

"I hurt my back when I was in my mid-20s, so I had to stop running. So obviously, my perception of races and times was off," Ryan said when asked why he told a radio show that he had run a marathon in under three hours. His actual time was closer to four. "I thought that was an ordinary time until my brother showed me a three-hour marathon is, you know, crazy fast. It's just the fact that I did it 22 years ago."

 

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The creator of PaulRyanTimeCalculator, a Web site that lets you cut down your own marathon time to match Ryan's adjustment, told the Post earlier Tuesday that he wasn't buying Ryan's story.

"It's funny that Ryan is popular for being an intellectual, straight-shooting, clear-thinking numbers guy who supposedly remembers each line of the federal budget, but he can't remember his marathon time within an hour," graduate student Erik Westlund said. "Everyone who takes running seriously knows that is nonsense. I've run a few marathons and a bunch of other races and I know all my times pretty much down to the second going back many years. His excuse just didn't seem plausible to me."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · September 5, 2012