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Ryan’s lie-a-thon has marathon implications

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When Paul Ryan said last week he had run a sub-three-hour marathon, America’s running community had to be impressed.

That’s sub-seven-minute miles for 26.2 miles, a tough task for most runners — including young ones, which is what Ryan was when he said he ran his marathon.

But it turns out Ryan lied about his marathon performance.

As it turns out, Ryan’s lie has become of a disturbing trend for the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate.

Give credit to Runner's World, the magazine that tracked down the only marathon it could find with Ryan’s name in it: Grandma’s Marathon in Minnesota in the early 1990s.

That set off a chain reaction of people commenting on Ryan’s lie and what it means about his character and his potential as a vice-presidential candidate.

In the Fox News report, it basically allows Ryan to say — heck — I should have rounded off my best time to around four hours, not three hours.

Sorry, but as a person who’s run only two marathons — 3:36:03 at age 55 in the 2011 Minneapolis Marathon and 4:28:08 at age 56 in this year’s sweltering Boston Marathon (that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it) — I can say what most other runners have said the last few days:

Runners do not forget their personal records for major races and distances, especially the marathon.

So when Ryan made his claim in a radio interview, it could have been taken as fact pretty easily. After all, Ryan is in pretty good shape, by most appearances, and claims to have worked much of his life to stay trim.

But in light of Ryan’s lie-a-thon at last week’s Republican National Convention, I’m glad Runner's World checked out his claim.

Frankly, it’s sad that it’s not too surprising that Ryan lied about his marathon performance.

 

Yael T. Abouhalkah is a columnist for the Kansas City Star.

 

—McClatchy Tribune Services

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