Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Marathon Myth (September 4, 2012)

This might be "small beer," but gaffes are most powerful when they reinforce perceived truths.

The primary conversations coming out of the Republican Convention were:  1)  the whole Clint Eastwood scene, and how weird and unscripted it was -- and whether you believed it was brilliant or not, it certainly detracted from Romney's speech that followed, and 2)  the amount of misinformation passed along by Paul Ryan in his speech.

Thus the Marathon Myth story has some legs, so to speak.

In case you haven't heard this one yet, Paul Ryan claimed in an August interview with Hugh Hewitt that he had once run a marathon, and his time was "under three, high two's."  The running world, knowing confirmation is just a click away, quickly determined that his actual marathon time was 4:01:25.

Now, I've run two marathons, both in times considerably slower than Ryan's (4:26 and 4:34).  I can say with some conviction that you never forget your marathon time, and if you are off by a digit (and I may be), it is not the "hour" digit.  And, a "sub-three" marathon is incredibly different from an "over four" one.  Massively different.  Sub-three is fantastic, over four is certainly respectable by any measure.  But if you ran the NYC marathon in 2:50, you are in the top 500.  If you ran it in 4 hours, you did not even make the top 15,000.  Capiche?

So, I find this disturbing.  I can think of no logical reason why Paul Ryan would do this.  Unless he is a fabulist ("a person who invents or relates fables.")  Think about the implications of that.


  1. Dem VP Al Gore spoke of inconvenient truths; Repub VP candidate Ryan casually tosses off convenient lies. At seeming every opportunity -- even as inconsequential as his marathon time -- Ryan exaggerates, self-aggrandizes, and bends truth beyond recognition to serve his agenda. It's not how fast and far he ran a race. It is how fast and far he runs from the truth.

  2. oh yeah, Dem dude, Al Gore invented the internet.


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