So, last week, Paul Ryan told Hugh Hewitt this:
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.
Hewitt observed, “I was also surprised to hear Ryan has run a sub-3 hour marathon. Add another interest group to the list of groups like Catholics, hunters and Miami of Ohio grads who are going to connect easily with this candidate.”
This apparently caught the eye of Runner’s World – a sub-3 marathon is pretty fast. Call it 26.2 miles in 2:55 – that would be like a 6:40/M pace the entire way. So, they went to look it up and couldn’t find the race. They pressed a little, and, turns out, he never ran “marathons” plural – he ran one marathon in 1990 with a time of 4:01:25.
I wouldn’t make too much out of this. It’s just weird to misremember running multiple marathons at advanced speeds when, really, you ran one in a workmanlike time. Politically, though, you never know what is going to catch on. Remember the “Al Gore lies” narrative? Combine this with the politically calculated false claims Ryan made in his convention speech, and you have to think he’s on thin ice; not too far from people being able to tag him with unfair assertions that he claims to have invented the Internet and whatnot.