Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: US politician tells fibs about his Marathon time...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

US politician tells fibs about his Marathon time...

In the US, the presidential election is in full swing with the Republican candidate Mitt Romney going head to head with the incumbent president Barrack Obama. Romney's running mare in the race is Paul Ryan and he was interviewed recently by Hugh Hewitt, The transcript went as follows....

HH: That’s okay. Hey, in high school, what did you do in high school?.........
PR: No, I was student government and athletics, honor society, you know, that kind of thing................. I was a distance runner and a soccer player. So kind of well-rounded.
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........…
PR: I was fast when I was younger, yeah.

The problem with any claim of course is that some journalist is going to check it up............and sure enough, it transpires that Ryan only ran 4:01:25 in a race in 1990. Ryan later responded: "The race was more than 20 years ago, but my brother Tobin - who ran Boston last year - reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three. If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight."

Needless to say, his little fib went worldwide and appeared in the world media including the BBC.

When the BBC asked David Castle, editor of Running Fitness magazine with a marathon PB of 2:53:47 for his opinion, he said......"Marathon runners are very protective of their PB. Anyone running under three hours will have put in a fair amount of training. Each time barrier is hugely significant. A sub 1:30 half marathon or a sub-40 10k is hugely important for amateur runners. You can tell by the way runners so often refer to seconds, even in a PB for a long race. If your half marathon personal best is 1:39:38, you never round to 1:40. You tore yourself apart for those 22 seconds. Those were the 22 seconds that nearly broke you. When we talk about runners becoming proper runners, [it might be] under 3:30 [for a marathon]. That is exactly the kind of thing you know journalists are going to check. I don't think he was lying. He may genuinely have forgotten. But there is always the temptation caused by "bravado". Who wants to say they ran four hours? It's an OK time but not a runner's time. To finish any marathon is an achievement. In his position, he was just over-egging the pudding. He is not the first and he certainly won't be the last."

Ouch! I think David Castle might be getting a few mails about some of those comments ;o)

Other Marathon times by US politicians......
John Edwards has run 3:30
George W Bush has run 3:44
Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice-president in 2008 has run 3:59.
Al Gore hs run 4:58.

If you want to check out what your new PB might be based on Paul Ryan's calculations, then check out this website.......

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