Out Of Control

Politicians lie, nobody will dispute that.  They lie about their record, and distort the record of the other party.  Often, is it more than distorting the record of the other party, it is telling outright lies; blatant lies that are easily disproven.

When a politician lies about their record to bolster their ego/image, nobody bats an eye.  At least that is how it goes when the record is something related to politics.  But to deliberately distort a recreational accomplishment, clearly the liar (oops, politician) has no respect for anybody, and has no trouble saying anything to make themselves look better.

Take Paul Ryan for example.  Yes, that Paul Ryan, the one on the Romney ticket as Vice Presidential candidate.  He has sunk to another new low, at least in my opinion.  He blatantly and purposefully lied about his best (see: only) marathon time.  In an interview, he said he completed a marathon (all 26.2 miles of it) is less than three hours.

Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt last month he had run a “two hour and fifty-something” marathon.

Such a time is not unheard of for a recreational runner, and equates to a pace per mile of less than 6:52.  That is motoring pretty good.  Turns out, his best marathon time is just a few minutes north of 4 hours, or at best 9:12 per mile, which is still really good.

Why does this even matter?  It matters to me because I have run marathons before, with a best of 4:42:20.  I am proud of my time, and wear it like a badge of honor.  I do not hide the fact that I am not a fast runner, thus will not complete a marathon in under 4 hours (under 3 hours?  no chance).  Ryan explained what he should have done is, “rounded his marathon time to four hours, not three.”  Uh, no.  That is not how running a marathon works.  You don’t get to round your finishing time to the nearest hour.

Runners take pride in doing things most of the population can’t bring themselves to get off the couch to do.  We run, and we run a lot.  We also take pride in our PRs (personal records), and  will gladly share them with you if you ask.  But the one thing a runner with any self-respect, or respect for fellow runners, will not do is fudge a PR by 25% (making a 4 hour marathon a 3 hour marathon).  We might miss our actual time when we tell people by a few seconds, but a majority of us can nail our PR to the second when asked.

Politicians lie, but did Paul Ryan really have to go and dehydrate his marathon time by so much to make himself look better?  Mr. Ryan, your lie is a disgrace to the running community.

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