We're all aware Paul Ryan is in very good shape, as a longtime devotee to P90X, and his feats of athletic impressiveness are becoming well known. He's run a marathon! He's climbed mountains! Except that's where the facts have been getting fuzzy as of late. The marathon kerfuffle, which happened when Runner's World couldn't confirm his claim that he ran a sub-3:00 race once, was supposed to be quashed when the campaign released a statement saying the time was more like four hours than three. Then came the claim that he had climbed 40 of Colorado's 54 highest peaks, all at least 14,000 feet high. The campaign says the claim was taken out of context, that Ryan had climbed some peaks more than once, but that he had made roughly 40 climbs of Colorado's "Fourteeners," as they're called.
Now, the questions surrounding his marathon performance may be on the verge of a comeback, based on comments made by Ryan's brother to the New York Times:
But his assertion in a radio interview that he once ran "a two-hour and 50-something" marathon, a time revealed to be off by more than an hour, reinforced critics' notions that Mr. Ryan chose facts at his convenience.
Tobin Ryan said the race, which Paul ran in 1990 as a college student with the third Ryan brother, Stan, was so long ago it was easy to forget the exact time. "I think they trained for three weeks," he said. "They ran it on a whim."
So, at 20 years of age, Paul Ryan ran a marathon in 4:01:25 after three weeks of training, and then never again ran another competitive marathon. If that's true, that's astounding because a) anyone who has ever tried to run a marathon knows how insanely difficult it is, and b) anyone who has ever run a marathon is aware of the manic training schedule, often lasting for six months or so, that precedes such a feat.
And if Ryan truly did run a marathon on three weeks and just for the hell of it, why didn't he ever run another one? That would make him a virtuoso runner with innate talent who, with the proper training, could've turned into someone resembling an Olympic competitor. Didn't Paul Ryan love his country enough to compete for gold at the '92 Games in Barcelona? Obviously not.