Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan wave from the stage at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 30, 2012 on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC). The RNC culminates today with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the GOP presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the US presidential election. AFP PHOTO Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)
I’ve finally found a reason to vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, a friendly conservative talk show host, Ryan was given an opportunity to boast about the athletic exploits of his youth. Ryan mentioned he’d run track in high school.
“Are you still running?” Hewitt asked.
“Yeah,” Ryan said. “I hurt a disc in my back, so I don’t run marathons anymore. I just run ten miles or less.”
Hewitt asked Ryan his personal best in the marathon.
“Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.”
“Holy smokes!” Hewitt exclaimed.
“I was fast when I was younger, yeah,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s 2:50 marathon story was quickly revealed as a lie. First, the posters on the website letsrun.com called BS on his time. Then, Runners’ World magazine looked into Ryan’s athletic, and discovered that as a 20-year-old, he had run the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., in…4:01. That’s not even as fast as 41-year-old mother of four Sarah Palin ran Humpy’s Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska.
Ryan fessed up, saying that “the race was more than 20 years ago,” and that he had made an error in “rounding.”
Hey, no need to apologize. As a runner, I’d love to take an hour off my marathon time, and if Ryan is elected vice president, I will. I’ve run two marathons, but I’ve never done as well at that distance as the 5K or the 10K. On my best days, I’ve broken 20 minutes for the 5K and 40 for the 10K. My fastest 26.2 miles? 3:52, at the 2008 Rockford Marathon. (You can look it up, but that’s not a time anyone would brag about.) But applying the Ryan standard would make me a 2:52 marathoner, which is very much a time to brag about.
In fact, runners can apply the Ryan Deduction to all distances, with these adjustments.
Half-marathon: 30 minutes
10K: 12 minutes
5K: 6 minutes
Mile: 1 minute 30 seconds
All of a sudden, my times look world class. If anyone asks where I ran that 2:52 marathon, I’ll say, “The Paul Ryan Marathon, in Janesville, Wis.”
And if they ask what’s special about the Paul Ryan Marathon, I’ll tell them this:
“They have a special timing system. The clock starts an hour after the gun goes off.”