Never fib about your marathon time, especially if you're a running mate


RUNNING ON PLENTY:RUNNING THE marathon this October? There are plenty of dos and don’ts about training, nutrition, posture, etc. And now, there’s another to add to the list: never fib about your marathon finish time.

Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, has been making plenty of hay in recent days about his personal fitness – including running a sub-three-hour marathon.

In a radio interview last week, Ryan was asked what some of his best times in marathons were.

“Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something,” he said.

While he’s certainly a trim and healthy-looking guy, there’s been plenty of scepticism about it.

Firstly, anyone who’s ever slogged their way through 26.2 miles has their finish-time chiselled into their memory.

Second, this kind of time would require an impressive pace of under seven minutes a mile for the whole race – something only 4 per cent of marathoners have achieved, according to research by Runner’s World.

So Ryan’s claim hit the wall, so to speak. He issued the following statement, which was published by the New Yorker magazine and Runner’s World: “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.”

Ryan actually ran his only marathon, when he was 20, in a time of four hours, one minute, and 25 seconds.

Needless to say, he now faces a merciless ribbing from Democrats, too. In fact, it’s already started. A web site has been created that “converts” any runner’s best marathon time to a “Paul Ryan equivalent” marathon time, improving it by more than 30 percent.

So now you know. Never exaggerate your marathon time – especially if you’re ever planning to become a ‘running’ mate.

Race of the week

The weekend’s big race will be the half marathon in the Phoenix Park, the last of that series before the Dublin Marathon. However, it’s not the only half-distance: the Athlone half marathon offers a good alternative on Saturday morning. Registration is €20 in advance and €25 on the day, and there will be pacers for those looking at a sub-two-hour time. See After that, it’s just six weeks to the Dublin Marathon – and only another 13.1 miles.

What I learned this week

With seven weeks before the Dublin Marathon, newbie Shane Hegarty on what he learned from this week’s training

16 miles really hurts. More so when you actually stop running, which seems kind of unfair.

It’s time to start taking some gels. I’ve held off for now, but those gooey wonders are needed as the long-runs stretch out.

There isn’t a single run I do – long or short – where at some stage I don’t fancy stopping and having a nice lie down.

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