And fortunately for him, he’s quickly (upon discovery) admitted the fabrication.
But why did he say it in the first place? Because the simplist answer is probably the right one, here’s why.
As preface, I’ve been involved in aspects of running and racing for nearly 35 years; know where to look for practically anyone’s recent result and know bullshit when I hear it. And frankly, as soon as I heard Ryan sub 3 and that he claims he could run 10 miles but not a marathon I couldn’t help myself but question it and check coolrunning.com and athlinks.com and I couldn’t find him.
Scott Douglas has much more data and probably more tenacity at his disposal and found Ryan’s result as a 20 year old at 4 hours +.
4 hours sucks, that is, if you’re a 20 year old and you actually trained.
And here, IMHO, is what happened. He was athletic and jumped into the marathon ill prepared and crashed and burned. Seems he didn’t go back to the 26.2 mile race either. Lesson learned.
So here we are 20 years later and whenever someone asks “did you ever run a marathon?” the follow-up questions are: (1) how fast and (2) did you ever run boston. Happens everytime.
So what went through Paul’s head when asked?
Here’s what happened: the same thing that happens whenever any runner is ask. Runners lie. Don’t ask me why, but they just do.
Not the top tier guys but the weekend warriors, the 3 hour, 4 hour marathoner. The guys that run 20 minute 5Ks. They lie, or maybe exaggerate. Regardless, try it out: find someone who ran a marathon and ask their time.
There was this guy I knew in grad school. He was a decent and dedicated runner, a professor. He went to Marine Corp marathon and cranked a 2:48. Bullshit. When called on it, he refused to acknowledge that somehow, someway he’d accidently cut the course. He never ran another marathon because he knew he couldn’t hit the 2:48 again. Liar, but not a bad guy. Something just takes hold of the male ego to cause them to lie about athletic performance.
I could give dozens of similar examples.
So them Ryan was asked. It appears that he doesn’t really know much about the marathon and figured that he’d get away with claiming a 3 when it was actually a 4. He didn’t know that the difference was substantial. His bad.
It was a lie and if the job of the president was to run a decent marathon, I’d not vote for him. As it is, it’s irrelevant and I’m happy to know I’ll kick his ass in a roadrace. Honest!