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Harry Reid's 1972 marathon time beat Paul Ryan's

September 10, 2012|By Lisa Mascaro
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), makes a point during his speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), makes a point during his speech… (Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- Not letting Paul D. Ryan off easy for his claim of running a marathon in less than three hours, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that if he followed “Ryan math,” his own time running the 1972 Boston Marathon 30 years ago would have almost broken a world record.

“I could have made the Olympic team,” said Reid, the Nevada Democrat, as he opened the Senate on Monday. “My time would not have been a world record, but almost.”

Ryan, and his campaign team, have repeatedly said the GOP vice presidential nominee was mistaken when he told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he had run a marathon “under three [hours], high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.”

Ryan ran a single marathon, in 1990 in Minnesota, and finished in 4 hours, 1 minute 25 seconds.

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“It was an honest mistake,” Ryan said Sunday when asked about the issue by guest host Norah O’Donnell on the CBS show “Face the Nation. “It was 22 years ago.”

But the story has legs, as it goes, and Democrats seem eager to keep it alive to call into question Ryan’s veracity on other issues, namely his budget assertions.

“The Ryan math doesn’t work,” Reid said. “It doesn’t work in marathons or anything else.”

But perhaps the interesting development is the athletic prowess of the two men.

Ryan, a fitness buff, clocked in at a little over 4 hours.

Reid, who is more known from his stint as an amateur boxer than his marathon days, “came in with a very creditable 3:16,” according to a Christian Science Monitor story on the race provided by the senator’s office.

The majority leader, who turns 73 this year, would have been 32 at the time.

Ryan, 42, was 20 when he ran his marathon.

Ryan’s campaign sought to move on and suggested Democrats should as well.

“President Obama should tell his friends in Congress to focus their attention on creating jobs and stopping his devastating defense cuts,” said Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck.

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