Virtually everyone who’s finished a marathon knows his or her time all too well. Whatever the number —
Neither are national political campaigns, as Ryan is discovering. Many lawmakers puff up their legislative achievements during campaign season, and until a few weeks ago Ryan was just a congressman from Wisconsin. But now that Ryan has the second-highest profile in the Republican Party, his claims about his past draw scrutiny not just from political journalists but even from Runner’s World — especially because his youth and athleticism are part of his public appeal. His marathon fib certainly isn’t fatal to his prospects, but there is an obvious moral: If you know how impressive a feat it is to run 26.2 miles in under three hours, you should also know when you haven’t done it.