Staff Blog: Run Your Marathon “PR”

How fast can you run a marathon using Paul Ryan’s time calculator?

We’re a little over two months away from the presidential election, and while I usually don’t have a huge interest in politics at any time of the year, if it’s been made known that a candidate also happens to be a runner, well, then he’s got my attention.

Last week, a big to-do was made about Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s claim of having run a “two fifty something” marathon, an incredibly impressive feat for any runner, particularly one as busy as a politician. You probably know the story by now, as Scott Douglas of Runner’s World did an excellent reporting job uncovering the fact that Mr. Ryan had not, in fact, broken three — or even four — hours for the marathon distance. Ryan’s best known mark is a 4:01:25, run at Grandma’s Marathon in 1990, or over a full hour off of his original claim. In other words, he wasn’t even close!

Runners around the country have been riding Ryan for the better part of the last week about his miffed marathon time, and today, the “Original Paul Ryan Time Calculator” was released at, allowing runners to see what their own personal records — or PRs, appropriately enough — convert to using Ryan’s system.

I plugged in my marathon best of 2:28:25 (a set of numbers I’ve never had any trouble remembering) and came out with a 1:47:36, which would shatter Patrick Makau’s existing world record of 2:03:38 by over 16 minutes! I think I’m going to print out that result and post it on my refrigerator tonight.

So, how fast can you run a marathon — or any other standard race distance, for that matter — using Ryan’s conversion? Find out at!

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