Category Archives: Athlinks

If you base the 2012 Republican Primaries on athletic ability, Perry, Palin best-equipped to give Obama a run for his money

You may disagree with Rick Perry’s politics, ashamed of his “treason” remarks. You may not take Sarah Palin seriously, ashamed of anything she says.

But you gotta give these presidential candidates this much: If you were going to pick the 2012 Republican candidate for president most likely to succeed against Barack Obama based solely on athletic ability, Perry and Palin would literally give Obama a run for his money.

Sarah Palin courtesy Runners World

Emphasis on the word “run.”

I plugged in the name of each of the 2012 Republican candidates for president into the search box of, which calls itself, “both the largest and most complete results database for endurance races on the planet.”

Tex. Governor Rick Perry completing the Houston Half Marathon.

Perry, 61, has a 21-minute 5K to his credit and has completed the 2005 Austin Marathon, as well as several triathlons, according to the database. I, of course, am not at all suprised by his athletic ability. I blogged here back in March about spotting the Texas governor at the same rehab center as I use, a center where he walked in wearing Brooks Launch tennis shoes and needed treatment on an ailing back.

Palin, 47, ran a marathon in under 4 hours in 2005. In 2009, Palin told Runners World “I feel so crappy if I go more than a few days without running. I have to run. No matter how rotten I feel before or during a run, it’s always worth it to me afterwards. Sweat is my sanity.” Palin, by the way, hasn’t officially declared her intentions, but you can’t have a list without her.

Athlinks does not show any results for President Barack Obama, who played basketball in college and high school, though in 2009, a teenager with the same name as the president ran a 5k in 20:29.

If the remaining Republican candidates for president were ever runners, Athlinks does not have the results of their races. But doing cursory research on Ron Paul and Mitt Romeny shows both were athletes when they were young.
According to, Romney’s classmate Jim Bailey says of him, “He was in many ways the antithesis of what he’s portrayed as today.” Romney once competed in a 2.5 mile race, finally crossing the finish line around ten minutes after the last runner. Bailey remembers, “It had to be one of those moments that made you feel inadequate but those kinds of things didn’t bother him.”

Barack Obama: More hooper than runner.

 And according to the same site, Paul was the on college wrestling team, and at dormant high and was the 220 yard dash state champion. He was offered a college scholarship for track, but rejected it because he injured his knee.

So, as the Republican primaries get closer, if you can’t decide who to pit against President Obama based on the issues, try the candidate with the most physical prowess.