Running Together “Sealed the Deal” Between General David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell

The CIA director’s mistress and author of his biography bonded with him on long runs in Afghanistan.

By: Melissa Romero

The relationship that ended CIA director General David Petraeus’s career on Friday began with a long run in Afghanistan.

Multiple reports show that many were shocked by how much access was given to author and mistress Paula Broadwell to write her book, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. It turns out that keeping up with Petraeus on his runs is one way to get up close and personal.

In a January 2012 interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote her book, Broadwell stated that running with Petraeus in Afghanistan was “the foundation of our relationship.” She added, “I thought I’d test him, but he was gonna test me. It ended up being a test for both of us, since we both ran pretty quickly.”

By “pretty quickly,” Broadwell means a six-minute-mile pace. At a symposium at the University of Denver earlier this year, the author explained how she “sealed the deal” with Petraeus: “Long story short, I did beat him. We got down to six-minute-mile pace, and I later found out that he was going through radiation treatment for prostate cancer, so it didn’t really count. But it was a rite of passage and a great sort of rapport builder with him.” (A video of Broadwell’s speech has since been removed from YouTube.)

Broadwell was a runner in high school and at West Point, plus a sponsored triathlete while living in Colorado. She describes herself as a runner, skier, and surfer on Twitter. And according to Runner’s World, Broadwell ran a 1:36:11 half marathon a year ago, placing 12th in her field. 

Want further proof Broadwell, a West Point graduate, is extremely fit? Watch her challenge Stewart and her husband to a pushup contest