As a life long rock climber and also endurance athlete, I think Katie Hill lead climbing 5.12a (I don't know that specific route but let's assume the grade is accurate) is WAY better than running a 3:49 marathon, even at age 54. Just for comparison's sake, the very first 5.12 in the world climbed by a man of any age was around 1960 (this could be argued but approximately), and only a handful of men in the world had done that by 1975 so it's not like it was suddenly everyone doing it. Meanwhile, a 3:49 is so attainable (relatively speaking of course) that I'm sure we don't even know the first time that was run - likely a thousand years ago or more. Lots of people (mostly Kenyan) could run a 3:49 off the couch, and many many people could train and run 3:49.
Ah, it was a sport climb, and sport areas are often overgraded, sometimes pretty substantially.
Plus - she was NOT in office yet when she did that.
So, while it is VERY impressive, should it even count?
If some former Pro athlete or Olympian then ran for Congress or Senate, would you count their pre-office achievements for this list?
I don't think so.
That dude benching 272 at age 72 is impressive as hell.
While the runner guy's 3m time was very speedy, he was also in his 40's when he did that.
I used to be able to run that fast in my 40's also, and I'm "just a guy" in the grand scheme of things, running-wise.
But, to your point -
I think a lot of the panel of judges (not unlike most of the population) was swayed by the longer events being "unbelievable achievements", even though the actual results were fairly pedestrian.
And almost nobody knows jack about rock climbing, so they would also undervalue that achievement.
, and jog