Another Battle Shaping Up Pitting Democrats against Republicans

By Jeff Darman

Washington,  DC February 24, 2010

For the Washington Running Report


The ACLI Capital Challenge, the three-mile road race that is one of the Capital’s most enduring sports traditions, is set for Wednesday, April 28 at 8:00 A.M. Dozens of Senators and Congressmen will take part in the traditional invitational team battle between the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches and the Media in Washington, D.C.’s East  Potomac Park. Last year the race attracted 32 members of Congress and more than 140 teams. (The race moves to East Potomac Park this year due to construction in Anacostia  Park.)

Over its 29-year history, the race has played host to two U.S. Vice Presidents, several Presidential candidates, scores of congressional committee chairs, Majority and Minority leaders of the Senate, Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Members, and many members of the media. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), who has never missed the race, will be leading a team for the 29th time.

Competition is limited to teams led by Senators, Representatives, Cabinet or Sub-Cabinet appointees, Agency Heads, Federal Judges, or TV, radio and print journalists. (Team captains must actually complete the course for their team to count.)

“Our goal is to promote a reduction in oxygen debt,” said Race Director Jeff Darman. “We get many physically fit Washington luminaries who set an excellent example. We are one of the last examples of true bi-partisanship in Washington, as teams from both parties compete while displaying good humor and support for an aggressive stimulus,” added Darman, who conceived of the race in 1981.

The ACLI Capital Challenge, which benefits the District of Columbia Special Olympics, has as its title sponsor ACLI (American Council of Life Insurers). ACLI is a Washington, DC-based trade association. ACLI’s 300-plus member companies offer life insurance; annuities; pensions, including 401(k)’s; long-term care insurance; disability income insurance; reinsurance; and other retirement and financial protection products.

The event is designed to highlight the fitness of many of the Capital’s busiest leaders and tries to answer the question: which branch of government is the fittest? Supporting sponsors are AEGON USA, ING, John Hancock, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, MetLife, Prudential, RGA, Swiss Re, Western & Southern Financial Group, Roll Call, and Winstead Attorneys. All entry fees, along with an additional contribution from the sponsors, go to D.C. Special Olympics.

The ACLI Capital Challenge not only recognizes the swiftest participants with awards for the fastest Senator, Representative (Mike Synar Award), Independent Agency Head, Sub-Cabinet Appointee, Federal Judge, and journalist in male and female categories, but also rewards teams with the Best Name, the Worst Name (James B. Kenin Award) and the Best Spirit. There are also team awards in Senate, House, Executive Branch, Judicial, and Media (both electronic and print) categories.

Qualified teams may obtain entry forms and information from Jeff Darman, Director ACLI Capital Challenge, 110 East State Street, Suite 15, Kennett   Square, PA 19348, 610.925.1976. Entries are also available at Entries close April 12.

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