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On Your Mark: Teams Assemble for Annual Charity Run

Teams on and off Capitol Hill are preparing for the 25th running of the American Council of Life Insurers Capital Challenge.

The 3-mile race takes place at 8 a.m. May 11 in Anacostia Park. Money raised from the race is donated to the D.C. Special Olympics.

“Every penny people pay to an entry goes to Special Olympics and in addition we add a donation from the sponsors,” said Jeff Darman, director of the Capital Challenge. Last year’s race brought in $13,000 for D.C. Special Olympics.

The entry fee for the race is $85. The sponsors for this year’s race include returnees Fannie Mae and Northwestern Mutual along with a newcomer, John Hancock.

Some previous champions will also be coming back this year. From the Capitol, Sens. John Sununu (R-N.H.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) last year were the first place finishing male and female Senators, and both are scheduled to run. Last year’s champ from the House, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) will also be there to defend his time of 18 minutes, 22 seconds. A competitive runner, Gordon has participated in the race undefeated for the last 15 years. “I haven’t been doing too much training,” Gordon said.

Sununu’s office has been similarly preparing. “We just want to be a little bit organized,” he said. “But we will have good shirts.”

Off the Hill, the Navy, whose team has a strong team record of winning the race, will be back. Rear Admiral Lewis Libby, captain of last year’s Navy team, said his team is looking forward to “going out there and having a good time.”

The race is made of teams from all three branches of government and various news organizations. Teams are limited to the first 140 entries and must meet the guidelines. The limit of 140 teams put the totality of number of people in race in the 600-650 range, Darman said. Every team must have five members, of which one is female. All team members’ scores are taken into account when calculating the winner. Congressional teams captains must be a Member of Congress and everyone on the team should be from the same office, Darman said. The rule of Congressional captains and teammates coming form the same office also applies to all teams.

Apart from rewarding winners based on their physical endurance, the event will also reward the creativity of teams based on their names. Awards are given to the top three best and worst team names and the team with the most team spirit.

For more information or to register, see

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