HOH’s One-Minute Recess: It’s a Running Frenzy

Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:02am

Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) might caucus together on the Senate floor, but they don’t always share such camaraderie.

In fact, when it comes to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the two are particularly competitive. Lugar is the only Member to have run the race every year since it began, and he says Grassley is his biggest rival — although he worries a little about Sen. Max Baucus, too.

Luckily for Lugar, Grassley plans to head to Iowa this weekend, and he wishes Lugar good luck.

Baucus, however, will be lacing up his track shoes this weekend. There’s no word yet on whether the Montana Democrat will take tips from celebrity marathon runner Bill Rodgers, who’s on the Hill today to support the race.

Capitol Hill runs a race within the cherry blossom race each year, sponsored by Congressional Federal Credit Union. Last year more than 700 staffers and Members participated in the Capitol Hill Competition, and with so many offices vying for the trophy, it can get fierce.

Last year, staffers from Republican Sen. Mike Enzi’s office put together Team FrEnzi to take home the title and a trophy. A Wyoming hospital connected to the Children’s Miracle Network received a donation, thanks to their win.

The office has been gearing up for weeks to defend the title. Some staffers may even have trained in the high altitudes of Wyoming over the March recess to build up their lung capacity.

In preparation for the anticipated win, HOH hears the Team FrEnzi runners always take the stairs, no matter how many flights. They also fit in workouts between hearings and meetings, and they have even been seen doing wall squats while reading their morning papers.

Luckily for them, their closest competitor, Team Running Stark Mad from the office of Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), isn’t participating this year because it lost its star runner to an administration job.

Without Grassley to worry about this year, maybe Lugar’s team will be able to step in and best Team FrEnzi.