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Team Navy Floats to Victory


May 12, 2011

The Navy team was the top overall team in the 30th ACLI Capital Challenge held on Wednesday May 4, in Washington D.C.’s East Potomac Park.  A rainy, cool day greeted the runners for the three-mile event, but about 600 still showed up to demonstrate for fitness and to raise funds for Special Olympics, DC.

Event co-chair Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) finished for the 30th straight time, never having missed the event.  His team finished second in the Senate Division.

 Teams were led by eight Senators and ten Representatives including many committee chairs, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, FDIC chair Sheila Bair, and many other agency heads, Federal Judges and scores of print and electronic media.

All teams had to be captained by a U.S. Senator, Representative, Cabinet member or Sub Cabinet Presidential appointee, Federal Judge, On-air media personality or professional journalist.

John Thune (R-SD) (18:54) repeated as the male Senator winner and again garnered the title of fastest member of Congress.  Representative Jean Schmidt (R-OH) defended her female Representative title in a time of 24:49.  Representative Aaron Schock  (R-IL) (20:12) was the first member of the House (Mike Synar Award), and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) garnered her first female Senator Award (26:40). 

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius set a fine example competing in the Independent Agency Head Division and was the first 60-69 woman captain in a record-setting 26:40, beating the old record of 28:02.  Long-time participant Bill Plante, a CBS White House correspondent, took the 70-and-over captain honors (30:24).  Overall winners were Brandon Cherry (15:20) FERC and Commander Suzanne Himes (18:52) of the Navy. 

Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth was again female wheelchair champion in a time of 16:26.  The highly decorated Iraq war veteran competed for the second time.  Chris Nowak, of the VA and a member of the USA National Amputee Hockey Team, was the male wheelchair champion with a 13:43.  Dick Beardsley, still the fifth fastest American marathoner of all time and the subject of the book Duel in the Sun, was the celebrity guest athlete and the official “whistle blower” who started the runners on their way.

The ACLI Capital Challenge highlights the ability of many of the nation’s busiest leaders to stay fit.  All entry fees go to Special Olympics, DC.  The title sponsor, ACLI (American Council of Life Insurers) and contributing sponsors AEGON USA, ING, John Hancock, MetLife, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, Principal Financial Group, Prudential, RGA, Swiss Re, Western and Southern Financial Group, Roll Call and Winstead Attorneys also donated additional funds to Special Olympics, DC, as well as paying all race expenses. 

The overall team award won by Team Navy was named the Richard G. Lugar Award in recognition of the Senator’s three decades of service to the event. 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We can email appropriate pictures at your request.

Click Here for the List of Award Winners