The 35th anniversary of the ACLI Capital Challenge, the three-mile road race that is one of the Capital's most enduring sports traditions, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, at 8:00 A.M. As usual, a PAC of Senators and Congressmen will bare arms and take part in the traditional invitational team battle between the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches and the Media in Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia Park.
Since its inception in 1981, 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.
Competition is limited to teams led by Senators, Representatives, Cabinet or Sub-Cabinet appointees, Agency Heads, Federal Judges, or TV, radio, print and web journalists. (Team captains must actually complete the course for their team to count.)
"The race promotes fitness and bi-partisanship (at least for one day) in the shadow of the Capitol as many physically fit Washington luminaries set an excellent example on race day each year," said Director Jeff Darman. The ACLI Capital Challenge benefits the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, an organization whose mission includes providing life-changing Guide Dogs to blind veterans.
The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the race title sponsor, is a Washington, D.C. based trade association with approximately 300 member companies operating in the United States and abroad. ACLI advocates in federal, state, and international forums for public policy that supports the industry marketplace and the 75 million American families that rely on life insurers' products for financial and retirement security. ACLI members offer life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care and disability income insurance, and reinsurance, representing more than 90 percent of industry assets and premiums.
Meb Keflezighi, one of the greatest runners of our time, is the 2016 celebrity runner (courtesy of John Hancock). Meb is the only athlete to win the Boston Marathon, New York Marathon and an Olympic medal. And at age 40 he just qualified again as a member of the US Olympic Team with his second place finish at the recent Olympic Trials. Meb will serve as the official “whistle-blower” and start the runners on their way. Then he will jump in and run from the back of the pack.
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 the government is the fittest? Supporting sponsors are Guardian, Hannover Life Reassurance Company of America, John Hancock, Mass Mutual, Metlife, Nationwide, New York Life, Prudential, RGA, Transamerica, USAA, Western & Southern Financial Group and media sponsor CQ Roll Call. All entry fees, along with an additional contribution from the sponsors, will go to the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, which will result in the donation of a trained Guide dog and services to a blind veteran or immediate family member.
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 and the Worst Name (James B. Kenin Award). There are also team awards for the Senate, House, Executive Branch, Judicial and Media (both Electronic and print/web categories).