The chill in this morning’s air wasn’t enough to give runners cold feet at the annual ACLI Capital Challenge.
The race, in its 38th year, pits members of Congress, high-ranking political appointees and judges, and members of the media against each other in a 3-mile race to see who’s the fastest — and fittest — in D.C.
Kyrsten Sinema, decked out in hot pink, proved that if you run like a girl, you’ll win like a boss. Sinema, who came in at 20:45, is the fastest woman in Congress, breaking not only former Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s record in 2012, but her own time from last year as a member of the House. Kathleen Rice was the fastest female representative this year, finishing in 25:19.
Sinema is known for her athletic badassery — she’s finished three Ironman competitions with half marathons in between, so this “little” 5K was essentially a warmup. The Arizonan already has her sights set on her next race — a marathon she’s running next week in hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
While John Cornyn can brag about being the fastest male senator, Rep. Mike Gallagher can claim to be the fastest man in all of Congress for a third straight year. The Wisconsin Republican, who finished in 18:37, gave himself the right to bare arms in a sleeveless tank, with none other than forefather George Washington victoriously holding a bald eagle whilst the American flag waves behind them — probably how he envisioned himself crossing the finish line.
Gallagher said he listened to some Lil’ Wayne and A Tribe Called Quest on his way to victory. As for his post-win plans, Gallagher said he was going to “eat a cookie.” No word on whether he ate that cookie.
Rep. Sean Duffy showed up to support his staff. Duffy’s chief, Pete Meachum, who has “the best hair,” according to his boss, was running on behalf of the “Duffy Crew,” a team name Meachum whipped up in a matter of less than a second when I put him on the spot.
“We don’t have shirts. Next year we will, though,” Duffy promised.
Duffy, who didn’t race this morning, recently announced that he and his wife, conservative television commentator Rachel Campos-Duffy, are expecting their ninth child (yes ninth as in one child away from ten), so I imagine he didn’t want to risk injury while hardcore dad-ing.
Congress isn’t the only competitive bunch. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was spotted out on the course, finishing in 22:17. According to a release, Kavanaugh joins retired Justice Anthony Kennedy as the only other sitting justice to run in the ACLI race.