For more information, please contact:

Jeff Darman
ACLI Capital Challenge
110 East State Street #15
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Tel: 610-925-1976
[email protected] 


Slow Runners Bailout as Top Teams Drop Toxic Assets

April 11, 2009

The annual ACLI Capital Challenge returns on Wednesday, April 29 at 8:00 a.m. in Washington, DC's Anacostia Park. This annual athletic spectacle shows that not all in Washington are slow to react.

Perhaps better known for its irreverence and political humor than its athletic prowess, the three-mile race is drawing the usual VIP cast.  Each year, the event attracts scores of members of Congress and high-ranking political appointees, television correspondents, print reporters, Federal Judges and other Washington VIPs on over 140 teams. 

Teams are captained by U.S. Senators, Representatives, Cabinet Members, Sub-Cabinet appointees, Federal Judges, On-Air personalities and professional print journalists.  Each CAPTAIN must finish for their team to score.  This invitational team competition started in 1981, spotlights the fitness of many of the country's busiest leaders.  Senator Richard Lugar has never missed finishing the race and will be leading his team for the 28th time.  He will be joined by many Senate and House Committee Chairs and ranking members, TV anchors and correspondents, an Imam who is a government commission member, and architects of the upcoming census. 

The race is sponsored by ACLI (American Council of Life Insurers), a Washington D.C-based trade association.  ACLI member companies are the leading providers of financial and retirement security products covering individual and group markets.  They provide life, long-term care and disability income insurance, annuities, pensions such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, IRAs and reinsurance. 

The ACLI Capital Challenge annually settles the question of what branch of the federal Government is the fittest.  Or will the media end up on top?  All entry fees as well as an additional donation from the sponsors goes to D.C. Special Olympics.  The race has raised close to $400,000 since its inception.

Special Attraction

On hand as official whistle blower (starter) will be Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi.  Meb, who recently won his third USA National Cross County Championship and the National Half Marathon Championship is also the US 10k record holder and has been among the top finishers at the Boston and ING New York City Marathons.  He was a 4-time NCAA Champion at UCLA. 

Meb's spirit of endurance is fueled by his parents' fervent determination to save their family from the 30- year-war between Eritrea and Ethiopia.  His life threatened by the Ethiopian regime, Meb's father fled the country and worked for four years as a laborer to save his family.  The family reunited in Italy where they lived before arriving in San Diego.  Despite language barriers, Meb and his ten siblings made education their number one priority.  The children who are out of high school hold six undergraduate degrees, an MBA, an MD, a JD; one is a senior at Stanford University and another a sophomore at UCSD.  In 1998, Meb became a U.S. citizen.

The race motto is, "no congressman left behind,: said Race Director Jeff Darman, "and on April 29 we will see who is still in their prime and who is subprime," he added.  Spirited competition is already being waged in the battle for Best and Worst Named Team awards.  According to senior race officials, some early contenders and captains include:

Hutchison's Herd on the Hill Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison  (R-TX)
"Bob"bleheads Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC)
O Little Team from Bethlehem Representative Charles Dent (R-PA)
USCIRF ing Safari Imam Talel Y. Eid (Commissioner, US Commission on International Religious Freedom)
Chronzi Scheme Kelly Field (Chronicle of Higher Education)
Dash-ional Journal Andrew Waldman (National Guard Magazine)
Running on APrayer Michael Weinfeld (AP TV)
AIG: Athletes In Gear Bill Plante (CBS News)
Courting Disaster Judge John Ferren (DC Court of Appeals)

The riverfront course is out and back in Anacostia Park (just over the Sousa Bridge - Pennsylvania Avenue).  After the race, runners will enjoy a catered continental breakfast (TARP, Tired Athletes  Refreshments Program) along with pure spring water compliments of Northwestern Mutual.  Major sponsors in addition to ACLI include AEGON USA, ING, John Hancock, MetLife, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, Prudential, RGA, Swiss Re, Western and Southern Financial Group and Roll Call.

Qualified teams may obtain information from Jeff Darman, Director, ACLI Capital Challenge, 110 East State Street, Suite 15, Kennett Square, PA, 19348, 610-925-1976 or from www.capitalchallenge.com.