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] 


Bipartisan Belt Tightening Efforts on Display May 4

April 15, 2011

Will efforts at trimming the fat result in official Washington moving faster?  When the ACLI Capital Challenge returns on Wednesday, May 4 at 8:00 a.m. in Washington, D.C.’s East Potomac Park, that question will be answered.

Known for its irreverence and political humor, the three-mile race is drawing the usual VIP cast for its thirtieth anniversary.  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 130 teams.  Partisan rancor is replaced by good-natured trash talk – no mean “feat” in D.C.

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 his or her team to score.  The race, which started in 1981, spotlights the fitness of many of the country’s busiest leaders.  “Ironman” Senator Richard G. Lugar has never missed finishing the race and will be leading his team for the 30th time.  He will be joined by many Senate and House Committee Chairs and ranking members, print journalists, TV correspondents, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelious, Generals and Admirals, the FBI and many others.

The ACLI Capital Challenge, which benefits Special Olympics, D.C. has as its title sponsor ACLI (American Council of Life Insurers).  ACLI is a Washington, D.C. – based trade association.  ACLI’s 300-plus member companies offer life insurance; annuities; pensions, including 401 (k)’s; long-term care insurance; disability income insurance; reinsurance and other retirement and financial protection products.

The ACLI Capital Challenge annually settles the question of which 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 Special Olympics, D.C.  The race has raised over $417,000 since its inception.

Official whistleblower Dick Beardsley will start the runners on their way.  Dick is an accomplished athlete, author (Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race) and a respected and compelling inspirational speaker.  For a brief moment, Dick Beardsley became the most famous runner in the world – by losing a race.  In the 1982 Boston Marathon, foiled by a motorcycle that cut him off near the end, he finished two seconds behind Alberto Salazar in a contest often called one of the most memorable in marathon history (Duel in the Sun). It was the closest finish ever at Boston, and both runners broke the course and the American records.  Dick is still the fifth-fastest American marathoner of all time.

Retired from competitive running, Dick had a series of near fatal accidents that left him addicted to pain killers.  His story of overcoming extreme obstacles speaks to anyone who loves competition, has survived catastrophe or has pursued a seemingly impossible goal.

As usual there is spirited competition for best and worst team name honors.  Some early contenders include:

Bada Bingamans  Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Show Me the Finish Line  Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
Rhymes with Hummus   Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
The Fast and the Sebelious  Kathleen Sebelious (HHS Secretary)
Physical Ed    Tom Skelly (CFO,  Department of Education)
Running out of Our FERC’n Minds John Norris (Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)
Hitting the Pay Wall    Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education
The Scoop Doggs    David Sands (Washington Times)
C-No B.S.     Bill Plante (CBS News)

The riverfront course is out and back in East Potomac Park (Hains Point).  After the race, runners will enjoy a catered continental breakfast (TARP, Tired Athletes Refreshments Program) compliments of Principal Financial Group, 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 entry information at www.capitalchallenge.com.