My agency fielded a team at the ACLI Capital Challenge 3-Mile Race this morning for the fourth straight year. It’s a racing challenge issued by the legislative branch to the judicial and executive branches and to the media, to field teams of five runners (one has to be a woman) who are employees of that particular agency, department or branch. Each team has to be captained by the head of the office (in our case, a Commissioner).
The service teams are in the Executive Division and they usually dominate because they can always find a fit admiral or general to run and then each service sends four ringers from their competitive athletic corps. So it’s usually the Navy, Coast Guard or Army jockeying for first place with the rest of us content to be also-rans. It’s a lot of fun.
We had a pretty good team this year. Our agency’s rock-star G led the team for the fourth straight year with an 18:15, a few seconds slower than his time from last year (hey, he just ran a 3:09 at Boston nine days earlier). G was shocked to see a new addition to our team this year, a paralegal about half his age, on his shoulder at MP 2. Perhaps a moment of doubt about his continued supremacy flitted through his mind, but when G made a strong move with a quarter mile to go, the paralegal couldn’t match it and finished two seconds back. Both men were a few seconds ahead of the very fit DC mayor, Adrian Fenty, the baddest running mayor in the US, a point of pride to them both afterwards.
Despite a sore foot, M was right at about 20 minutes and came in next for our team. I was next at 22:51. I have not trained for anything recently and I was worried that my time for this race might push past 23 minutes for the first time. However, I ran steadily (7:15, 7:41, 7:55) and, given my current lack of conditioning, well for me.
Our captain, the Commissioner, came in at a few seconds over 30 minutes, a tremendous achievement for a non-runner (she did train for this, however) running in her first ever race. I don’t know where our team finished but it was a successful morning, topped off by the very cool fact that I was able to chat for a few moments with American elite runner Meb Keflezighi, the silver medalist at Athens who was a mere two days removed from being the first American at London this year. I beat him, so I gave him some secret running tips. Actually, though, I think he let me and many others in the field finish ahead of him, as he ran the entire race alongside the representative who he was a guest of.