Lugar cements his 
status as the jogging 
king of Congress

On Thursday, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) will receive his second award in two weeks for running a race, solidifying his status as the greatest jogger in Congress.

The 79-year-old lawmaker will receive an award Thursday from Congressional Federal Credit Union on account of his staff having won a special race during the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run last month.

ADVERTISEMENT
The “race within a race” that Lugar’s staff won on his behalf marked the first time since the race’s inception in 2002 that Lugar himself hadn’t run in the 10-miler.

Lugar might have passed on the April race to shore up his strength for the ACLI Capital Challenge he competed in a few weeks later. That race marked Lugar’s 30th straight year of participation in the 5K event. After the race, a team award was named the Richard G. Lugar Award in his honor.

But according to a Lugar spokesman, he was well-represented at the Cherry Blossom race by staffers Jon Rosenbaum, Mark Yarnell and Elizabeth Oblinger. “Members sponsor the team but do not necessarily run the race.  Sen. Lugar has sponsored the race for many years,” the spokesman said.

Lugar wouldn’t favor one race over the other, telling ITK that he has “enjoyed the friendship of [race directors] Phil Stewart and Jeff Darman over the years. I appreciate the two great races held in Washington, D.C., each year.”

According to his spokesman, each year, Lugar sends a letter to other members of Congress encouraging their offices to participate in both runs. This reflects “his personal dedication to physical fitness, encouraging both his staff and constituents to lead healthy and active lives.”

It’s worth noting that the House team that took the top prize in the Cherry Blossom race in April belonged to the staff of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). But Blumenauer is not a big runner himself — on the contrary, he chairs the Congressional Bicycle Caucus and wears a green bike pin on his jacket every day to remind people.

ITK was assured, however, that the Blumenauer folks won their races on foot — no bicycles in sight.

This story was corrected at 9:51 a.m. An earlier version misidentified the Congressional Federal Credit Union.