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Rep. Bart "Flash" Gordon

For the 19th time, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) has won the title of "fastest man in Congress." Gordon did it again Wednesday morning, beating 33 other senators and House members in the annual ACLI Capital Challenge three-mile race in Washington's Anacostia Park.

Gordon wasn't quite as fast as he was last year, but the 59-year-old congressman finished in 18 minutes and 40 seconds -- just 16 seconds shy of his 2007 time of 18:24.

"Nineteen wins in nineteen tries seems pretty good for an old guy," said Gordon spokeswoman Julie Eubank.

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) took the "fastest woman in Congress" award again, finishing in 22:50, ahead of Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.). Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) was the fastest woman in the Senate. (Then again, she was the only woman in the Senate to run.)

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) finished first among the nine senators who competed. And Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) took the unenviable "dead last" prize, finishing behind even the oldest member of Congress who competed -- Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) -- who turned 76 on April 4.

The catch is that Sessions, an accomplished long-distance runner, walked this year, on doctor's orders. He had surgery in February to repair torn cartilage, perhaps from all the running he has done -- including the time he got caught, along with a few hundred other students, streaking naked across the campus of what was then called Southwest Texas State
University in 1974.

Sessions spokeswoman Emily Davis says the congressman is "already talking about planning for next year's race" when he can run again.

And no (unfortunately for those of us looking for a more interesting angle), he won't be streaking.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  April 30, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
 
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