Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

How Fast Is Your Alderman?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In James T. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan Trilogy, Studs’s nickname for his burgeoning gut was “alderman.” And that still describes most politicians: paunchy, out-of-shape slugs who only show up at athletic events to hand out trophies and have their photos taken with the winners. With the Chicago Marathon coming up Sunday, we thought we’d find out who are the fastest politicians in Illinois. Here’s an honor roll of aldermen (and other officeholders) who aren’t growing an alderman.

    Ald. John Arena:  Ran this year’s Fall Into Fitness 5K in 29:15

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Emanuel completed the 2011 Life Time Chicago Triathlon -- a 750 meter swim, 13.6 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run -- in 1:36:50  finishing ninth in the 50-54 age group.

    Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich: Blagojevich ran the 1989 Marine Corps Marathon in 3:03:47. After slowing down to 3:22:36 in the 1997 Chicago Marathon, he blamed House Speaker Newt Gingrich for keeping him too busy to train. As governor, Blagojevich ran the 2005 Steamboat Classic, a 15K race in Peoria, in 1:20:54

    Rep. Aaron Schock:
    Schock also competed in his hometown Steamboat Classic, finishing in 1:12:14 in 2007. He should have been faster than Blago. He was only 26.

    Rep. Dan Lipinski: The fastest man in Illinois politics, the tall, skinny 44-year-old Lipinski ran this year’s LaGrange Rocks 5K Run/Walk in 20:16. That’s a 6:30 mile!

    Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon: Simon competed in Carbondale’s Doc Spackman Memorial Triathlon -- an 1155 foot swim, 5 mile bike ride, and 2 mile run -- in 50:31.

    Ald. Ameya Pawar:
    Pawar ran this year’s Ravenswood 5K in 24:52. He has also competed in the Galena Triathlon & Duathlon -- a 2 mile run, 17.5 mile bike, and 4.3 mi. run -- finishing in 2:44:15. Pawar ran the 2009 Chicago Half-Marathon in 1:59:51

    Ald. Walter Burnett:
    Burnett ran the 1999 Chicago Marathon in 3:55:13. Not as fast as Blago, but not a knock-off time, either. In 2007, he did the Sears Tower Stair Climb in 29:05.

    Former City Clerk Miguel del Valle:
    Del Valle ran the 2002 Chicago Half Marathon in 2:03:13. Although he hasn’t raced in a while, del Valle still jogs four miles around Humboldt Park.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!