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Chicago Tribune: Senate contender Tammy Duckworth takes on another race: Chicago Marathon

October 6, 2016

Chicago Tribune: Senate contender Tammy Duckworth takes on another race: Chicago Marathon

By Maya Miller

Rep. Tammy Duckworth can't seem to get enough of racing.

The Democratic challenger will take a break from her U.S. Senate bid to participate Sunday in the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, in what will be her fourth go at the event.

"Mentally it's similar to running a congressional campaign," Duckworth said as she was shuffling between campaign events Thursday afternoon. "It's not a sprint."

A former Army National Guard helicopter pilot who served in Iraq, Duckworth is no stranger to mental tests. In 2004, Duckworth lost her legs when her helicopter was shot down in combat. Four years later, she completed her first Chicago Marathon in a hand cycle in two hours, 26 minutes, 31 seconds, and has completed two more Chicago marathons since.

This time around, Duckworth said, she feels her time in office and campaigning has helped prepare her for the 26.2-mile course.

"Physically, the marathon is a lot like what I've been doing," she said. "You have to have stamina, you have to stick it out, you don't have anyone who can do it for you — you have to do it yourself every mile of the race."

However, she'll be the first to admit that her campaign may have cut into her training time. Duckworth has clocked strong times in her three appearances, finishing the 2011 race in a personal best two hours, nine minutes, 26 seconds.

Her goal this time?

"I'd like to finish," Duckworth laughed.