Schmidt completed the marathon in just under four hours, a time that put the 58-year-old congresswoman at an impressive sixth place among females, ages 55 to 59. Then last Tuesday, she cruised to reelection in the Buckeye State's Second District by a comfortable margin, capturing 59 percent of the vote.
"In all honesty, if I had had a very nail-biting [reelection] race, I wouldn't have done it," Schmidt says. "Because if the plane was delayed, I wouldn't have made it back. And if you have a nail-biting race, you don't leave town for any reason." She also adds that the religious culture of her Cincinnati-area district allowed her to take the trip to Washington. "In my district, you do not campaign on Sundays."
But Schmidt still hustled back home after the marathon, crossing the finish line around noon on Halloween and catching a 1:50 PM flight back to Ohio: "I was in my singlet, my Mylar [race blanket], and my tights in the airport security line, and I flew into Ohio to trick-or-treat with my grandson."
Schmidt has a formidable track record when it comes to running--she has completed 86 marathons, including four Marine Corps Marathons. Her Sunday time of 3:59:55 puts her well ahead of other political celebrities who have completed the race, including former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran 4:37:29 in 2005, and former Democratic Vice President Al Gore, who came in at 4:54:25 in 1997.
Schmidt says that she is very pleased with both her showings, but that doesn't mean the congresswoman is resting. Despite some post-race soreness, she is already lacing up her running shoes again. "I took Election Day off to watch my friends win or lose their races," she says. "But now I've told myself, 'No more of this namby-pamby stuff. By the weekend, you're back at six miles.'"
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