Teddy takes an early lead in fan voting as race vs. Taft begins

William Howard Taft Racing President departing on adventure to Mt. RushmoreNats Racing presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft took off this morning on their Executive Adventure to Mt. Rushmore, with Taft tweeting a photo from the starting line.

Fans who follow the presidents on Twitter @Teddy26Nats or @NatsBigChief27 are being asked to use the hashtags #VoteTeddy or #VoteBill to voice their support.

Results appear real-time at Nationals.com, and no surprise: in the early hours, support for Teddy is nearly tripling that for Taft.

The race ends Monday at Mt. Rushmore.

Video: Presidents race on ice skates in New York

Racing presidents on ice skatesFollowing Saturday’s racing president auditions, the Washington Nationals took to the road to bring the presidents to New York for their annual appearance at a New York Islanders Presidents Day hockey game at Nassau Coliseum.

Donning ice skates, the four presidents raced around the ice until George slammed Teddy into the visitor’s bench. Teddy retaliated by jumping from the bench into the other three presidents, knocking the entire field to the ice.

Washington was declared the winner. Full video:


Video: NHL Network

Nats hold presidents race tryouts in the snow

Washington Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsThe Washington Nationals celebrated Presidents Day weekend by holding their annual racing president auditions Saturday at Nationals Park.

The team drew a record number of applicants from the DC area, and invited a select group to the ball park to run the bases and show off their entertainment skills.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsThe recent record snowfall provided a hitch for this year’s applicants, as they were asked to run the full length of the presidents race in snow that reached 2 feet deep at the finish line. The conditions posed problems for more than a few racers who needed help up after falling in the snow.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsFor the fourth consecutive year, Teddy Roosevelt was absent from the auditions. Applicants donned the 12-foot costumes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln, as they ran an indoor 40-yard dash, competed against each other on the snow-covered presidents race course, demonstrated their dancing and celebrating skills, and faced individual interviews with the entertainment staff.

We enjoyed meeting so many of the applicants as part of our first-ever video interviews (one of whom details his experience on his personal blog.

Update: Contestant Gwen Purdom details her experience in Washingtonian Magazine.

Audition photos by Ethan Ableman

Presidents race to return to the ice on Valentine’s Day

The Washington Nationals racing presidents are headed back to the ice to reprise last year’s Presidents Day race at Nassau Coliseum.

Washington Nationals presidents race on ice skatesOur favorite oversized presidents made the journey to New York last year to hold the first-ever presidents race on ice skates between periods of a New York Islanders hockey game. After posing for photos with fans before the game, they slipped and slided (and scuffled) across the ice, with predictable results.

A video of that race can be found in our Presidents Race Videos collection.

The Washington Nationals presidents race at a New York Islanders game at Nassau ColiseumThe Islanders have invited the presidents back this year. With no game scheduled for Presidents Day, look for George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy to make their appearance the night before, at the scheduled 5:00pm game on Sunday, February 14, between the host New York Islanders and the Ottawa Senators.

Last year, the Post’s Dan Steinberg got a tip that the presidents had been spotted training at Ballston’s Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Stay tuned for more on any planned public workouts.

Photos courtesy of NHL.com.

Nationals Racing President Tryouts Set for February 13

Presidents Day weekend is approaching, and in Washington, DC, that means just one thing: It’s time for that now-annual tradition, the Washington Nationals Presidents Race tryouts.

Presidents Race TryoutsThe Washington Nationals will once again be holding auditions on Presidents Day weekend for those who want to compete as racing presidents George, Tom, Abe, or Teddy during the 2010 season.

The tryouts will be held on Saturday, February 13th at Nationals Park, and are closed to the public. To score an invitation and your chance to run in the footsteps of giants, you must e-mail a cover letter, resume and recent photo to entertainment@nationals.com with “2010 PRESIDENTS RACE” in the subject line.

Job requirements include being between 5’7” and 6’ 6” in height, and being able to run approximately 200 yards while wearing a 45-pound costume. You must be available for at least 40% of Nationals home games (a minimum of 33 games) plus the Nationals League playoffs and World Series, of course (What? I can dream.).

The Washington Nationals Racing Presidents at the White House Easter Egg RollThe part-time, seasonal job includes not only participating in the presidents race, but also posing for photos, signing autographs, and appearing at “selected outside events.”

This past year, appearances included stops at the White House, in inauguration festivities, traveled to New York to race on ice skates, visited a Wizards game, traveled with the team to Pittsburgh, and made a variety of promotional appearances around DC.

In previous years, the tryout regimen has included running against other candidates, dancing, and demonstrating celebration skills. Some coverage of last year’s event from WTOP:

Race photo by flickr user afagen
White House photo courtesy of Erik Metzroth

Your chance to be a Washington Nationals racing president!

Presidents RaceJust as they did last year, the Washington Nationals will be holding auditions on Presidents Day weekend for those who want to compete as racing presidents George, Tom, Abe, or Teddy during the 2009 season at Nationals Park.

The tryouts will be held on Sunday, February 15th at Nationals Park, with registration beginning at 10:00am. Candidates will be asked to run, dance and show their celebration skills during the presidents race auditions, which are closed to the public. If you’d like to score an invitation, you may e-mail a cover letter, resume and recent photo to entertainment@nationals.com. The deadline for applications is Monday, February 9 at 5:00pm.

In announcing the auditions, the Nationals said they are looking for “energetic individuals, between 5’7” and 6’ 6” in height, with the ability to run from right field to home plate while wearing a 45-lb costume, and who are available for at least 40% of Nationals home games” (that’s a minimum of 33 games… plus playoffs, you know, for us dreamers).

Teddy wannabes note that the roles rotate between the staff, so don’t expect to get a chance to choose your favorite prez; and don’t be surprised if you are asked to fill in as the occasional giant panther or banana. Still, winning this gig could land you in some exclusive territory beyond just the ball park. This past year, the Nationals racing presidents made multiple appearances at the White House and the inaugural festivities, among other plum assignments, though posing in a 12-foot tall costume might not quite be the same as getting invited to a state dinner.

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