Video: 2011 Presidents Race Auditions

Nationals Racing President AuditionsRacing President auditions were held Saturday at Nationals Park, continuing
a 5-year tradition of assembling Mount Rushmore hopefuls for tests of speed, stamina, and silliness on Presidents Day weekend.

The Nationals received over 150 applications for the coveted president positions according to Entertainment coordinator Tom Davis, and 60 applicants were selected to receive
Nationals Racing President Auditionsinvitations to Saturday’s tryouts.

Candidates were asked to run a 40-yard dash in costume, compete against each other in two races, demonstrate their dancing and celebrating skills, and complete a panel interview with the entertainment staff.

For those who’d never run before in a 10-foot high, 45-pound costume, wind gusts of up to 60 mph added to the degree-of-difficulty; but the conditions
Nationals Racing President Auditionswere a welcome alternative to last season for returning candidates, who last year had to race in two feet of snow.

As in previous years, Teddy Roosevelt was absent from the proceedings, but the contestants were able to run in the traditional 2006-2010 period garb costumes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

Our video chronicle of the day:

This year, three guest media candidates donned the famous costumes on Saturday, resulting in some great additional perspectives for PR fans. Danny Rouhier from WJFK 106.7 The Fan filed this video chronicle, Washington Post fitness columnist Lenny Bernstein added his outstanding perspective, and Dave Levy from WeLoveDC added this terrific report.

Deadline approaching for 2011 presidents race auditions

As pitchers and catchers prepare to report to Florida to try to nab one of the final spots on the Washington Nationals roster, the Nats’ entertainment team is working to finalize the mascot roster back here in DC. The team has set a deadline of next Friday, February 11, to receive applications. Selected candidates will receive invitations to participate in the 2011 racing president auditions on — when else? Presidents Day weekend.

Interested candidates should e-mail a cover letter, resume and recent photo to entertainment@nationals.com and include “2011 Racing Presidents” in the subject line.

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

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

Presidents Race on ice tomorrow following Presidents Day weekend auditions

A record number of contestants showed up at Nationals Park today for what has quickly become an annual Presidents Day weekend ritual in Washington, DC — the Washington Nationals presidents race auditions.

Seventy finalists — 20 more than the previous year — were invited to compete for the approximately 20 open spots on the Nationals’ mascot team.

As was the case at last year’s auditions, Teddy Roosevelt failed to make an appearance (he is “in training” for the upcoming season, says Nationals Entertainment Coordinator Tom Davis), so the finalists took turns racing and performing as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. As always, SBF at the Nats320 Blog has a fantastic recap of the days activities, along with more photos. There was a nice video story over at WLJA News, and the following from WTOP News and The Washington Times, respectively:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8kRyzTTG-4]

Lost in the excitement over today’s auditions has been the news that tomorrow, Presidents Day, will mark the first-ever Nationals presidents race on ice. Members of the Nat Pack are heading to Long Island, New York for a running of the presidents race on skates between periods of tomorrow’s hockey game between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m counting on Teddy to show up for that spectacle, but hope he doesn’t injure himself before we even get to spring training!

Photo courtesy of Nats320

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.

Presidents Race Auditions Video

Yesterday’s presidents race auditions brought 55 finalists to the Washington Nationals former home, RFK stadium, to see if they had what it takes to don a giant president head and race from the outfield to home plate.

Ian Koski at Nationals Pride put together a terrific little video highlighting the presidents race audition experience, and featuring Steve Roche, Nationals Mascot Coordinator:

Teddy Roosevelt was noticeably absent. Could it be that the privilege of donning the esteemed Teddy costume is being reserved for the 20 winners? Not so, says Washington Nationals spokesman Tom Davis. “He needs to rest up,” Davis told WTOP News. “He’s had a rough couple of years. He’s looking to get back in shape.”

Congratulations to the new squad. See you at Nationals Park next month!

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