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California Gov. Jerry Brown, right, has challenged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to a three-mile runt and a push-up and chin-up contest.

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown may be a "retread," but he's confident he can run circles around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Brown earlier this week dismissed barbs Christie made about Brown to California Republican delegates this week, but now he's challenging the morbidly obese governor to a series of athletic contests.

"There's nothing wrong with being a little retread," Brown told union members in a Los Angeles speech Thursday. "Not as much hair, I've slowed down a little bit, but I have to tell you, I ran three miles in 29 minutes two nights ago.

"And I hereby challenge Gov. Christie to a three-mile run, a push-up contest and a chin-up contest. And whatever he wants to bet, I have no doubt of the outcome."

Christie told the state's GOP delegates this week that he couldn't believe California voters elected the then-72-year old former two-time governor over Republican Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who now runs Hewlett-Packard.

"California made a bad choice by going with an old retread," Christie said. "I've gotta tell you, Jerry Brown? Jerry Brown? I mean, he won the New Jersey presidential primary over Jimmy Carter when I was 14 years old."

That got Brown's gander up.

"Why should I be governor? Why not? I may know a helluva lot more than you," Brown said. "Because when you were 14, I was passing the farm labor bill. I was passing worker protection in California."

Cracked Brown: "That's the first time I've ever been attacked at a convention, so I feel that I'm finally coming into my own."

Christie did not immediately respond to Brown's challenge.

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101. Follow him at Twitter.com/ssharmon. Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics.