The Running of the Reindeer 2016

March 7, 2016 at 1:36 pm (Alaska, Travel) (, )

Following the excitement of the Iditarod 2016 ceremonial start, we make preparations for our own race.  The annual Running of the Reindeer is Alaska’s answer to Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, improved (in our opinion) by a lower risk of death and the novelty of sharing the field with Ironman, Mario & Co., dinosaurs and (self-named) “tampons”, all the way from Tampa, California.

 

Reindeer Run 16 - Costumes

We wait with nervous anticipation as the preceding fat bike races take forever to finish (literally – the winner of this race is the one to take the longest time to travel the furthest distance, which is a mean feat in semi-compacted snow).  The tension is palpable as runners form their “herds” at the corner of 4th Avenue and G Street, while what appears to be the whole population of Anchorage turns out to witness potential carnage.  Race announcers have some success in keeping the crowds occupied, challenging the most scantily dressed of race-goers to a face-down snow angel contest.

Reindeer RUn 16 - Fat Bike Race

Reindeer Run 16 - Numbers

Not to be distracted, we are watching handlers herd a group of impressively antlered reindeer through the middle of the crowd, and with little time for us to prepare, they’re off.  The 3-block run is a total blur as we weave our way around bumblebees, superheroes and Bowser, all soon to fall victim to stampeding Rangifer tarandus.  It’s amazing how fast you can run through snow with a herd of confused, Go-Pro-equipped reindeer on your heels.

Reindeer Run 16 - Reindeer

Reindeer Run 16 - Start

Reindeer Run 16 - Herd1

The Hard Rock Cafe sign marks the finish line and no one’s really keeping track.  Regardless, we count ourselves amongst the winners, escaping unscathed with funky Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts to show for it.

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