Monday, March 5, 2012

Running of the Reindeer

I came *this* close to gaining a new name this weekend. But alas, my Native American moniker is not to be, "runs with antler in ass". 

*Picture by official Fur Rondy photographer, not yours truly.*

I ran with the reindeer this weekend. And yes, it is what it sounds like. Similar to Spain's running of the bulls, people run three blocks through downtown Anchorage being chased by Reindeer. Yep, another check mark on the ol' bucket list. (Who knew that "running with the reindeer" was even on my bucket list?)

Trudging though thick snow in 20 degree temps, with the threat of being trampled by a reindeer? The question isn't, "why do you want to do this" but rather "why wouldn't you want to do this?"

The running of the reindeer is part on the annual Fur Rondy festival in Anchorage. Fur Rondy is a ten day celebration of life in Alaska. The ceremonial start to the Iditarod also takes place during Fur Rondy. 

So Friday afternoon Hollie, Henlie and I drove to Jon's in Anchorage. It was a great weekend full of yummy food, drink and people watching extraordinaire. For the race, I even had my own cheering section. My friend Rushell happened to be in town as well and she brought her posse to cheer me on. Running is much more fun when people are cheering for you.

Fur Rondy had all sorts of festivities. Aside from the reindeer running there was a carnival, Hobo Jim, and of course, a Fur Auction. It wouldn't be Alaska if there weren't Beaver pelts.

I was careful not to scratch my nose -- I didn't want to go home with a fox pelt.

The furs on people were just as interesting
to watch as those being auctioned.

The Running of the Reindeer reminded me of the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco: costumes, (almost) naked people, and pre-race drinks. It was cold and snowing -- I had to stay warm somehow!

The reindeer await. Such big antlers!

The crowd grows restless.

2300 people ran.

Some wore more clothes than others.

Henlie and Jack -- a couple of my fans.
Well, my only fans, really.

Reindeer being led to the start.

After the race.

I survived the race without getting impaled in the hiney. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the snow was deep and running was difficult. It took a lot of concentration not to fall! Too bad I didn't have a sled for someone to pull me on like this kid!

Playing in the snow by the light of the street lamp -- the perfect end to a good day. Well, that and a cocktail.