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  • Writer's pictureLynn Lovegreen

Fur Rondy: Running of the Reindeer

Fur Rondy is the winter festival that Anchorage puts on every year. (Learn more about it in my previous post at


This year, I’m going to tell you more about one event, the Running of the Reindeer. People pay an entry fee (to donate money for Toys for Tots) and get a bib like a normal running race, but the event is like Pamplona but with reindeer. A nearby reindeer farm brings in reindeer, and Anchorage’s 4th Avenue is covered with snow for a few blocks.


When their “herd’s” turn is up (they can choose the men’s, women’s, or group herd), people bunch up at the starting line, often in costume. The humans get a head start, then the reindeer are let loose to run with the people to the finish line.

Reindeer running past men dressed in costume
Clark Mishler photo from Fur Rondy site at

As the snow can be slick and the reindeer are sometimes grumpy, it is a bit risky. But the worst that I’ve seen is people falling on the road. Most reindeer are just trying to get to their enclosure at the finish and ignore the humans completely.


This event has an Alaskan feel to it, but people come from all over the world to participate. My husband has run with the reindeer before, and I will be there to cheer him on again this year. It’s a fun way to spend a Fur Rondy afternoon!

Man wearing a running bib and a bike helmet with reindeer antlers
My reindeer runner

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