Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fur Rondy - Part 5: The Running of the Reindeer

The Running of the Reindeer is patterned (loosely) after the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. Six reindeer (caribou) run two blocks down the road towards their trailer, which is scented like a doe in heat, while crazily-dressed people from who-knows-where run down the street in front of them. This was the third annual Running, with proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots. The crowds, both the ones running and the ones watching, were in high spirits and ready to see some action. I think the furthest distance someone traveled for this race was from Guam, and the oldest person racing was 63, I believe.

There were five races. The first was the celebrity race, the second was for the men, the third for women, the fourth was for couples and groups, and the fifth was a free-for-all where anyone who wanted to race a second time had a chance to do so. This was such a popular event, the spectators were crammed in as thickly as possible to get to see them. Jane's friends Rachel and Jeff graciously invited us to watch the race from the roof of his office building at the starting line, where we could easily see the race. Thank you, Rachel and Jeff, for giving us that opportunity!

These awesome butterflies were part of a group, obviously, and were certainly a crowd favorite.

The reindeer are being moved into position at the starting line behind the runners. Once the runners started off, they were given a few seconds' head-start before the deer were released.

Crazy costumes were encouraged. And given how cold it was, the less a person chose to wear, the funnier it was.

Here goes the men's race. You are definitely going to want to enlarge these pictures to get a better look at the costumes. While you've got the pictures enlarged, let's play a Rondy version of "Where's Waldo." Can you find the Easter bunny, people dressed like Pamplona bull runners, an anti-drugs sign, and Santa?

The deer are catching up with the men's group.

The women's group is waiting to start while watching the men run.

The deer are moved back in position for the start of another race.

The deer have caught up with this group and are right in the middle of the crowd already!

The couples and groups' race has just begun. THIS is where the really silly costumes were. Let's play "Where's Waldo" again... Can you find a package of french fries?

Can you find Sully from Monsters Inc, two bunches of grapes, an American flag shirt, and some Vikings?

How about Santa, some guys in red long johns, and and a guy in a pink skirt? The pink t-shirted women are The Happy Hoofers. And the stars of the show, the reindeer, are coming through the crowd, coincidentally in front of Santa. As it should be.

The butterfly group is coming through!

Run, people! Run! Those deer are way in front of you! Enlarge this one at your own risk, though. A group wearing fake bottoms was running, too. Pretty realistic from a distance...

After the group race, we bid our goodbyes to start home to pick up the dogs before the kennel closed. We were able to get a few street-level pictures of the racers as the free-for-all started. Chefs wearing sausage neckties, and a caveman:

The free-for-all has started! That guy in drag is about to catch up to the Viking.

Run, Sully! There's another Viking behind you!

That ballerina seems to be in no hurry...

And the deer catch up with the crowd!

I really had a great time all weekend, but this was the best part of the weekend for me.

Stay tuned for the next post, in which Jane runs with the Reindeer!

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