NORTH POLE-If you wanted to have fun for a good cause while competing then the Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K was for you. This morning at Santa Claus house in North Pole a few hundred people by my estimation came out to enjoy the sun and festivities for the 5K which helps the Arthritis Foundation. They had free hotdogs too.
If you're ever in North Pole you have to see the man-Santa Claus. There were a few of them dressed as Mr. Kringle but there's nothing like the real thing as he was mingling, taking pictures and calling the start of the race.
There was a kids'1K, Zumba, even a costume contest. Spiderman was there and a Unicorn boy from Indiana. Love was in the air. Corey and Ashley Felker got married today. Corey is in the 321 Infantry Unit and Ashley is from North Pole and in the Air Force. They ran the 5K together before they tied the knot. This year's race honoree was Madison Hrinko who suffers from juvenile arthritis.
For the race it was all Enoch Porter. The Lathrop cross country runner made his move to the front after the first mile and he cruised widening the gap between himself and the field. He finished in 18:50. Hometown favorite Christi Schmitz, the former UAA runner, defends her Jingle Bell women's title finishing second in a little over 19 minutes. Porter accomplished a big personal feat today.
"It was pretty good. I live around here so this is usually where I run so I mean I was kinda used to the trails and I think that helped. And it's the first race I've ever won so I'm pretty happy about that," Porter said.
"After the first initial part people started to fall back a little bit and that's when I went for it because I felt good then but a little further and I didn't feel so good," Schmitz said.
Both of the winners were pleased with the turnout for a 5K that supports a cause like fighting arthritis.
"This one is pretty cool because it supports the arthritis foundation so that's one of the main reasons I wanted to come out and it's fun because it's in North Pole my home town. It's pretty fun," Schmitz said.
"It was great to see all the people out I wasn't expecting so many people," Porter said. "I think it's great what they're doing and I'll definitely be back to run again next year."