NORTH POLE, AK-The North Pole Jingle Bell Run and Walk for Arthritis started just after 10 a.m. Saturday at the Santa Claus House in North Pole. Current state representative, and former North Pole Mayor Doug Issacson was there with Ol' Saint Nick.
Over five hundred people participated in the 5K with proceeds supporting the programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation.
Jacob Parker, who won the Run From the Cops 5-K last Saturday, was the first through the chute for the men. Pushing him, former North Pole High and current UAA standout Christy Schmitz finished second and was first for the women. It was smoky Saturday but people endured it for a good cause.
"It's fun to see familiar faces all over this race and people who came up from other states too to support," Schmitz said.
Parker talks about his run and how Schmitz was a factor.
"I took off real fast and then the girl who won it she was right behind me the entire time; helped me push me through those last couple of miles," Parker said. "She was right there with me the entire time so yeah she surprised me a little bit."