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Elf Without Jingles

Yes, Fairbanks, there was a Santa Claus Half-Marathon

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Elf Without Jingles

Yes, Fairbanks, there was a Santa Claus Half-Marathon

by Danny Martin, Fairbanks, Alaska News-Miner | Posted: 08-07-2017

EXCERPT:

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA --- More than 150 people crossed the finish line at the annual Santa Claus Half-Marathon on Saturday morning.

It was far beyond chief race organizer Ron Oliver's expectations for this 24th annual edition of the 13.1-mile race that started and finished at the Chena Lakes Recreation Area in North Pole.

Japheth Ng'ojoy, from Fort Wainwright, and Dayva Flaharty, a former West Valley High School and University of Alaska Anchorage runner, won the respective overall men's and women's championships in the event that had been canceled earlier in July due to a lack of race management.

Bobbi Jo Katchmar, Usibelli Series liaison for Running Club North, had announced in a press release on July 11th that the race would return next year. However, the 158 participants who crossed that finish line on Saturday didn't have to wait for all that long.

By July 21st, the Santa Claus Half-Marathon was back on, and Ron Oliver, with Team RWB (Red, White & Blue), was announced as race director. Team RWB is a service organization which connects military veterans to the community through social and physical activities.

Reviving the 24th Annual Half-Marathon was indicative of the support of the Fairbanks and North Pole communities.

"It's just part of this community. Everybody steps up when something starts to fall through," said Flaharty, shortly after crossing the finish line in 1 hour, 35 minutes and 14.4 seconds. "So I'm really glad that it was back on. A lot of people just showed up, and that just shows you how this community deserves a ton of credit."

Oliver said he would have been happier if maybe 60 or 70 people had shown up for the race "based on short notice and already having been canceled." "It's one of my favorite races, and I've run it about [two] times," he said. "It just seems to be a really popular race in the North Pole area, so everybody wanted to see it happen."

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SCSanta

Me (to my daughter just yesterday): "Sarah...I did a marathon last week."

My daughter: "That's great Dad, what was your time?"

Me: "I told you...a week"

True story! I actually did 32 miles last week and 30 miles the week before. Not any record breaking time since they were both spaced out over 6 days, but when you consider I had a cane in my truck and another one at my office only a year ago "just in case" I'm kind of happy about 30+ miles in a week. (I have 10 miles logged so far this week!)

 

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