Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run goes virtual, tries to break world record

Published: Dec. 12, 2020 at 3:48 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The annual Jingle Bell Run has turned virtual this year because of the pandemic, and organizers are trying to break a world record.

Lori McKnight, the Arthritis Foundation associate director for Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, said the run has been going on for more than 35 years. It aims to bring awareness to the 54 million Americans that have arthritis, and the 300,000 children, as well as to help people understand the disease.

“It’s not just a disease that your grandma got when her knuckles got big or her knees got swollen,” McKnight said. “Juvenile arthritis for kiddos is an autoimmune disease, and it affects every part of their body. So, it’s not just their joints, it can affect their heart and their lungs and dental issues. And unfortunately, a lot of people can have issues with their eyesight as well.”

This year, organizers are trying to break a Guinness Book of World Records for the largest remote 5K in 24 hours. So far 13,000 people are signed up nationally, and McKnight thinks it is enough.

“Guinness doesn’t really tell you a lot of details, but it looks like we need to at least have 7,000 people participate in order to take that title of the world record.”

She thinks if the people who have signed up record their run in the app, then the Arthritis Foundation should take the title.

If you want to be a part of the world record, the deadline is fast approaching. You need to sign up for and complete the 5K by 8 a.m. Alaska time Sunday, December 13.

If you just want to get the goodies, like a Jingle Bell run shirt, McKnight said the deadline is Sunday Night.

If you want to just have fun and donate to the cause, that can be done through the rest of December.

Sign-ups for the Anchorage race and donations to the cause can be done at the Arthritis Foundation’s website.

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