Former astronaut Oefelein leads reindeer run

Now Bill Oefelein, Alaska's first astronaut, is back home and ready to run with the reindeer.

The former space shuttle pilot plans to launch the second-annual Fur Rondy event alongside a herd of local celebrities Sunday in downtown Anchorage.

"My job is to stay ahead of the reindeer. Or at least stay ahead of the slowest person in my group," Oefelein said in a phone interview this week from Southern California, where he said he's working for the National Test Pilot School.

Pitched by KWHL radio hosts Bob Lester and Mark Colavecchio, last year's raucous inaugural Running of the Reindeer ignited new interested in the flagging Rondy celebration.

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