ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

An estimated 5,000 people hit the pavement Saturday morning in a 5k run or walk for the 35th annual Alaska Heart Run.

"Right now, we're at $230,000 and counting” said Heart Run Director Lisa Sauder. “That does not include any of the registrations that came in [Saturday] or [Friday night] at bib pick up and registration."

Sauder says this is the most money ever raised in the race’s history.

The blustery spring conditions didn't stop thousands from gathering in the U-Med district to race along the UAA and Alaska Pacific University campuses.

"I like running a lot myself and to see that happen to other people who enjoy the same thing is terrible and it's good to support them," said Fischer Knapp.

Knapp wore a shirt “Alaska Runners for Boston” that he purchased from Skinny Raven Sports.

Many ran for a cause - whether it was for a loved one taken by heart disease or stroke - or for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this month.

A team of 159 runners, called “Joe's Army” raised $15,000 alone.  Joe Hebert lost his battle with a rare heart condition last December.

"We realize this is not just an old person's disease," said Joe’s mother Sherran. "This can hit anybody, and it can hit somebody as young as 32, that you wouldn't expect."


Contact Adam Pinsker