BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One word could be used to describe this year's Louisiana Marathon: cold.
Runners started the race with freezing temperatures in the twenties. But that didn't stop many athletes from lacing up.
Brandi Wicks posted a personal best in the half marathon.
"Running just does a lot mentally also," Wicks said. "It kind of relieves stress and just puts you in a better mood."
Wicks, a local nurse, has lost forty pounds since she started her running. She said she used to run out of breath just walking across a mall but this morning, she completed her third half.
"I was overweight, and I feel like as a practitioner I would often teach diet and exercise, and I felt it in my life, so my neighbor introduced me to running marathons and I lost weight and been running ever since," Wicks said.
Unlike Wicks though, many runners pulled a no-show. Race Director Johnathan Dziuba says many runners decided to stay home.
"Definitely scared a lot of people off, we had a lot more people registered than showed up, so there's plenty of people that woke up and saw how cold it was and decided to roll back over and go to sleep," Dziuba said.
Ironically, Dzuiba says those runners made a big mistake because cold temperatures actually lead to fast times.
"Your body has to keep itself cool while you're working out and exercising so if it doesn't have to work as hard to keep itself cool, there's more energy to give to the muscles, more energy to give to the breathing, so you run faster," Dzuiba said.
Still, Dzuiba says the race still attracted many runners from across the country, at least 47 different states.
And the cold weather helped the community as well... any clothing that runners got rid of on the race course was donated to Louisiana homeless shelters.
Defending champion Ryan Schafbuch was the winner on the men's side, posting a time of 2:36:31. The leading woman was Andre Linck, who ran the race in 3:00:02. Drew Nesbitt was the leading man in the half marathon, at 1:12:15. Angela Pequeno won the women's race in 1:24:17.
To see full race results, click here.