The 34th annual Frostbite run features a variety of races: a half-marathon, a 10K and a 5K. 

While the community event begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 2, the post-race party will begin at noon. However, the race will not hold true to its chilly name since the weather is expected to be sunny and ideal for running.

Brad Jones and Wes Gordon, the coordinators of the race, partner with the Greater Starkville Development Partnership to organize the event.

Gordon, a Golden Triangle native, describes the event as a "Starkville staple." Before he and Jones were in charge of the race, it began in Pheba and ended at the Oktibbeha County Hospital.

Once Gordon and Jones took over the race, they decided to move the route closer to the city and campus in order to make it a more community-centered event. This mentality has proven true.

Now the route stretches from the city, through the Cotton District, into the historical area of the town and into MSU’s south farm. The races begin and end at the heart of Starkville’s downtown area.

The route has received great feedback, and Gordon does not foresee a change in the future, as the race is now an officially certified U.S. track and field half marathon course.

Gordon said he enjoys the family atmosphere of the event.

"It’s going to be lots of fun for every part of the family, whether one's running or not. Music, food, and vendors will be available," Gordon said. "I want to see all types of people out there having a good time."

Esther Sanders, local marathoner, has run the Frostbite for about four years now. For Sanders and her seven daughters, the event is most definitely a family affair.

"The event is well-organized and well-run. I love downtown, and it’s so fun to see the town come alive with the runners," Sanders said. "The reason we do it more than anything else is that two of our girls are at MSU right now, and it makes for a great outdoor family event."

Sanders will run the half-marathon with her four oldest daughters, and the three youngest will run the 5K.

To encourage the family atmosphere, strollers are allowed during the race.

Fees to participate include $70 for the half-marathon, $50 for the 10K and $35 for the 5K.

Included in the fee is a t-shirt, glow tube, fanny pack, entry to the all-you-can-eat Souper Bowl and a sample of Umble coffee grounds. Additionally, a portion of this year’s proceeds will be donated to United Way.

Medals will be awarded to half-marathon participants.

Approximately 500 people are currently signed up. Participants are encouraged to register before the deadline, but can register the morning of the race with an additional fee.

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