The cold weather is setting in but that's not stopping some locals from staying fit this winter season. The Stevens Point YMCA held its appropriately named 38th Annual Frost Bite Road Race.
More than 550 people with frosted eyelashes and icicles hanging from their hats braved the cold weather and ran around the Stevens Point area. Participants of all abilities and ages had the choice of running or walking five or ten miles. They could either run competitively or just do it for fun.
At the start of the race, the temperature outside was at exactly zero degrees. Runners said the cold air made it difficult to breathe. Those without face coverings said their faces were numb. Despite these chilling factors, two runners new to the Frost Bite race, Lily Dettle and Jessica Becker said they were able to make new personal records. They said the race was fun and would definitely do it again next year.
Some people at the race are Frost Bite veterans and make the event a tradition. Dennis Kaehny and his group of friends have come every year for more than 30 years simply because they love to run.
"It's all this exercise," said Kaehny, "if you do it after work and you're stressed, just like a four mile little jog. You don't have to go fast. It just wipes the stress out of you really nice and gets your thoughts together for the rest of the day. It's just what we do."
Kaehny can't run anymore, but he encouraged others to get active and stay healthy. He's not the only one pushing people to keep active during the holidays. Race Director Brandy Hankey said lack of exercise especially during the winter season can of course cause weight gain and loss of endurance and physical ability, but it can also cause depression. She said if you're waiting until New Years to make a lifestyle change and get healthy to stop waiting and start moving. If running is not your thing or if you want to stay inside, Hankey also suggested heading to a gym, like The Y, signing up for classes, using the equipment, or even finding work outs to do at home.
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