Frosty Half Marathon in Scranton

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Runners were brightly bundled for this year's half marathon in Scranton.   The sub-freezing temperatures were no match for tradition.

"Very cold, it's hard for me to talk because my lips are numb," said Amy Feldman of Shavertown. "As cold as it is and as much as we complain about it, we do it every year, and it just wouldn't be that same not doing it."

People cheering along the race route came prepared for the frigid weather, too.

"Made sure that we had lots of layers on. We brought blankets. We brought our heavy coats. We brought hats," said Beth Dorton of Harding.

Paul Shaffer of West Pittston didn't completely cover up in the cold for the race, but he did it for a cause.

"I wear a purple kilt for Alzheimer's disease. My father has it really bad, so it's just a way for me to, if anybody that asks why are you wearing a kilt, I'm wearing for my dad," Shaffer said.

Doctors on hand from Geisinger at the half marathon tell Newswatch 16 it's important for the runners to get warm and hydrated after running in these cold temperatures.

"We offer them blankets here to warm up and start hydrating right away. We also have a warming tent here so they can get warm if they're really cold," said Dr. Saul Rigau.

Heidi Peoples of South Abington Township was the first woman to finish the race, on her birthday nonetheless.

Peoples and other runners say the weather presented a challenge beyond the 13.1 mile run.

"I don't like running in the cold. So for me, with the wind a little bit at the end, I was feeling that," Peoples said.

"The last three miles I was holding on for dear life. At the end I was dying, but then I hung on," said Alex Conniff of Scranton.

But in the end, Conniff says it was well worth it.

"It was a great day and I'm proud of everyone that ran and everyone that finished," Conniff said.

Officials tell Newswatch 16 more than 2,000 runners participated in this year's half marathon. No serious injuries were reported at the race. Some runners we spoke with said the cold was fine, once they got their bodies moving.

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