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Runners charge down Fourth Street in downtown Baton Rouge during the Louisiana Marathon. This year's race and surrounding activities run Friday-Sunday.


Ever since the first Louisiana Marathon was held in 2011, Baton Rouge runners have been relatively lucky when it comes to weather conditions.

For five consecutive years it was cool but not too cold and with clear skies.

Last year was a little warmer at 61 degrees at the start time — in the middle of the warmest winter on record for the city — but still runnable.

The 2018 Louisiana Marathon proposes a new wrinkle for long-distance runners to consider this weekend with what is projected to be the coldest conditions in the event’s seven-year history.

According to a tweet from WBRZ Chief Meteorologist Josh Eachus on Friday, the forecast for Saturday will be about 30  at 8 a.m. when the Louisiana Quarter Marathon & 5K presented by The Advocate is set to kick off with temperatures warming up to 42 by noon.

Runners in the full and half marathons on Sunday will have even colder conditions with it forecast to be 26 at the start of the races.

Clear skies are forecast both days..

Previously the coldest race was the event’s inaugural running in 2012 at 33.

Event organizers aren’t concerned with the temperature drop, though, saying it should make for a good race.

The main factor is that it should be a dry day.

“It’ll be about 10 degrees cooler, which is great for long-distance runners, and then it will warm up,” said Danny Bourgeois, director of marketing for the Louisiana Marathon. “It’s very similar to our last six years, so we really lucked out.”

For those not accustomed to frigid runs, the key is to dress for the conditions.

To combat colder temperatures, Maine Track Club president Mark Grandonico told Runner’s World Magazine in a 2016 article, “The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer. You should be slightly cool when you start.”

The article also suggests for 30-degree weather, runner’s should wear a long sleeve shirt and a vest to keep the body core warm.

Kat Currier, a sales representative for local run shop Varsity Sports, said she plans on wearing tights, arm warmers and probably a pullover for Sunday’s full marathon.

This will be the fifth time she’s participated in the event, running the full marathon four years ago and the half every other year.

“I think (the weather) is a huge factor just because we’re used to training in moderate temperatures pretty much the whole season,” Currier said. “While this winter has been pretty cold, we were still expecting Louisiana weather and high humidity, even though it was chillier. I think it plays a huge role on our minds, too.”

Follow Mike Gegenheimer on Twitter, @Mike_Gegs.