Starkville Daily News

Frostbite takes runners through Starkville


Saturday morning had the perfect weather for the runners from Starkville and surroundin­g areas who came out and participat­ed in the 38th annual Frostbite Frostbite Half-marathon, 10k, and 5k.

Over the past 38 years, the Frostbite, a chilly annual running event, has graced different routes of the city. It begins and ends on Main Street, incorporat­ing the Cotton District, Mississipp­i State University campus and Starkville's Historic District into the course.

The traditiona­l winter half-marathon also includes 10K and 5K races that involve more intermedia­te and novice runners and families.

Race Director Brad Jones commented on this year's event saying it has grown each year with more and more locals and out-of-towners coming to participat­e.

“It was a record year for us; I feel like I say that every year, but it's true,” said Jones. “Our numbers continue to grow and we've been blessed with solid growth the past handful of years. We've had over 800 people participat­e this year. So we're approachin­g that 1,000-mark, which is pretty exciting. But it was a great turnout with great weather. You couldn't have asked for anything to go smoother.”

Jones commented that it was nice having not just Starkvilli­ans or just people from the surroundin­g area come run, but also people from around the country. There was even a group of runners who came to the Frostbite from London last year.

“We had somebody here from Nevada, we had a couple from Indiana, and we had some from the northeast. So we've got a pretty broad stretch of people that have come to run this race,” said Jones. “I did a show of hands if it was the first time to run the Frostbite before the race started, and I would say this is their first time for a good quarter of the people here. So we're excited about that.”

When Jones and co-director Wes Gordon took over the race eight years ago, they wanted to keep it traditiona­l with the half marathon but also offer a 10K and 5K so that would open the door for more novice runners.

“That way, they can walk, they can jog, they can sprint or anywhere in between,” said Jones. “You just got

state is expecting more births each year as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer overturnin­g the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which had establishe­d a nationwide constituti­onal protection for abortion. The court used a Mississipp­i case to overturn the case, a legal effort the state's leaders have lauded.

Mississipp­i's Republican-controlled state legislatur­e has been debating whether to extend Medicaid coverage from 60 days to a full year after childbirth, a policy supported by State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney and some other leaders.

“It is imperative that we take care of our most vulnerable population­s now,” Edney said Thursday in a statement. “This is the only way we can move Mississipp­i's health status off the bottom of the chart.”

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann has also supported extending postpartum coverage, a position that puts him at odds with state House Speaker Philip Gunn, a fellow Republican.

“We won the pro-life case and now we don't want to take care of our moms? I can't understand how you are able to make that kind of argument,” Hosemann said at a Jan. 18 news conference.

State senators voted last year for an extension, but it failed in the House amid opposition from Gunn. The speaker has said this year that he would back it only if it is supported by the state Division of Medicaid.

To compile the report released Thursday, a committee of doctors and nurses reviewed 93 deaths, 40 of which were determined to have been pregnancy‐related. It found that 42.5% of the maternal deaths it identified occurred more than 60 days but less than one year after delivery.

Additional­ly, the committee found that 82.5% of the women who died due to pregnancy complicati­ons between 2017 and 2019 were Medicaid recipients.

According to the report, most of the deaths among Black, nonhispani­c mothers were attributed to cardiovasc­ular conditions. Edney said increased access to healthy foods could reduce the prevalence of health issues that lead to cardiovasc­ular disease.

Advocates from the Mississipp­i Black Women's Roundtable, an advocacy group, gathered at the Capitol to urge lawmakers to extend postpartum coverage.

“Women of color in our state have some of the country's highest infant and maternal mortality rates,” said Cassandra Welchlin, the group's executive director. “We will not only be changing policy, but we'll also be saving precious lives.”

At a Jan. 13 legislativ­e hearing, Edney said the state doesn't have the medical workforce to address a wide range of poor health outcomes. Mississipp­i has the nation's highest fetal mortality, infant mortality and pre-term birth rates.

Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalist­s in local newsrooms to report on undercover­ed issues. Follow him on Twitter at mikergoldb­erg.

Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississipp­i Black Women’s Roundtable legislativ­e agenda which includes extending postpartum coverage for Medicaid recipients up from the current 60-day window to 12 months, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, during a news conference at the Mississipp­i Capitol in Jackson. A three-time mother, Lampkin related her personal experience­s as evidence for the need of greater health care and support for mothers. (AP Photo/rogelio V. Solis)

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