Warmer temps draw mid-Missourians outside

M-U student Benjamin Sullivan jogs in shorts Saturday in 30-degree temperatures.

With temperatures over 30 degrees, children and adults alike got the opportunity to get out of the house and play outdoors Saturday.

In Jefferson City, many families broke out their sleds and headed to the nearest hill. At least four dozen people were sledding on a hill at the Cathedral of St. Joseph Saturday afternoon.

"It's been a blast," said David Taley, who came out to go sledding with his friends. "I've only gone down a couple times, but we're trying to avoid the manhole covers down there and avoid injuring ourselves in a major way," Taley laughed.

Others said a week of sub-zero temperatures has given them a new idea of what "cold" means. "It feels like Florida right now because it's 30 degrees warmer than it was yesterday at this time," said Jim Kemma.

In Columbia, many of the streets were adorned with runners and joggers catching a breath of fresh air. Surprisingly, several of them were wearing shorts. "For the last couple days, we've been stuck in the Mizzou rec center," said University of Missouri student Benjamin Sullivan. "Today was the first day that the roads have been plowed around campus, so we had to get out and do our run," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he wore shorts to help him regulate his body temperature. He said he is training for a marathon that he will participate in several months from now.

If it weren't for the persistant efforts of the Columbia Department of Public Works, Sullivan said, he wouldn't be able to continue his training in a timely fashion.

"I'm hoping it warms up at the end of February and that we get an early Spring," Kemna said. "Although right now, I don't think the groundhog is offering us a lot of hope."