Runners take on Magnolia Marathon and Half Marathon

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -- Despite the wind chills runners locally and out of state set out to finish the Magnolia Marathon and Half Marathon. The organization hosted its 5th annual event where many people accomplished their goals.

Melanie Hildebrandt finished first and set a new record in the women's full marathon division.

"I was really impressed with how well this was out together. I thought everybody was really friendly and really nice. It was a really tough course but obviously a lot of planning went into it," said Hildebrandt.

Hildebrandt as a runner she had to mentally prepare herself for the course.

"The first part going through downtown was neat. A lot of it was country road which wasn't too bad. Mile 20 to the end was kind of slow and steady uphill. That was brutal but it was good," said Hildebrandt.

Laird Malamed completed the 26.2 mile marathon and placed third. Malamed and the other runners who placed collected their awards. Each runner took home hand crafted medallions from a Magnolia tree.

"When I put it up against my collection of "too many medals", as my wife would say. This one will stand out," said Malamed.

Malamed when he returns to his home state he will take a little of Mississippi

"I wish the symphony was here, I would have gone to see that. Otherwise I got a sense of the vibe. Everyone was super nice. I shopped at the Winn Dixie. I felt like I was having a real experience," said Malamed.