NU Online News Service, Feb. 10, 2005, 12:12 p.m. EST

A unit of Minnesota Life Insurance Company, St. Paul, Minn., says warm weather improved participation at a race it sponsored in its hometown earlier this month.[@@]

The race, the Securian Frozen 5K and Half Marathon, attracted 1,996 runners to the event. A year ago, the wind chill index was 7 degrees below 0, and only about 1,700 runners showed up, according to Securian Financial Group, Minnesota Life’s distribution affiliate.

The event is part of St. Paul’s Winter Carnival. Minnesota Life has been participating in the Winter Carnival since 1938, and it began sponsoring the marathon 10 years ago.