BOISE - Rainy, chilly weather didn't deter more than a thousand runners from participating in the inaugural Onward Shay! Boise Marathon and Half Marathon Sunday afternoon.
The race, which stretched along the Boise Greenbelt, through downtown and into the city's historic North End, was certified as a Boston Marathon qualifier.
It was named in honor of Boise native Shay Hirsch, a competitive runner and marathoner who died of cancer in 2014. Hirsch was well-known and much-loved by many in the running community.
"Shay had this really unique spirit," said Bill Rodgers, a marathoner and friend of Shay. "She was a very giving person, very unique, special person. And everyone really cared about her."
The race was envisioned as a legacy for Hirsch, "because nothing could stop Shay," Rodgers said. "Despite going through tough treatments, she would always say 'onward!'"
The event drew many professional runners to Boise this weekend, and according to organizers, was the first time that six major shoe companies - New Balance, Saucony, Brooks, Asics, Adidas and Mizuno - joined together to support a new marathon.
KTVB was also a proud sponsor of the race.
Despite many racers coming from out of state, Idahoans did well. The winners of the half marathon were from the Gem State. Regan Badger, of Meridian, was the top female runner with a time of 1:23:12, while Sam Krieg, of Pocatello, finished first among the men with a time of 1:21:36. In the full marathon, Rachel Thesing, of Meridian took first with a time of 3:36:43, while Sean Linder of Spokane, Wash., was the top men's finisher with a time of 2:44:43.
All proceeds from the full and half marathons will go to the Women's and Children's Alliance, where Shay was a director in the 1980s.