Thousands will join some of the biggest names in marathon running for the first Onward Shay! Marathon on October 30th. It's a marathon that is just as much about love for a lost partner as it is about running.
Shay Hirsch spent her entire life in the Treasure Valley. She loved the city of Boise and spent most of her time running or training for marathons. When people thought of Shay two things came to mind: running and giving back.
"A really fitting tribute for Shay. This is about as perfect as it could be," George Hirsch, Shay's husband said.
Shay was a graduate of Boise High School back in 1965, she was a grandmother, mother, and loving wife.
"She was a beautiful woman, but beautiful in the full sense of the word," Hirsch said.
Shay also battled myeloma, a type of blood cancer. She went through two stem cell transplants and spent hundreds of days in the hospital.
"If you walked into her hospital room the first thing she'd be asking is 'Oh gee did you change your hair?' It was always about the other person," Hirsch said.
In February of 2014, Shay lost her 11-year battle against the disease. Betsy Luce and Jan Bastian, two of Shay's running partners, thought there wouldn't be any better way to honor their friend than with a marathon.
"She would have loved to see this in Boise. If anything had her name on it. This would have been OK," Luce said.
In keeping shay on their minds, the Onward Shay! Marathon will give 100 percent of its proceeds to a number of charities, from the YMCA, the Women's and Children's Alliance, to the Girl Scouts.
"That would warm Shay's heart knowing that charities are going to benefit from this race," Hirsch said.
All a tribute to who Shay was as a person.
"I think she's going to look down on this event and she's going to be smiling," Hirsch said.
Those interested in running the race can clickhere for more information.