BOISE -- Thousands of runners, joggers and walkers set out to defeat what's been dubbed 'The Toughest Half-Marathon in the Northwest.’
Everyone has their own reason to race Robie Creek.
Before the start of the event, KTVB talked with people that were racing for somebody else and ones that were looking for a personal best. But the most common reason found for struggling up the steep incline seemed to be: just because.
Ken Karcher was running Robie Creek for his seventh or eighth time - he can't remember which. His reason for running the race was simple.
“I'm crazy,” Karcher said. “I hate it. I don't know. Most people are the same way I think.”
At 81 years young, he planned on mostly running. Karcher said he doesn’t know why he keeps doing the event despite his hatred.
“Runners don't know the answer to that," Karcher said.
From one of the oldest runners to one of the youngest.
Kenny Gunning, 14, is running for his first time. He knew what to expect from the race.
“Pain,” Gunning said. “Lots of pain.”
Gunning runs cross country at school, but has never competed at this distance. He's running because his dad does, and he wants to be like him.
"For pride, for glory, that kind of thing," said Gunning. "It's about crossing the finish line.”
For Team Malice it's about fun.
"We don't really know what to expect so we're just kind of, we just kind of want to go at this and have an adventure," said Mary Corrick.
Malice is the combination of their first names, Mary and Alice.
Even though they're on the same team, there was still competition.
"I'm planning on tripping her at the last minute,” Corrick said.
Eric Zinn was running for his third time.
"I just like to get better records, see if I can beat myself, and it's fun,” Zinn said. “It's a challenge.”
Zinn was sporting the Superman insignia to stay motivated.
"It's don't stop,” he said. “So Superman never stops. I got it on my wrist too.”
Some racers were motivated to run for a friend fighting cancer.
"We are the Robie Creek 'Lou'natics, and we are running this in honor of our friend Lou Russell who has been fighting colon cancer," said Melanie McLaughlin.
Only a handful in the 'Lou'natics group had ever run the race - the rest were in for a surprise.
"You've got to be a little bit of a lunatic to run this race in the first place," McLaughlin said.
Other racers were motivated by what was beyond the finish line.
"People say it's the beer at the end, but it hurts too much to drink the beer at the end, so I don't know," said Timothy Birch. "Why do this? I don't know. I ask that question everyday. I really don't know why."
While the reasons to run varied and some didn’t have a reason at all, just crossing the finish line might have been reason enough to tackle Robie Creek.