BOISE -- The St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration came to a fabulous finish Saturday in Boise, as thousands of women came together with their mothers, daughters, and friends to dance, cheer, run, walk and celebrate a healthy, active lifestyle.
Starting in front of the Capitol, the 5K run, walk, and stroll looked a lot more like a party in the middle of the street for thousands of women.
"It's just beautiful," said Anne Audain, a former international athlete, who founded the Celebration 19 years ago. "I walked into Mayor Cole's office, and said, 'Mayor, I've got an idea for this city, and one of these days, it's going to be the biggest in the nation.' And, it is."
Did you Celebrate? Check out our finish line camera!
She added that she's not surprised by the incredible size and success of her brainchild, and said it's making a real fitness difference for local women.
"They just keep coming up to me and thanking me, for what this has done in their lives," Audain said.
Some of those women were Cathy, Loran, and Mary Jensen, three generations who were running and walking on Saturday.
"She was three months old when we first came," said Mary talking about her 8-year-old daughter, Loran. "It's just something we've enjoyed doing together every single year. I think a lot of people have a mental block, like, 'Exercising is so difficult, and it's hard to get the kids to do it.' But, when there's events like this that are really fun and really exciting, you don't even know that you're exercising."
Show us how you Celebrated! Share your pictures and videos in our First Person section.
Jan and Tanya Lawson joined the Celebration as well. The mother and daughter pair are also nurses and know the value of exercise.
"It's good to reduce stress, and for your blood pressure," said Tanya Lawson. "I mean, it doesn't take very much."
"After I had my knees replaced, then I walked every day, and began to lose weight, and dieting," said Jan Lawson. "But walking really helped."
Check out slideshows from the starting line and the finish line party right here!
"I think we can do the same things men can do nowadays," said Marsha Abela, the leader of Guard Idaho, a team of troops and troop families. "It's a time for us to get together and run as women, to show our support for the military, and just everybody, all women around the world."
"It's amazing how many people thank us for what our firefighters do," said Bridgit Downing, leader of the Women of Wildfire Team. "It's a pretty proud moment for us. We celebrate our friends. We celebrate what we do for a living. We celebrate our health."
"I understood what the empowerment was for every woman to stand on a starting line, and cross the finish line," said Audain. "No matter how long it took them, there's something empowering about that. It gives them their self esteem, and that's what this is all about. Fitness should not be hard, it should be a way of life."