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BOISE -- Thousands upon thousands of women might have enjoyed a well-earned few hours on the couch after participating in the St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration Saturday morning.

It was a great time, and this year the weather made up for last year's downpour.

The Women's Fitness Challenge is awesome, said one participant.

Celebrating fun and fitness

The Celebration was full of participants like this, all getting outside on a Saturday morning to dance, sing and celebrate fitness.

This is the 17th year for the St. Lukes Women's Fitness Celebration, said Tanda Weeks, the race director. We're about 12,000 strong every year.

This is nice, said another participant. A lot of women getting together and doing something that has no commercial reason. They're just doing it for the pleasure of getting out and sharing and being women together.

It was a sentiment that many of the women on the course shared.

We've found that girlfriends getting together was so much fun, said one woman.

You know, I can plan the logistics, Weeks said. I can make sure that the women can get from point A to point B safely but I can't inspire this kind of spirit on my own. This is something the ladies take with themselves and really decide 'Hey, let's wear crazy boas today. Let's be bright. Let's sing songs while we're running on the course.? It's something that is truly, truly unique to Idaho.? Many times we have three or four generations of women out here enjoying this race.

One group of women started ticking off their generational list.

Grandmother, granddaughter, sister, aunt, nieces, said one participant as she pointed out her family.

We've had participants come in from every state in the nation, Weeks said.

Dressed in purple fedora hats and boas, one group came together for the Celebration from all over.

My daughter and granddaughter live here in Idaho, this daughter lives in California and I live in Hawaii.

We like to promote fitness, Weeks said.

Some participants were glad to be a part of the Celebration, but happy when the course was over.

I like the end, really like the end, said one girl. I was so tired.

And with the theme of Shine Out Loud, participants got the chance to show off their style, hang out with family and friends and celebrate.

We promote laughter, we promote family, friends, Weeks said. We promote celebrating what you can do. There are tons of races around this country. This is not a race, it's a celebration. 12,000 women shined out loud today.

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