BOISE -- The 37th running of the Race to Robie Creek happens at 12 p.m. on Saturday. The half marathon is a Boise tradition, and known as one of the toughest races in the Northwest.

The course in nearly all uphill, and runners often have to deal with mud and snow for miles.

Not this year. KTVB drove the 13 miles from Fort Boise Park, over Aldape Summit and to Robie Creek Park. We're excited to report almost no snow and very little mud throughout the grueling stretch of dirt road.

Watch the time lapse video of the course:

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New for 2014, more than 2,400 runners have signed up, which represents the max number organizers allow to register.

Brian Rencher is a committee member for the Race to Robie Creek. He remembers back in the 1970s when just a handful of men and one woman made the trek.

Those early years ... It was a pot luck affair at the finish too, bring your own main course. Rencher remembered with a smile.

He says even though the spirit of the race hasn't changed since then, the logistics have.

With thousands racing, the finish line turns into a crowded impasse with buses transporting runners down the hill. Medic stations pop up to treat the sick and wounded. Spectators flock to the grassy lawns of Robie Creek park to greet legions of athletes with early-season sunburn.

Despite those challenges, there's also a whole lot more runners completing the race these days, and a whole lot of smiles crossing the finish line.

Joel Madril is one of the athletes who plans to compete in the thronging masses on Saturday. We found Madril out for a training run on Shaw Mountain Road. He's running 11 miles today, training for his fifth running of the Race to Robie Creek.

The run is a special one for Madril. That's because this is the second year in a row that he's competed with only one kidney.

I'm doing it just to prove to my little brother that donating a kidney is no big issue, and I'm still out here running, Madril told KTVB.

They say long distance running is about mind over matter. For Joel Madril that's certainly the case.

Just listen to the sound of my feet and the way I breath, and listen to the birds. That's all I'm thinking about, Madril told KTVB.

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