More than 1,200 people turned out in downtown Boise Sunday morning for the second annual Onward Shay! Boise Marathon, featuring races of 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon.

"Current and former Olympic runners participating today and loads of local people and a lot of people from all over the country here," event director Keith Hughes said.

The marathon draws so many for different reasons. Some run because it's a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, others run for fun.

"It's a really, really awesome, empowering thing," Sophie Croome, who ran her first marathon Sunday, said. "Just the journey as a whole and I'm excited to finish it off."

Croome, 19, trained for 16 weeks. She had a goal to run a marathon before she turned 20.

"Anyone can do it," she said. "It's just something where if you follow the training plan and set your mind to it, it's something anyone can do. It just takes patience and practice and determination and supportive people around you to encourage you."

Corey Magee came to Boise from Pocatello to run the half marathon. He ran it last year and encourages others to give it a shot, even if you're not an avid runner.

"Go try it," he said. "Even if you think you're not going to make it, even if you have to walk, just go try it. You're going to love it. It's exciting. I love it."

Some people participated in Onward Shay! to support the cause.

"Onward Shay! is named in honor of Shay Hirsch who is a local Boise resident, a very big runner, and when she passed away from cancer. her friends decided to do a race in her honor," Hughes said. "We're here to benefit her favorite charities here in the local Boise community."

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