Thousands of determined runners from across Idaho and surrounding states, met at Fort Boise Saturday for the well-known Race to Robie Creek.
The 37 year Boise tradition has grown a reputation for being the “toughest race in the northwest”.
"You can't really call yourself a runner in the Boise area unless you've done this! It's got that kind of reputation," one runner said.
The race starts near Fort Boise with live music, where runners can meet up with friends and take pictures. Some use the occasion as a chance to dress in costume.
"It’s beautiful and all of the energy of the people around, it's absolutely amazing,” third time returning racer Christine Avey said. “It's a fun, fun race."
And although it may be fun, it’s earned the reputation of the toughest half marathon for good reason. The first eight miles raise 2,000 feet in elevation. Then the last five miles are downhill to the finish line at Robie Creek Campgrounds.
The crowd of runners is a steady mix of returning racers and first timers. Among those returning, 12 year old Felicity Dodge, out for her third year in a row. Dodge has already ran more than six half marathons.
"I just decided I wanted to run a half marathon, so I thought why not make the toughest one in the northwest the first?" Alexis Reiner said.
Some runners have a specific time goal they try to reach, however most runners have one main goal in common: make it to the finish line.
The first racer to cross the line was Markus Geiger, a second time racer who also came in first place last year.
“I'm happy and a little bit relieved that I won the second time around," Geiger said.
He plans to return to the race next year, and hopes to one day beat the record of one hour and 12 minutes.