Boise will host up to 5,000 runners for the inaugural Onward Shay! Boise Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, local organizers announced Wednesday.
Organizers are hoping the marathon is certified as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and U.S. Olympic Trials. They expect about 70 percent of runners to come from out of town.
The event, including a half marathon, has the support of Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Boise Association.
The 26.2-mile course will go through Downtown Boise, the North End, East Boise and the greenbelt. The race starts at noon.
Registration will be available noon Friday at www.onwardshay.com, said organizers. The first 1,000 runners can enter for $100 (full marathon) and $65 (half marathon). After the first 1,000 entrants, fees will rise to $120 and $85.
The event is in honor of Shay Hirsch, a 1965 graduate of Boise High and a former director of the YMCA’s women’s shelter, now known as the Women’s and Children’s Alliance. Hirsch, who eventually moved to New York City, was married to George Hirsch for 25 years before dying of multiple myeloma in 2014.
George Hirsch is chairman of the Onward Shay! Boise Marathon national advisory board. He’s a prominent magazine publisher and running executive, and is chairman of the board of the New York Road Runners, which puts on the New York City Marathon.
“Shay’s Boise friends meant the world to her,’’ Hirsch said in a statement released Wednesday. “There couldn’t be a more fitting tribute than to have this marathon in the city she loved.’’
Boise’s national advisory board also includes running dignitaries Frank Shorter, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Bill Rodgers, Nick Symmonds and Dick and Gabriela Andersen, among others.
Some of the dignitaries are expected in Boise, organizers said, to anchor fund-raising relays and make appearances at an expo associated with the event. There will be a family fitness festival and a race for kids.
The New York Road Runners are sponsoring a Boise marathon booth at next week’s New York City Marathon Expo. Boise organizers will attend to promote the race and city, they said.