By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – On Saturday, 9,000 runners took part in this year’s B.A.A. Half Marathon.

The 13.1 mile race is something many look forward to.

“I’ve been running this, this is my fourth year and it was my first race ever four years ago, so it’s kind of special race for me and it was just a good excuse to hang out, do something physical,” Afua Boampong said.

baa half marathon start B.A.A. Half Marathon Draws 9,000 Runners

The B.A.A. Half Marathon start. (WBZ-TV)

The course is one of a kind.

“I think the course is very unique. It runs along the Emerald Necklace River Way, Arbor Way, Jamaica Way. It starts here at Franklin Park and finishes right on the track at Wright Stadium so there are a lot of elements that come into play that make this a bucket list race for people to do,” said Dave McGillivray, B.A.A. race director.

He says not only is the course unique, it’s the whole vibe of the race.

“I’m just here for fun,” said Kyle Forsyth, who traveled to Boston from Denver.

“I think there are all different levels here and it is very welcoming you don’t have to be elite to run this race,” Boampong added.

baa half marathon B.A.A. Half Marathon Draws 9,000 Runners

Runners during the B.A.A. Half Marathon. (WBZ-TV)

Speaking of the Elite, the winner for the men jumped through the finish line, celebrating his third win in Boston.

“I was excited to be a champion today because I did a lot of training to make myself a champion today,” said Daniel Chebii of Kenya.

Chebii says he was disappointed when he finished 5th in the B.A.A. 10K, so this win felt really good.

The winner for the women, Joan Chelimo, from Kenya, is no stranger to this race. She won last year.

baa half marathon pkg 6p womens winner B.A.A. Half Marathon Draws 9,000 Runners

The winner for the women, Joan Chelimo of Kenya, crosses the finish line. (WBZ-TV)

“It’s so amazing to win again in Boston, as I say Boston is my legacy. All the time I come and win, so for today I just feel so good to win again in Boston,” she said.

It was an especially close race for the women. Through most of it, there was a group of 5 to 6 women vying to win.

Chelimo thanks her three-year-old daughter for keeping her in the lead.

“She was the one who keeps me going, being a mother actually,” she said. “So I’m so happy.”

baa half marathon mens winner B.A.A. Half Marathon Draws 9,000 Runners

The winner for the men, Daniel Chebii of Kenya, jumps through the finish line. (WBZ-TV)

Whether people are elite runners, or beginners, the B.A.A. Half Marathon welcomes everyone with the hope they won’t stop here.

“The intent here for those people just starting off running is do the 5K, get a sense for that, then the 10K. Do the half and maybe someday they have the aspiration to run the Boston Marathon,” McGillivray said.

To see a top list of finishers from Sunday’s race, click here.

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