NORFOLK, Neb. --The laugh and a half marathon returned to Norfolk for its 12th annual year, with the goal of raising funds for pediatrics in Northeast Nebraska.

The event was held at Ta-Ha-Zouka park on the cowboy trail, where participants had their choice to run in a 5K, 10K, a Half Marathon, or a fun run for the kids. This year's goal was to raise funds for pediatric needs in Northeast Nebraska. According to communications and event specialist, Macy Martinson pediatrics are critical to helping children grow into the future generation.

"Children are the future," Martinson explained. "We need to make sure they have all the tools they need while in the hospital or if they come back to the hospital so they can live happy healthy lives."

While the amount of money raised during the event will not be known until July, the fundraising is expected to do well. Laugh and a Half Marathon's co-coordinator Lydee Jo Krueger says this year's turnout was higher than last year's.

"We are very blessed with the number of runners we had today," Krueger said. "This has been a great event, we were up from runners from last year, so we had more runners this year than we did last year."

One such runner was Lisa Brown a 55-year-old marathon runner who made the trip to Norfolk from Sherman Texas. Brown is currently on a mission to run a half marathon in every single state, a goal she started after getting a breast cancer diagnosis in 2016.

"I had been training for the Boston Marathon," Brown said. "I qualified for it in 2015, ran it in 2016, turned out that I was diagnosed shortly after that. I had breast cancer which fortunately I survived, but I had some months of chemo. One of the things that was really important for me was for cancer not to completely change the things I love to do. So, I was still able to run all through my chemo, but really slowly and not very far and not nearly as often, but it was something that just made me maintain a sense of normalcy."

Brown placed first in the 50-59 age category for the women's half marathon. The next state on her bucket list is Montana. As for words of wisdom, Brown says that all the would-be runners just need to get up and get moving.

"Just for people who think 'oh I can't run' just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You don't have to be fast at all, you just keep going and push through it."