BOSTON (WHDH) - Thousands of athletes are gathering on Carson Beach in South Boston to run, swim and back as a part of the Boston Triathlon.

Racers took off Sunday morning, marking the 15th year of the race. More than 20,000 athletes are competing from all 50 states and 36 different countries.

Among the competitors is 12-year-old Eshe Stockton of Rhode Island, who is competing in the adults race. Stockton, who placed third in the Under-19 sprint race last year, said she wants to be an Olympian one day.

“I want to become professional and go to the Olympics,” Stockton said. “I want to inspire kids my age and maybe adults that aren’t too as active.”

The Boston Triathlon kids race took place Saturday, which Race Director Michael O’Neil said is an important part of the organization.. 

“We are open to everyone, and we invite them in and we help them whether it’s teaching them to swim, whether it’s helping coaching them to bike, whether it’s learning how to run,” O’Neil said. “We want to be supportive of everyone’s journey.”

Around 7:30 a.m., the first two waves of racers were in the water completing the swimming portion of the race. The athletes then pick up their bikes for the middle leg of the race and finish by running.

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