On Sunday June 8th I ran the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon. You can read my recap of the 5k and expo here.
The start and finish line was the same location as that of the 5k (and 10k) the day before which was nice. My dad and I showed up super early again and had no issues with parking or traffic.
The course for this race was basically an out and back.
After circling Boston College, the course took us down Heartbreak Hill, and then two more hills before doing a circle through some residential neighborhoods and coming back up the 3 hills, the last being Heartbreak.
My plan from the get go was to do 2/1 run/walk intervals in order to conserve my energy on the downhills. I knew it would be easy to go out too fast and use up energy (and possibly get sore from the downhills) and thus screwing myself for the final hills. I figured I could switch to 1/2 run/walk intervals as needed to get up the uphills at the end.
The course was super scenic, first going through and Boston College and then down Commonwealth Avenue where there is gorgeous trees (and luckily some shade) and gorgeous homes. Unfortunately the sun was out in full blast, as was the heat. By the time I finished it was in the high 70s/low 80s. I was very careful to take one if not two cups of water at every water stop and a couple of sips of Gatorade. I also took a 3rd Gu (normally I’ll only take 2) to replenish some of the salt I was sweating out.
Since it was an out and back course I saw the leader coming back up the hills when I was around mile 4. I also got to see Shalane Flanagan running the race – she looked very relaxed compared to the footage I saw of her running the Boston Marathon 😉 – she ended up coming in as the 3rd overall woman.
It was definitely tough though, and the three hills at the end are no joke.
That photos shows the bottom of Heartbreak Hill but I promise you it is much steeper than it appears. 😉
However, it was truly amazing to run on parts of the Boston Marathon course. As I trudged up those hills I kept thinking about all of the others who have run that same stretch for many many years. It gave me goosebumps and was truly an experience I will never forget.
I finished in 3:18:55 – about midway I set a goal of finishing under 3:20, so I was happy, though not a stellar time by any stretch. Given the conditions though, I am glad was able to feel strong until the very end. Even if I was a human pretzel after the finish from all of the salt stains 😉
This weekend was a great weekend that I am so glad I had the opportunity to participate in both the 5k and the Half Marathon. There were a few small snafus (that I plan to provide feedback to Runner’s World on) but for an inaugural event it was really great. I hope that they are able to continue having this event, and if you are interested I hope you have the opportunity to participate.
One final picture… we took the T into Boston after the race, because I had to check out the Boston Marathon Finish Line. 🙂