Race The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half With Me!

Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

That’s right! From June 6-8, I’ll be at Boston College in Newton, Mass., for the inaugural Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival as part of the official blogging crew. (Read: They’re covering my race entries, hotel and some meals.) And me? I’ve got discount codes for you.

Why Heartbreak Hill? Boston College sits at the top of the famous Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon. It’s a rare chance for runners who aren’t yet fast enough to qualify for Boston, myself included, to run this storied stretch of road. Consider me pumped.

The weekend of races includes the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon on Sunday and the Runner’s World 5K and Runner’s World 10K on Saturday. For you challenge lovers, take on multiple races. The Five & Dime is back-to-back 5K and 10K races on Saturday; the Hat Trick has you run the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon. All runners receive a finisher’s medal and shirt—tech for the half, event shirt for the 5K and 10K.

All three courses start at the Boston College campus. The 5K is a looped run around the college and Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The 10K and half marathon head west to Commonwealth Avenue and the hills of Newton, Mass. The 10K is an out-and-back run, as is the half-marathon, which also includes a large loop around the Brae Burn County Club. Miles 9.5 to 13 of the half cover the storied Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon, giving the race weekend its name.

For the inaugural event, Runner’s World is bringing out the big guns. Shalane Flanagan, Bart Yasso, Paralympian Sarah Reinertsen and, of course, the Runner’s World editorial team will be on hand giving presentations at the Runner’s World Health and Fitness Expo.

The weekend also includes a team challenge and college challenge for students and alumni, a ticketed pasta dinner, free mini film festival of running movies, free kids races, and the free Eukanuba 2-Mile Dog Run, along with a seminar on running and training with your dog. I wish Cinderella could come and run with me.

Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon Course and Elevation

Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half course map and elevation chart

I’ll be running the 5K and half-marathon. I’ll have raced the SHAPE Diva Dash the week before. So here’s my tentative strategy: use the 5K as a shake out run for—wait for it—a possible PR attempt in the half.

But, Karla, it’ll be hot in June!

But, Karla, it’ll be hilly!

I know, I know. It’s called the Heartbreak Hill Half for a reason. But I actually like a hilly course; what goes up, must come down. Either way, I want to train for it, use it as the big goal race and see how things go.

Want to join me?
Get 10 percent off Heartbreak Hill Half, Five & Dime or Hat Trick with these codes:

And if you’re traveling from out of town, Runner’s World has a list of hotels and dorms (yes, dorms!) with special rates for runners.

Regular registration fees are $100 for the half-marathon before April 23, when rates jump to $110. At the expo it’s $120 to register. The 10K is $45 before April 23, when fees jump to $50 or $55 at the expo. The 5K is $40 before April 23, when prices rise to $45 or $50 at the expo. The Five & Dime costs $85 before April 23 and $95 afterward, topping out at $105 at the expo. The Hat Trick is $175 before April 23, when the cost rises to $195. Registration is $215 at the expo.

To register or get more information visit rw.runnersworld.com/hhhalf.

Hope to see you there!

As mentioned above, Runner’s World is covering my race entries, hotel and some meals. But, as always, you can count on me to be honest about my experience. Don’t believe me? Read about crowding and corral issues at the Walt Disney World 10K or how Disney’s Magical Express lost my bags before the Disney Family Fun Run 5K. I’m always honest about my experience regardless of any compensation or freebies I receive. Seriously.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


04 2014

18 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Looks like a great race. Wish I could be there! Maybe next year when I’m living in boston
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..Salsa Verde Chicken TacosMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Exciting! Sounds like a big move!

  2. 3

    Oh man I wish I could allot for another travel race this year,this looks like a blast! I don’t think it’ll be in the budget though for 2014. I can’t wait to read about your time there!

    • Karla Bruning

      Maybe 2015! So many races, not enough travel time/budget!

  3. 5

    That sounds like so much fun! Wish I could add another race to my schedule, but fortunately I’ll get to run Heartbreak Hill in 8 more days!
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..2 Weeks AwayMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      So exciting!! I hope you have a great race!

  4. Pam #

    I would love to do the half just to get a feel for heartbreak hill before I run Boston April 2015. Unfortunately, my husband is playing in a member guest golf tournament in South Carolina so I have to pass. Can’t wait to read your recap and recommendations on how to tackle the Newton hills!
    Pam recently posted..Friday Five: Shamrock RecoveryMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      South Carolina will be fun! I always thought my husband would run Heartbreak Hill long before me. He’s qualified for Boston twice, but failed to actually make it into the race both times :( At least I’ll know how to counsel him and runners like you!

  5. 9

    I suspect RW will put on a great event! I was invited to the RW festival near their Headquarters in PA and it was great! Races that are actually put on by runners rather than just a marketing crew are always so organized! Can’t wait to hear all about it Karla!
    Meranda@fairytalesandfitness recently posted..How to Determine the Right Running Shoe For You!My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Meranda, I totally agree. Really looking forward to it!

  6. 11

    This is so tempting!!! If my tentative travel plans that weekend fall through, I might have to see if I can squeeze it in. Otherwise, it is going on the list for next year for sure!! Can’t wait to follow along with your race.
    Emily recently posted..2014 GO! St Louis HalfMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I love that you travel so much to races! Hopefully you have something fun planned that weekend!

  7. 13

    This is soooo tempting, especially since I will pretty much never qualify for Boston. But that weekend is actually Doug and my 1st wedding anniversary, so, ummm, I don’t think I can convince him to go to Boston for a half marathon that weekend (I still don’t know how I convinced him to let me add a half marathon at the end of our honeymoon!) Good luck with the race! I’m sure you can PR it! Remember, 2014 is the year for goals!

  8. Karla Bruning

    Thanks, Kellie! And happy early anniversary! I think you’ll make a runner of Doug, yet.

  9. 15

    Oh man, I would love to do that. I used to travel to Boston about once a month for video work. I wish I was into running back then as much as I am now. I would love to come back there someday for a race (as of now I can run 7:00 miles for a 5k, but not a full marathon, so probably won’t be qualifying for the marathon anytime soon)

    • Karla Bruning

      This will be my first running race in the Boston area! I was a rower in college, so I’ve raced on the Charles River many times, including in the Head of the Charles, but never on the roads. Yeah, I’m not qualifying for Boston any time soon either…My goal is to get there by 50, haha!

  10. 17

    This looks like it’s going to be a great race! Wish I could make it (even despite the hills, haha) — I just have SO much on the running/regular life calendar this year. Sounds like a blast — have a great time! :)
    Jennifer @ The Final Forty recently posted..Race Recap: Rutgers Unite Half MarathonMy Profile


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