Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival: 5k and 10k Recaps!

This year’s Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival offered 3 main races (not including a fun 1 mile dog run): a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon. You can do one of the races, or choose the “five and dime” (5k + 10k), or go all out and do the “hat trick” (all three races). Since I like a challenge, I decided to go big or go home. Hat Trick it was! I originally had all three races recapped in one post, but that was a little intense, so I’m splitting it into two posts. First up: the 5k and 10k!


5k Recap

The first race of the weekend was the 5k! It took place on Saturday morning at 7:15 a.m.; since Runner’s World put us up in the dorms at Boston College (where the races started), we were lucky enough to be able to just roll out of bed and over to the race start. Nice! 



It was a beautiful, sunny morning, if a bit warm! My goal for the 5k was to make sure to keep my pace in check. I knew I had a lot of miles awaiting me and I didn’t want to burn my legs out, especially since I was actually decently sore from the November Project hill action the day before!


Julie, Presley, Marnie, and I lined up in the corrals around the 9:00 minute mile area and got ready to go.


And we’re off!



I chatted away with the other bloggers near me and we enjoyed the beautiful views.


I thought this part of the course looked like Disney – or Hogwarts – with the castle-like building looming! :)


Thanks to the fun company, the race flew by and the finish line arrived before we knew it.


One down, two to go! Official 5k finish time: 29:55 (9:38 min/mile average).


The 10k started at 8:30 so I grabbed a bagel to refuel in between races.


And then it was time for race #2!

10k Recap

Weird, it feels like we were just here… oh wait, we were!



Here we go again! Once again my goal was to keep the pace in check. This wasn’t a problem since my legs weren’t feeling particularly speedy anyway. ;)


Weeeee! I had way too much fun with running selfies this weekend. (As always, I carried my trusty point and shoot camera during the races so I could get action shots. Much easier than trying to do mid-run photos with a phone!)


I ended up running most of the 10k with Dani, who I hadn’t met before this weekend and who was SO much fun. We had a blast chatting nonstop and the miles flew by! If you’re someone who thinks you could never become a runner – check out her blog. She has lost 80 pounds since deciding to turn her life around in 2009, and has since gone from a total non-runner to an 18 time half marathoner, 6 time marathoner, and 2 time triathlete. Isn’t that incredible? She’s such an inspiration (and hilarious, too).


We were also great running buddies because we discovered we have nearly identical half marathon (1:43) and full marathon (3:56) PRs (personal records)!

Anyway! The 10k was the first race of the weekend that included the infamous Heartbreak Hill from the Boston Marathon. Dani ran Boston spring with a charity partner (she lives in Boston) and informed me that Heartbreak Hill doesn’t refer to one single hill, like I originally thought, but actually a whole series/group of hills that stretch from about mile 17 to 21 in the Boston Marathon. I was quite glad that we were only on about mile 4 or 5 and not 17 (and so was she!)…


It was really cool to think about running up Heartbreak Hill and following in the footsteps of years of amazing runners. Very inspiring! Kept me from walking, too. ;)

This race gets two big thumbs up for organization, by the way. Everything was really clearly marked and the volunteers were plentiful and very friendly. A huge thank you to them for supporting us, and props to Runner’s World for putting together such a well organized race!


Hey again, finish line! I missed you.


Another race in the books! Official 10k finish time: 58:45 (9:28 min/mile average).


After the 10k I got back on board my mission to eat all the carbs. Hi Theodora!


Two races down, one to go!


I’ll be back soon with my final post about the weekend: the half marathon race recap!

Another thank you to Runner’s World for hosting me this past weekend – it was an honor to be there!


  1. 1

    Haha, it really was the weekend of selfies! I want to go back !!

  2. 4

    Looks like so much fun! That picture totally does look like Hogwarts!

  3. 5

    Congrats on two great finishes – it was a warm weekend here in Boston. As a Boston runner I would have to disagree with Dani; the term “Newton Hills” would refer to everything from the turn onto Comm. Ave by the fire station through Cleveland Circle, but “Heartbreak Hill” definitely just refers to the one particularly long and steep hill right before Boston College/Mile 21 on the Boston Marathon course.

    • 6

      Ah, gotcha! Thanks for clarifying! Either way, we ran allllll of it. :)

    • 7

      And…here’s the story that gave Heartbreak Hill its name (from Wikipedia).

      “It was on this hill that, in 1936, defending champion John A. “Johnny” Kelley overtook Ellison “Tarzan” Brown, giving him a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed. This gesture renewed the competitive drive in Brown, who rallied, pulled ahead of Kelley, and went on to win—thereby, it was said, breaking Kelley’s heart.”

  4. 9

    Does carrying your point-and-shoot ever get annoying? Do you have a wrist strap or do you tuck it away in a waist belt? Just curious….

  5. 12

    Great job on the races! And those medals are awesome!

  6. 13

    What a fun event to be a part of, especially with all your blends :)

  7. 14

    It looks like a weekend of fun running! What brand of shirt + shorts are you wearing? I love the shirt! But I really need some basic shorts. Thanks!

  8. 16

    Glad you had fun! Its strange seeing photos of Newton on your blog and not DC! :) For some of my longer runs I legit run from my apartment to the first two hills of heartbreak hill and back to my place. Those hills are long but I find them to be a fun challenge! Actually fun fact that during Boston Marathon training the Boston Marathon Coalition sets up water stations for those who are training. On a Saturday you can run up heartbreak hill and back and their are people feeding you water, just like a race. :)

    • 17

      That’s so cool! I’ll have to check it out, I’ve never run Heartbreak Hill even though I’m pretty close by.

      • 18

        Aw nice!!! It is fun, it keeps you entertained that’s for sure. Sometimes I feel like running them is better the flat ground because when I am running on flat ground I get board and then I get in my head I should stop (ect). Anyhoo my twitter is @SaraNFlynn reach out if you want to know some good routes around the area. :)

  9. 20

    Love all the pics! Looks like you had a fun time. Boston is a city that I definitely want to visit someday!

  10. 21

    That is such a coincidence she has the same PRs! Amazing story, must check out her blog! Was the half on the same day???

  11. 22

    Great job on those races!! I have that tank and love it sooo much!!

  12. 23
    Roadrunner says

    Hugely impressive, with the half still to come! Very well done, Anne, and very disciplined to take it easy and not get carried away.

  13. 24

    I’m in love with the bagel being held up like it’s a part of the group in the last shot. Carbs are people too! Haha!

  14. 26

    One post would have been so agresssssssive.

    Seriously loved seeing you this weekend.

  15. 28

    That building is Perkins School for the Blind, I think! I pass by it pretty much every time I run.

  16. 29

    Totally random question. What did you do with your 5k medal while you ran the 10k?

    • 30

      I went and put it in my room, but we discovered later that they let you wait and get both medals after the 10k if you wanted!


  1. […] I did the “Hat Trick” (5k + 10k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday), so if you missed my first post recapping the 5k and 10k, check that out […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.