Race Preview: 2014 Heart Breaker Half Marathon (10k & 5k)


The bottom of the Heart Breaker Half flier says that “The Heart Breaker Half is an event designed to provide a great opportunity to spend a delightful Sunday morning enjoying a fitness run or walk with someone special.”

Now I am a happily married man of almost 6 years, but I will be competing in my first Heartbreaker Half  solo. My wife may not be a runner, but she will be with me in heart and mind for this event on 2/16/14.

The Heart Breaker Half Marathon (which also features a 10k and a 5k) is is held in Hillsboro and starts and ends at Liberty High School. The half marathon is the main draw to the event, as 474 runners in 2013 took to the streets. The race course is “Figure-8” in nature and features a series of three loops – one of which is ran twice. Being from the Salem area, typically when I think of Hillsboro, I think of urban and city running. However, after checking out Google Maps (and reading previous recaps), this is a quiet and scenic country race.

Several runners lead the way at the start of the 2012 5K race. - Photo by Beaver Cutter

Several runners lead the way at the start of the 2012 5K race.
– Photo by Beaver Cutter

Runners will head north for the first few miles alongside farms and wineries. The elevation gain is minimal over this time… But that’s before Heart Break Hill. From miles 3-4, the course gains a few hundred feet of elevation. One of the coolest parts of the race is that this section will be timed sepearately and have the time and pace recorded like it is an entirety seperate race! The fastest 5 males and females will receive a unique and special prize. Following this mile climb, the rest of the course will be either flat or downhill, with a few minor rolling hills in the process. From miles 5-9 (ish) will be a loop, followed by a repeat of the same 4 miles through mile 12. The race will conclude with a track finish. There will be be 5 aid stations along the course, spaced out at great intervals (1.8; 4.1; 6.5; 8.6; & 12.1).

The 10k course encompasses most of the 1/2 marathon course but takes out the Heart Break Hill loop (maybe a good thing?) and the 5k is sure to be a fast race due to the minimal elevation gain on the out and back trek. There will be 3 water and electrolyte stations on the 10k and 1 on the 5k.

Photo of the 2013 medal. - Photo by Maryalicia Verdecchia

Photo of the 2013 medal.
– Photo by Maryalicia Verdecchia

This race is 1/13th of the Bakers Dozen Series which is comprised of thirteen half marathon events produced by directors throughout the Northwest. organizations which we refer to as “Home Baked Miles”.  If you are unfamiliar, these events support the community in numerous ways, including benefiting local children’s programs, high school sports programs, and promoting health & fitness.

The finish line festivities will be held inside Liberty High School, which means whatever the weather- there will be warmth and dryness afterwards. Local blues artist, Ben Rice Band will be returning to perform afterwards as well. There will also be a Sports & Fitness Expo that will feature booths from Foot Traffic, Sweet Spot Skirts, Kind Bar, Team in Training, American Diabetes, Providence Health, Liberty Fit, the list goes on and on.

Heartbreaker Half Marathon/10k/5k (Hillsboro)
When: 8a
Where: Liberty High School
Register: Half-Marathon for $55, 10K for $40, 5K for $30; Limited Edition Finisher Medal for $10 while supplies last ; Add $10 DOR

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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