Last year, I was a spectator and brought my cowbell and an encouraging sign to cheer on runners at The Heart Breaker Half . I had high hopes to participate as a runner, but had been slacking in my training over the winter months. As a spectator, I had a lot of fun in the brisk, cold and sunny day, and enjoyed the banter from those finishing the race hollering things like “YOU make MY heart race!” But I knew that despite the joy of being an encourager to those doing the 5K, 10K and half, that I could not let my training slack over the winter next time. I needed to experience this race myself and I was going to train for it. This race is held Valentine’s Day weekend and in the middle of American Heart Month.
I’ve run the course for fun last summer, though I ended up doing it backwards. I enjoyed the “rolling hills” and after hearing some friends talk about “the hill”, I was a little nervous… but I don’t think I found it by running backwards. “The hill” or Heart Breaker Hill is on the course for the Half Marathoners and is a one mile long hill that is also separately timed with its own mats on the course. The top finisher for the Heart Breaker Hill will receive a prize for their accomplishment.
I was in denial last February about my prowess to conquer hills, and I haven’t had a lot of hill work this winter, but I think I’ll be better prepared than I would have been last year. I’m looking forward to this event and though I’m pretty sure I can’t even vie for the prize on the one mile portion, I’m better trained for this year. However, I’ll let you know in my recap if my ego was a little too puffed up for this event. Either way, it will be a fun and exciting challenge.
In RaceCenter’s June/July 2013 issue, Heart Breaker Half is listed in the top ten most difficult half marathons in the Northwest as the 5th hardest. When I ran the course for fun over the summer, I remember coming across a bit with a compact gravel road, and while that might not be the most pleasant terrain, it was very short and probably not the qualifying factor for this race to make the list of “most difficult”.
The race will start in Hillsboro at Liberty High School. Before you know it, you are leaving the city behind and running in the beautiful country roads away from typical city scenes. The course over the summer was incredibly beautiful with blooming clover fields, honey bee hives and farm land with groves of trees.
The race finish line party will be held indoors at Liberty High School, in the warmth and dry indoors. Last year, a band was playing music and there were lots of treats available for the runners. Finisher’s medals are available at an additional charge of $6. This is because not everyone wants a finisher’s medal so this cuts back on cost and additional waste. Lots of vendors will be onsite with samples (and last year they were offering race day deals on some of their awesome merchandise).
Website: AA Sports
When: Feb. 15th, 2015
Half Marathon run/walk start: 8am
10K run/walk start time: 8:15am
5K run/walk: 8:20am
Kids’ 1 mile dash: 10:30am
Where: Liberty High School ( 21945 Northwest Wagon Way, Hillsboro, OR 97124 )
Half Marathon: $55
Kids’ 1 Mile Dash: $12
Limited edition finisher’s medal (while supplies last): $6
There will be a $10 price increase to the above prices for registrations at packet pickup or on race day.
Packet pickup will be held on Feb 14th during RaceCenter Event Expo held from 10am-4pm at FootTraffic (4020 NE Fremont St., Portland)