Events and price:
Half-Marathon Run/Walk: 8:00am, $55
10K Run/Walk: 8:15am, $40
5K Run/Walk: 8:20am, $30
Kids’ 1-mile Dash: 10:30am, $12
**Medals, $6 (not included with registration)
Location: The race started and ended at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, OR. I liked that there was plenty of room inside the school cafeteria for runners to hang out, as well as actual toilets.
Number of runners: ~1200. I thought it was a good number of participants for the course and venue!
Beneficiaries: Various local high school sports programs.
Swag: A long sleeve unisex tech shirt and post race food and drink were included in the registration fee. Medals were an additional $6.00. Personally, I would prefer to have the medals included in the race entry, or to have the medal instead of the shirt (most of my runner friends agreed). Additionally, The Heart Breaker Half-Marathon includes the Heart Breaker Hill 1-Mile Challenge – a 1-mile, timed section in the middle of Heart Breaker Hill. A prize went to the top challenger.
Course: The half marathon consisted of two loops. The course is challenging, with constant small rolling hills and of course, the infamous "Heartbreak Hill." Click here for a course map with elevation chart. While the race website uses the word "flat" several times to describe the course, I personally feel that the course is fairly hilly. If you've run out in Hillsboro-area before, you'll know what I mean.
The morning of the race was cool and mostly sunny! Although I'm not in my best racing shape, I was eager to do the Heartbreaker Half Marathon, especially on such a gorgeous day. I had made my own Valentine's Day arm sleeves and tutu that weekend, and was excited to wear them at the event. My friend Amy and I arrived plenty early and parked fairly close to the half marathon starting line and the cafeteria. We meandered around inside for a bit and used the indoor restrooms before heading outside to drop off our stuff at the car on our way to the starting line, where we met up with a few friendly Half Fanatics (I'm #8501!) and other running friends. There weren't corrals, and there were just over 400 half marathoners, so while it was a little slow starting at the beginning with the crowd, it thinned out fairly quickly.
While I've been frustrated with my lack of speed lately (too many long days at work, not enough miles!), I was determined to just go out and enjoy my run. There were plenty of great aspects of the race: the friendly volunteers definitely helped, and there were plenty of them along the entire course; the weather was about as perfect as it could get for February; and the course was challenging without being demoralizing. The beautiful views definitely helped distract me :)
There was a little confusion where the 10k/half finishers branched off from the half marathoners who needed to start their second loop. Providing the volunteers doing traffic control with more clear verbal cues to give to the runners might help here, but not a big deal, as most runners and walkers seemed to figure out.
While I tend to get bored on multiple-loop courses, the beauty of the course and the slight changes in elevation kept it from being dull. I was definitely getting tired near the end, but as I am into the stadium, it was so fun and energizing to have my friends cheering for me as I came around the track and into the finish chute. The announcer called out my name as I crossed the finish line, and there was plenty of water and Golazo immediately available. We hung outside for a bit before heading inside.
Inside the high school, there was a mini expo. It was a great area for runners and their friends and families to hang out! There were tons of snacks, including oatmeal, strawberry shortcake, chex mix, peanut butter, bread, and oranges. And there was lots to do--I had a lot of fun checking out all of the vendor booths, including Run Pretty Far, Energy Events, Sweet Spot Skirts, Why Racing, and Road Noise. I also really enjoyed listening to the live music and being able to sit (my legs were tired!)
The price is fairly affordable for a half marathon, and the event was a lot of fun! And I definitely feel like I earned my medal at this race. I would love to run it again next year :)
Be sure to check out the awesome race recaps of the 2015 Heartbreaker Half on Run Oregon: Brian's recap and Robin's recap.