Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whose Heart Will Break This Year?

On Monday, April 18, 2011, the Boston Marathon, one the world's oldest annual marathons and ranked one of the world's best-known road racing events, will be held. Recognized as one of five world marathon majors on the planet, the Boston Marathon is always held on Patriot’s Day in the USA – the 3rd Monday of April.

The marathon course runs through 42.195 km (26.22 miles) of winding Massachusetts roads, but no place is more sacred than the legendary “Heartbreak Hill” – the last hill of the race. It rises only 27m (88 vertical feet) over a 600 m (1968.5 feet) ascent of the course but “Heartbreak Hill” is positioned at a point on the marathon route (between miles 20-21 / 34-35 km) where muscle glycogen stores are likely depleted and marathoners are "hitting the wall". The nickname "Heartbreak Hill" originated in the 1936 race when defending champion John Kelley was passed by Tarzan Brown at this point, ultimately going on to win the race, and a Boston Globe reporter wrote that this move and the bitter defeat was “breaking Kelley’s heart.”

But once at the summit of “Heartbreak Hill” a marathoner can see the Prudential Tower and the cheering Boston College students, and then they are rewarded with a 800 m (1/2 mile) decline to ease and assist with breathing recovery and the abuse just put on the energy system and legs.

So, whose heart will be broken at this year’s Boston Marathon, on Heartbreak Hill on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton, Massachusetts and who's heart will swell with the pride of accomplishment?

For more information on marathons and training contact SIRC!

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