Running With Heart | David Willey

July 23, 2014 1:57 PM

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Running With Heart | David Willey

There are lots of reasons the half-marathon is the fastest-growing distance in racing (up 307 percent since 2000, with almost 2 million finishers in the United States last year). Going 13.1 is a gratifying challenge for any runner, one that requires training and commitment. But it doesn't take over your life the way marathon training can, and it certainly doesn't force you to navigate stairs backward for three days, as going 26.2 often does.

Still, it had been eight months since I'd done one, so when I arrived in Boston for our inaugural Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival, June 6-8, I wasn't sure what to expect. Fifty-one RW staffers were there, and more than 6,000 runners -- including Shalane Flanagan and world-beating amputee athlete Sar...

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