Heartbreak Hill – most think it has this name because it’s the hardest hill in the Boston Marathon – which really isn’t the case. According to wikipedia (which I love almost as much as google) – Heartbreak Hill “originated with an event in the 1936 race. On this stretch, defending champion John A. Kelley caught race leader Ellison “Tarzan” Brown, giving Brown a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed. His competitive drive apparently stoked by this gesture, Tarzan Brown rallied, pulled away from Kelley, and went on to win—in the words of Boston Globe reporter Jerry Nason, “breaking Kelley’s heart.” So there you have it – now you know why it’s called that. That being said Heartbreak Hill comes late in the race when your body is starting to hit the wall – so it is indeed hard at that point.

April 20, 2009 – I started to climb said hill. I have a bad habit of looking down while running – so on the first step of my ascent I noticed that I was running directly on the double yellow lines of the road. I looked up only to notice that the woman in front of me had dyed her running shoes red and put glitter all over them. Her hair was in braids and had blue and white checkered ribbons in them! I was right behind “Dorothy”!!! I immediately took this as a sign that I was following the yellow brick road and I was going to kill that hill! Moments later “Dorothy” started walking and I felt defeated. Was she serious?? I just took this women and these stupid yellow lines on the street as a sign?!?! I passed her and almost turned to tell her my name was Dorothy. Then thought to myself why on earth is this woman who is walking up this hill going to care that my name is Dorothy . Anyways my point is that not all things are signs and I must be careful not to take them that way – if I had I might have started walking too. Instead I kept on trucking and climbed that stupid hill. Heartbreak Hill didn’t break my heart.


  1. wow. i never knew that story! thanks for sharing the origins of such a famous hill’s name. you showed that fake dorothy that a real “dorothy” wouldn’t walk up heartbreak hill! 😉

  2. thats a good story, real dorothy. nicely said :)

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