Q:

What is Heartbreak Hill?

A:

Quick Answer

Heartbreak Hill is the nickname given to a relatively slight hill that comes during the 21st mile of the Boston Marathon. Though the hill only consists of a half mile elevation change, for many runners, this is a lot to handle after more than 20 miles of running.

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What is Heartbreak Hill?
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Full Answer

The "heartbreak" apparently refers to an incident in the 1936 race where the race leader, Tarzan Brown, slowed down on the hill but was inspired to pull ahead again when fellow competitor John Kelley gave him a pat on the back as he passed him.

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