Half Marathon in Newton is Going Green

The Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half strives for environmental and social sustainability.

The inaugural 2014 Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon & Festival, which starts June 6, will be run by Marblehead native, Shalane Flanagan, who set a course record for American women at the 2014 Boston Marathon. The weekend event will include a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon, and numerous events and seminars.

And while hosting a big running event near Boston, where runners rule the streets, should be old hat for a magazine such as Runner’s World, the mag is subjecting itself to an even higher authority: The rigorous Council for Responsible Sport for certification as a “green” event.

Boston College will be the headquarters of the festival, which is the second event owned and operated by Runner’s World. The mag also owns and operates the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, near its parent company’s headquarters in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. According to Rodale reps, that event, which will be held for the third time, Oct. 17­-19, 2014, began in 2012 and earned Silver status in its first year and Gold status in 2013 from the Council for Responsible Sport.

“During our first two Festivals in Bethlehem, our team’s efforts to operate events in a sustainable way were recognized.” said David Willey, SVP/Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World. “We will take the lessons learned there and apply them to the Heartbreak Hill Half. Living life in an environmentally conscious way is an important part of the Rodale culture. Our goal is to continue to celebrate running while meeting and exceeding the standards set by the Council.”

Green initiatives include:

  • Recycling and composting at least 75 percent of the race’s waste
  • Ensuring accessibility to runners of all abilities
  • Measuring and offsetting the carbon footprint of race operations

For more information or to register for any of the races or events, click here.