GBTC Heart and Sole
Sheraton Needham Hotel
The Heart & Sole 5K road race is in a growth stage, and shows a promising number of entrants with its new 5K format. Over 200 runners participated last year; many of them being post-entries. With continued sponsorship and advertising, this year’s number of entries is projected to be even higher. Runners are challenged by the steep, 70m uphill finish. The race begins down the hill, with the rest of the coarse being flat. The race features 8 age group divisions for men and women, as well as special heart and soul-mate competitions for combined male/female couple’s age groups of 40 & under, 41-60, 61-80, 81-100, and 101 & over. The Sheraton Needham — at exit 19A off Route 128/Interstate 95 — has been the race’s most active and consistent sponsor, hosting the race, post-race social, and providing funding. Other notable multi-year sponsors have been the Bose Corporation and Timex. The American Heart Association has been a race beneficiary.
Founded in 1991, the Heart & Sole began as an afternoon 5-miler, held the first Sunday in October. Run throughout deluges, 150 brave runners participated. There was an increase to 210 runners in 1992, followed by over 300 participants in the popular 1993 race, that also served as the celebration of the GBTC’s 20th anniversary with a large post-race brunch. Participating in the race and/or attending the post-race ceremonies, were nearly all of the founding members of the GBTC, as well as some of the club’s earlier notable members: Bill Rodgers, Greg Myer, Bob Hodge, and coach Bill Squires. In 1994, the Heart & Sole met stiff competition with the USATF-NE 5-mile road race championship and a dozen other local area races, resulting in a drop in attendance. This caused the change to our new summer weeknight, 5K format begun in 1995. Our market research showed the distance attracts a more broadly talented group of participants, while the weeknight schedule is quite popular. We fully expect over 300 runners again this year. For more information, contact
Michael Turmala, race director
PO Box 170203, Boston, MA 02117