Des Moines ,
- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, Other
- Road Race
- Event Website
This is my second year doing this race, and I always enjoy it. This is only the 2nd year of it being a half marathon.
The race starts at Saylorville Dam, and ends in downtown Des Moines. You run on roads (closed to traffic), and around mile 9 is, you catch up with a trail which you stay on all the way until 11ish miles, where you're back on the road until the finish. Overall, this course is flat, except for 3 fairly large hills; one right after mile 6, around mile 9, and about 600 meters from the finish. The first half of the race, you get to enjoy the country scenery, and it is not until the big hill after mile 6, where you are running through neighborhoods. Many spectators throughout with many of them being in the second half of the race. There are very few to no spectators from around mile 9 until 11 as this is the trail portion. If you are a runner who thrives off a lot of spectators, this race might be challenging for you.
In order to get to Saylorville Dam, you are bussed out there. When you register, you have to pick one of the four sites you are taking the bus from. You are required to find your own transportation back to your pick up location which is why I recommend downtown, as that is where you will finish. There are many parking ramps in downtown, and they are free of charge on the weekend.
The expo is in a large space, and packet pick-up is very easy. Come hungry!! There is so much food! The t-shirt was hot pink for females this year, and in your swag bag, you get a pair of Brooks socks! The socks are awesome! Lots of food to choose from when you finish.
One downside to this race is the weather. In 2014, it was very hot and humid. This year, it was cooler but very humid! The only other downside is waiting around when you get to the Dam. Depending on when you take your bus, and is a last bus departure time, you will get to the Dam 1 to 1.5 hours before start time. It wasn't that bad waiting last year, but this year is was very windy, and raining a bit, so it made for a chilly start.
Overall, I really enjoy this race, and it will be one I do many more times!