Des Moines ,
- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, Other
- Road Race
- Event Website
Dam to Dam is an iconic race, and it lives up to the it's iconic status. As a point-to-point half marathon it is a great offering.
The course -- You start at the Dam outside of Des Moines, bused out there from the finish line. This is neat, and really cool that you can see the finish area from the starting line. From the first dam, you work your way in a net downhill towards the finish line, hugging the river for most of it. For a large section, you are out on paved country roads, and then slowly make your way into downtown. As you get into town you cross the river and get to the finish line in downtown Des Moines. It's a neat course.
Aid Stations -- There are great aid stations about every 2-3 miles. With water, Gatorade, and gels all along the path. They make sure you get what you need -- provided it's a usual suspect.
Swag/Expo -- This race has some of my favorite swag. The race shirt is a plain colored drifit shirt with the race logo. Since they only have one sponsor -- and all workers are volunteers -- they don't have a shirt filled with corporate logos. Instead it is a clean shirt that you can wear anywhere. Also, you get a pair of Brooks running socks! They are awesome!
The expo itself is really cool as well. They make sure you have a chance to eat and get free dinner -- if you are willing to chow down on the offerings at the expo. They really treat the runners like royalty.
At the end of the race, you get a solid, good-looking medal. It's a nice set of swag and benefits.
Finish line -- At the end of the race, there is a full 4-to-6-block party with food, drink and just snacks. If all you want is some fruit, it's there. If you want something more substantial, like a BBQ sandwich, it's there. Do you want some chocolate milk? It's there. How about a beer? Yup, they got you covered.
Overall, this is a race that is well worth running. And unfortunately, 2018 is the last time it will ever be run. So you should really try to sign up while you have the chance.