Dam to Dam

Dam to Dam

Dam to Dam

( 12 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Des Moines ,
    United States
  • May
  • 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, Other
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Angie Maske-Berka

Iowa, United States
177 213
"DAM! It's Over"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Angie Maske-Berka's thoughts:

This was the last Dam to Dam. The race went back to the 20k distance. A race management company bought the race and will move ahead under a different race name for the future.

The 2018 event was held on June 2. It was scheduled to start at 7 AM. (it was delayed a half hour) It was a downpour at the start, and the sun came out for a 70 degree finish.

Registration: Available online starting in March for only $39. This sold out within the first few hours it was open and they opened it up to 1000 more entries. Included with registration was a gender specific Brooks tech tee, Brooks socks, expo food / beer, post race beer, shuttle to the start and timing chip.
*Bib transfer was available for this using Facebook.

Expo/Packet pick up: This wasn't a big expo, but more like a pre race packet pick up party. There was free parking in a lot north of the Iowa Events Center, or you could pay to park on the street. There was one store with running gear to purchase. There was a meet and greet with former race directors. Posters to grab and giveaways.

Once you had your bib number, you just went to grab your bib, no ID required and they gave you a choice of sock colors. Then you could go pick up your t-shirt, where you had a choice of neon yellow, blue or black. Plastic bags were offered, but nothing was pre-packed.

There was a buffet of food set up inside the Events Center. This was not at any additional charge. There was cupcakes, cake, Powerade, soda, chips, candy, nuts, snack mix, sandwiches and more. Tables were set up to sit and eat. Outside there was live music and Coors Light and Smirnoff Ice, again at no charge.

Pre race: The race is point to point, and there is no parking at the start, so you must get to one of 3 bus shuttle locations, from 5:00 AM to 5:45 AM. Each location is different and provides their own logistical nightmare. The downtown shuttle location had traffic backed up on the major roads causing a delay. There was a mall location, and on the FB page it seemed there were no buses at the scheduled time.

There was a long line of buses at the starting location. Port-o-potties were available. A pre-race email said no bags on the bus, which makes me assume there was no gear check. There were no announcements until 7:23 AM, when they told us the start was being delayed a half and hour, and we would start in 7 minutes. I heard no National Anthem.

*This year the weather was crap at the start. There was a big storm passing through with lightning, heavy rain and wind. I sat on our bus for the worst of it. However, when I walked to the suggested pace sign in the starting area, it was a downpour. There is no place to take shelter on top of the dam, so we all just got wet. Once I was out of the bus I didn't see any lightning strikes, so I believe the half hour delay in the start was due to a busing issue, but I can't confirm.

Race/Course: The course is a point to point, from the Saylorville Dam to the Dam in Downtown Des Moines.
-Terrain: all paved, on country roads and city streets
-Elevation: Overall the course is down hill, but there are a few climbs along the way including one near mile 7.
-Aid stations: The email said there would be water along the way, but Powerade was also on course. There were many stops and a giant flag that said water near each one, but not all stops had the same order of liquids, and not all liquids were in the same cups each time. No food or Gu. Many stops had people in costume.
-Scenery: Iowa open roads to Iowa big city... nothing super exciting
-Photographers: They were on the course, I am assuming they will be available for sale in the future
-Course markers: each mile was marked with a giant flag, course easy to navigate
-Volunteers: intersections with marshals or police, very upbeat at aid stations. Also there were so many helping the buses unload at the start in the pouring rain.
-Spectators: There were a great spattering of them along the course with lots of fun signs

Finish/Post race: The finish line was at Cowles Commons in downtown Des Moines. Once you crossed the finisher mat it was a little chaotic. When I finished it was tough to get to a medal, people were everywhere. Finishers hanging immediately after the finish mat waiting for loved ones. Once through this there was option for a cup of water and a bottle of Powerade. Then a sign marked to exit. This was even more confusing as there were sooo many people and things were scattered about. Way over to one side was the food, in the back was the beer, and off to the other direction a place to take photos.

I went to the food area, which was a little hectic. There were no lines or process set up. There were a ton of options and I did not have enough hands to carry it all. Ice cream, chocolate milk, kettle corn, cookies, bananas, oranges, apples, pulled pork sandwiches, and dumplings. Then with your bib you could get a keg Coors light or a Smirnoff Ice, which they were not checking race bibs or taking tickets or any money. The other part about these things is that non runners were able to get these things too.

Overall: This has been quite a tradition in Des Moines, the race was even a half marathon for a couple of years. It's sad that it will be transitioning to something else. The $39 price was a steal for all the food and race amenities you received. However, with so many other events that do race day logistics a little bit better, maybe he change is what the race needs.

My Race: I didn't have a time goal or anything specific in mind. I was just running it as I knew it was my last chance to ever run it. The rain didn't bother me, I have run in all weather conditions and knew my gear would make it through. I made it to the finish in 2:17 as I ran a bit out of the way to a port-o-potty.

As an Iowa tradition this is an event to run at least once, but now that it's gone, I wish for the best in the future.

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