- 3 miles/5K, 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
See more of our race!
My wife and I have raced in 9 states so far, with the intention of running a half or longer race in each of the 50 states. I generally do a little research of the area when I visit a new state/city for a race. This time, I thought... eh... it's Iowa, nothing special. I was pleasantly surprised! The town is clean and people were friendly. One thing to note if you are visiting Des Moines - they have an extensive sky-walk system in the downtown area. This was great! We stayed pretty much in the middle of downtown and the parking garage we used was maybe 4 or 5 blocks from the hotel. We were able to walk indoors from the garage to the hotel, from the hotel to the expo and also within a block of the race start all indoors. I like being outside, and the sidewalks were wide and clean, but it was a little rainy for part of our stay and race day morning was a little chilly, so we took advantage. There are tons of stores and coffee shops etc all along the sky-walk which was great for a long walk the day after the marathon. The race was organized very well. They even have a podcast - out of curiosity, we listened on the drive up to Des Moines. Pretty interesting stuff. Some helpful information about the race and training. The expo was great! Much bigger and more vendors than I expected. Everything was easy to find, there were a ton of water/aid stations throughout the course. The first half is hilly, nothing crazy, but be prepared for it. The second half was mostly flat and went around a lake and through some park areas. The crowd support was wonderful! The race offers a relay option for the marathon. The exchange locations for the relay participants seemed like a big party! There were people cheering and signs and all the fun stuff I like to see at races. Overall it was a great experience - highly recommended!