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@freundmarkj

Des Moines, IA Raving since 2022 Active 4 hours, 58 minutes ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    IMT Des Moines Half Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Indy Mini

  • I run because:

    It helps me when I’m at my most vulnerable. It teaches me how to push myself. It motivates me to reach for the next thing. It makes me believe, and feel.

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Rochester, MN May 30, 2010 5:04:41
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 21, 2018 1:53:21
5 Miler Des Moines, IA Nov 24, 2022 45:43

Future Races (25)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 20, 2024
Half Marathon Carlisle, IA Nov 2, 2024
Half Marathon Two Harbors, MN 2026
10K Chicago, IL TBD
Half Marathon New York City, NY TBD
Half Marathon Denver, CO TBD
Half Marathon Johnston, IA TBD
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA TBD
Half Marathon Fargo, ND TBD
Half Marathon Lincoln, NE TBD
Half Marathon Louisville, KY TBD
Half Marathon Louisville, KY TBD
Half Marathon Madison, WI TBD
Half Marathon Milwaukee, WI TBD
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN TBD
Half Marathon Geneva, IL TBD
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA TBD
Half Marathon Pittsburgh, PA TBD
Half Marathon Canton, OH TBD
Half Marathon Moline, IL TBD
Half Marathon San Diego, CA TBD
Half Marathon Portland, ME TBD
Half Marathon Memphis, TN TBD
Half Marathon Auburn, AL TBD
Half Marathon Tulsa, OK TBD

Past Races (14)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Miami, FL Jan 28, 2024 2:11:34
Half Marathon Carlisle, IA Nov 4, 2023 1:57:58
Half Marathon Portland, OR Oct 1, 2023 2:01:20
Half Marathon Rochester, MN May 13, 2023 2:01:32
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Apr 23, 2023 2:06:22
5 Miler Des Moines, IA Nov 24, 2022 45:43
Half Marathon Carlisle, IA Nov 5, 2022 2:05:10
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 16, 2022 2:03:42
Half Marathon Lincoln, NE May 1, 2022 2:06:54
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Apr 18, 2021 1:55:53
Half Marathon Carlisle, IA Nov 2, 2019 1:58:26
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 20, 2019 1:53:39
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 21, 2018 1:53:21
Marathon Rochester, MN May 30, 2010 5:04:41

My Raves

The Miami Marathon offers an experience that few races in the country can: a warm weather race in the heart of winter. Unfortunately, Mother Nature took it an extra step … MORE

The Miami Marathon offers an experience that few races in the country can: a warm weather race in the heart of winter. Unfortunately, Mother Nature took it an extra step in 2024. At the gun, it was 74 degrees with 90% humidity, and it really made things difficult on runners as the day went on and it got warmer and warmer. Of course, that’s out of the race’s control, and the race director himself told local media that it was one of the warmest race days in the race’s 22-year history.

The most difficult part of this race, from my perspective, was the sheer amount of people. Miami allows 18,000 entrants, and while I was thankful to get in, it did make for a cramped experience from start to finish. The expo was a total zoo, trying to shop and maneuver was difficult. Then on race day, it was even worse. That many runners means you’re never even remotely alone. It created pinch points in some areas, including right away in the first half-mile. It overwhelmed just about every aid station, which is tough on a warm day. It involved a lot of dodging and weaving around runners, making sure you don’t trip, etc. Ultimately, that required a bunch of extra effort over the course of a half marathon. I ended up running 13.35 miles to the finish, which I would attribute to all that extra movement. All those extra people also made the post-race party a little bit cramped, to the point where my family and I just decided to leave early instead of wait for more and more runners to finish and create longer lines, etc.

The race corralled the runners really well. There were 11 total corrals that left at good intervals. However, I was in corral F, scheduled to leave at 6:15am, and we didn’t actually get going until 6:30. On such a warm day, missing out on those extra minutes of darkness were critical and unfortunate.

The brutal heat and extra effort made things really tough on everyone, and it was my slowest half marathon time ever. But I didn’t really care. I was doing it for the experience — and I will say, Miami was an experience. The course is beautiful, running over two different causeways with a jaunt through Miami Beach sandwiched in the middle. There’s a lot of beauty along the route, and seeing the giant cruise ships at the start of the race was one of my favorite features. The crowd support is phenomenal upon return to Miami to the finish (roughly the final 2 miles of the half). Also, the course support and medical folks did a fantastic job under really tough conditions, and were diligent about helping people that needed medical attention. And the spinner medal is AMAZING! Easily my favorite medal I’ve ever earned. I want to make it clear that I did find a lot of positives in this race, and if you’re a destination race hunter, Miami is certainly a good one to go for.

This is all personal preference, of course, but ultimately I just found it to be too many people to truly enjoy the race as much as I hoped I would. I truly think a 3.5-star rating is the most appropriate, but since it’s whole numbers here, I do think this race was closer to 3 stars than it was to 4. I totally understand why so many people love this race, but personally, I would not run it again. I am glad I experienced it once, however!

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I believe that this is the most underrated half marathon in Iowa, and each year that I run it, my belief only increases. It's a small race - only 272 … MORE

I believe that this is the most underrated half marathon in Iowa, and each year that I run it, my belief only increases. It’s a small race – only 272 half marathon finishers this year – but it’s got everything you could want: a flat and fast course, beautiful scenery, helpful volunteers, good swag and a lively post-race atmosphere.

The race itself is great. Again, fast and flat, with plenty to look at. It’s a point-to-point race on a trail that runs through the countryside. As such, crowd support is thin, but that’s to be expected. The aid stations are few, but had the essentials – water and Gatorade.

The race production team has race day down to a science, from the shuttle that runs from Carlisle to the start line in Indianola, to the bag check, to the post-race setup. It all runs smoothly. This race knows what it is and doesn’t try to do too much. Highly recommend if you miss out on the Des Moines Marathon!

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As a first-time Portland runner, I could not have asked for a much better weekend. The expo was well-organized and lively, with plenty of good shopping and fun interactive activities … MORE

As a first-time Portland runner, I could not have asked for a much better weekend. The expo was well-organized and lively, with plenty of good shopping and fun interactive activities for racers.

Race day itself was pretty much perfect. We got a great Portland day, and I mostly enjoyed the half marathon course. The Sellwood and Burnside Bridges were highlights, and the Portland neighborhoods were nice to run through. Spectator support was a little thin in areas, but the people that were out were lively and fun. Plenty of aid stations, including several with Nuun and Gu.

The finish was fantastic, with great crowd support. The medal immediately became one of my favorites in my collection, and also getting a rose at the finish line was a nice touch. The finish area was also very lively, with plenty of space for runners and their supporters, photo opportunities and a free doughnut and beer for finishers.

Start to finish, Portland was a first-time experience I’ll never forget, and I hope I can do it again someday!

DIFFICULTY
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I got the unique experience of running Med City, my hometown half marathon, on my birthday, and it was a great time. The course is a point-to-point that starts out … MORE

I got the unique experience of running Med City, my hometown half marathon, on my birthday, and it was a great time. The course is a point-to-point that starts out at the airport and runs into downtown Rochester. For the half, about 8 of the 13.1 miles aren’t even really in Rochester, as you’re running county roads from the airport into town. Once in the city, you hop on bike trails for nearly the rest of the race.

I personally am not in love with the course as it’s very long stretches on county roads, but it is extremely flat with one major downhill around mile 6.
That also makes fan support difficult, and I would describe it as mostly scarce for the majority of the race.

That said, 2023’s race had a perfect day to run, cool and overcast, and I love the long-sleeve tech shirt. The expo was organized and the athletic trainer station was able to help me with some back trouble I had going into the race. I also ran my fastest time in more than 2 years, which was great – but I think that was because my Nike Run Club app had the course coming up short of 13.1.

All in all, this was a really fun race for me. It sounds like the race is under some relatively new ownership, and they’re doing their best to continuously improve the experience. I expect this race to get better and better as the years go by!

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There is no better way to kick off Drake Relays week than with this great race through some of the beautiful neighborhoods Des Moines has to offer. Packet pickup is … MORE

There is no better way to kick off Drake Relays week than with this great race through some of the beautiful neighborhoods Des Moines has to offer. Packet pickup is always a breeze, and race day itself generally runs smoothly. I think this race’s biggest strength is its scenery, with most of the course showcasing some beautiful homes and neighborhoods in Des Moines. The fan support is thin most of the way. However, I was impressed with how many Drake students got up early and lined the streets to cheer us on. That gave me a huge boost at the start and near the end.

The half-marathon course features one major downhill at mile 3, followed later by a challenging uphill as you approach mile 10. Otherwise, it’s mostly flat. Aid stations were sufficient and well-stocked with both water and volunteers. And of course, finishing on the Blue Oval is really a fantastic experience, with the stands inside Drake Stadium full of cheering fans.

This isn’t my favorite Des Moines race, but it is one of the best ones we’ve got. It’s a worthy challenge for anyone looking for a rock-solid spring race in the Midwest.

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This is a fun race to run before stuffing your face on Thanksgiving. The two major positives of this race are the course and the swag. The course is fantastic, … MORE

This is a fun race to run before stuffing your face on Thanksgiving.

The two major positives of this race are the course and the swag. The course is fantastic, running from the Court Avenue district, up to and around the Iowa State Capitol Building, and through the East Village before heading back downtown for the finish. 5-mile runners get extra time running past the Botanical Garden before returning downtown. The unique part for runners is the ability to change their race on the fly. When the course splits – one way is the finish to the 5K, while the other way branches off for the 5-miler – you have the opportunity to change your race if you prefer. I also loved the swag. At the expo, I received a reusable bag and a really cool knit winter hat. At the finish – a great ceramic mug! I don’t believe in finisher medals for 10K or shorter, so this was an inventive way to reward finishers.

I did experience two negatives on race day. First, there’s no separation between walkers and runners at the start. Participants go off in waves, but there’s no organization, so walkers and runners are free to go whenever they want. I went off in the third or fourth wave, and didn’t factor in all the walkers, so I was dodging walkers all the way until the course split, and then again when the 5-miler and 5K merged back up again. Especially on the narrow Women of Achievement Bridge near the end of the race, it was very difficult to dodge all the walkers. So for runners, I’d advise starting in the earliest wave possible. The second negative I experienced was that the course came up a little short for the 5-miler. Not a big deal, since I decided to not be timed, but still annoying.

Overall, I would run this again! The post-race area was crowded, but lively. It was a perfect pre-Thanksgiving workout.

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This year (2022) was my second time running the Hillbilly Hike. This race runs almost entirely on the Summerset Trail that connects Indianola, IA and nearby Carlisle, IA. It’s a … MORE

This year (2022) was my second time running the Hillbilly Hike. This race runs almost entirely on the Summerset Trail that connects Indianola, IA and nearby Carlisle, IA. It’s a nice, flat trail with nice scenery, perfect for a smaller race, which this is. Most of the race actually feels like a nice stroll with friends.

This year we ran in a steady rain and cold conditions, but I still had almost as much fun as the first time I did it. The volunteers out on the course were troopers, braving the cold and rain to hand out water or staff the areas where the trail crosses a road. This year’s medal was pretty cool. Those that run in 2021, 2022 and 2023 will get three separate medals that, when pieced together, will form the state of Iowa. Very inventive idea for the medals! The post race is great too, with a photo area and a gazebo with volunteers serving water, chocolate milk, biscuits and gravy and, most importantly, pie!

My one criticism is that it seems the course came up just a little short. I had it as .02 miles short, and I heard that others had run beyond the finish line so their tracking apps could log it to 13.1. But overall, this is a great race. I appreciate the effort that’s put into it, and would recommend to anyone looking for a November race in Iowa.

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This year (2022) was my third time running the Des Moines half marathon, and my first time back in three years. To my delight, very little has changed! The course … MORE

This year (2022) was my third time running the Des Moines half marathon, and my first time back in three years. To my delight, very little has changed! The course was basically the same, with a flat, fast run through downtown Des Moines that expands out into nearby Waterworks Park and around beautiful Gray’s Lake before returning downtown for the finish. I live just north of downtown, and as a result I do a lot of my training runs at both Waterworks and Gray’s Lake. I can say with confidence that running those areas in training versus running them on race day is night and day. There’s so much great course support on race day that keeps your mind occupied and keeps your spirits upbeat. The atmosphere through the whole race, really, is superb.

For half-marathoners, there are ample aid stations that offer a variety of things – water, Gatorade, energy gels and even bananas at one or two of them. The volunteers were all very kind and helpful, both on the course and at the finish. The post-race area had tons of food trucks and drinks, with plenty of recovery food options offered to race finishers.

Overall, I was so happy I came back and will plan to run this race again as many times as I can! Thanks to Chris Burch and his team for a great day.

DIFFICULTY
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