Overall Rating
Overall Rating (372 Reviews)
4.6
(372 Ratings)  (372 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.4
The IMT Des Moines Marathon offers a race distance for athletes of all ages, abilities, interest levels… and goals. Select your race of choice in the IMT Des Moines Marathon, IMT Des Moines Half Marathon, Bankers Trust Marathon Relay, or the Principal 5K Road Race. And don’t forget to bring … MORE
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H (° F ) 68 63 56 60 50
L (° F ) 33 50 39 45 32
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Recent reviews

    Tank3872 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This is a wonderfully flat course, I will say mile 4 to mile 8 can be incredibly disheartening as that portion is an out and back at Water Works Park. … MORE

    This is a wonderfully flat course, I will say mile 4 to mile 8 can be incredibly disheartening as that portion is an out and back at Water Works Park. I came into this race after running the KC Half the day before as part of the I 35 Challenge, if this was my lone race on the weekend this part would’ve fired up my competitive juices quiet a bit. I will say the post race food options were not great, great variety but from food trucks, so lines were way too long to wait and get anything. I LOVED downtown Des Moines though, if given the opportunity I will run this again and actually push for a good time. Highly recommend this race. Also as a bonus they send you free race photos!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
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    JonathanBahr REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Excellent course; I really enjoy the challenges the early elevation changes provide. Beautiful scenery; there is almost always something interesting to look at. Awesome post race party and food trucks … MORE

    Excellent course; I really enjoy the challenges the early elevation changes provide.
    Beautiful scenery; there is almost always something interesting to look at.
    Awesome post race party and food trucks with delicious food (live music was a little too loud, though).
    Lots of spectators cheering the runners on.
    A lot of aid stations really provided a piece of mind once the going got tough.
    Packet pickup was a breeze and starting line was easy to get to.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    clynn REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Great race through many parts of the city. There’s great support and many people cheering you on throughout the course. it is a little hilly around miles four through seven. … MORE

    Great race through many parts of the city. There’s great support and many people cheering you on throughout the course. it is a little hilly around miles four through seven. However, the neighborhood is beautiful.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    kylej5711 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Such a great atmosphere. I ran the full marathon in 2021, and convinced family members to participate in the marathon relay in 2022. From start to finish the atmosphere is … MORE

    Such a great atmosphere. I ran the full marathon in 2021, and convinced family members to participate in the marathon relay in 2022. From start to finish the atmosphere is great. Aid stations are stocked and volunteers at those stations are amazing. Some hills from miles 3-8 but those hills go through a beautiful neighborhood with people coming out of their homes to cheer you on. Getting to run through drake stadium is also amazing. My brother participated in the relay with me this year, and before the race he said he had no desire to run a full marathon. But crossing the finish line with the announcer cheering our team name and the environment. He’s hooked just like I am. We will both be signing up for the full marathon in 2023. Miles 20-23 your pretty much away from crowds. But there are still aid stations with volunteers that help make up for it. At that moment though it’s time to dig deep and you come out on the main road with music playing and the crowd is right back in it. I’m so glad I took the chance and signed up for this race. See you next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Paxilpaige FIRST-TIMER '22

    Great scenery, the half is flat, lots of runners, food was awesome afterwards! The weather was perfect. I felt sorry for the runners completing 5 + hours for the marathon, … MORE

    Great scenery, the half is flat, lots of runners, food was awesome afterwards! The weather was perfect. I felt sorry for the runners completing 5 + hours for the marathon, there wasn’t any food left. Ask the food trucks were sold out.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    jenny4life REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Great race! Organization is great. Awesome volunteers. Weather is unpredictable, it is October in Iowa. Nice swag. It's a great opportunity to see downtown Des Moines and run through some … MORE

    Great race! Organization is great. Awesome volunteers. Weather is unpredictable, it is October in Iowa. Nice swag. It’s a great opportunity to see downtown Des Moines and run through some parks.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    amyjeantwo REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Great weather and scenery. Fairly flat and easy half course w great organization and support. Awesome swag and food as well as well run expo. MORE

    Great weather and scenery. Fairly flat and easy half course w great organization and support. Awesome swag and food as well as well run expo.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    BarefootRunner REPEAT RUNNER '22

    when i arrived at the expo to receive my packet, i found i wasn’t on the list! i’d wondered why i never got any emails about the event after the … MORE

    when i arrived at the expo to receive my packet, i found i wasn’t on the list! i’d wondered why i never got any emails about the event after the initial confirmation in mar. (i go to the hq and pay by check.) they had to look me up and register me manually though it did show i’d paid.
    i was a bit late starting out on my bike, and thus reached the start line after the other runners had left. still, i finished with a reasonable time.
    i then picked up my medal, and got some water and so forth. eventually i was able to acquire a free meal, but it made me late for church. (that’s the only beef i have about holding it on sunday, but there was nothing i could do about it.) i thus only used one of my coupons.
    i do have one concern. after i finished, i went back to the start line to find out if anyone else had run it sans footwear. the person i asked just said, “who cares? go away!” though there were others around and he let them remain. later, i tried to get closer to the announcer but he again shooed me off.
    as i have no blog site, i put it on strava, where anyone with an account there can view it: https://www.strava.com/activities/7973133801 .

    DIFFICULTY
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    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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    bluejayethan REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This is a great race to cap off your running summer. A great half marathon to go for a PR - very flat course and the weather is nice and … MORE

    This is a great race to cap off your running summer. A great half marathon to go for a PR – very flat course and the weather is nice and cool. Very fun race from packet pick-up to post race party. I am going to do this every year that I can!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Mile33 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    I've come to love this course. Such varied scenery, from downtown to neighborhoods to winding park roads. Circling the iconic Blue Oval at Drake Stadium is awesome. Confusing finish corral … MORE

    I’ve come to love this course. Such varied scenery, from downtown to neighborhoods to winding park roads. Circling the iconic Blue Oval at Drake Stadium is awesome. Confusing finish corral or this would be a perfect race. Lack of food and drinks at the end was awkward.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    Sprintaway REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This is a really well run, well organized race that runs through part of downtown, Water Works park and Gray's Lake. I have run this race for the past three … MORE

    This is a really well run, well organized race that runs through part of downtown, Water Works park and Gray’s Lake. I have run this race for the past three years and it is one of the events I look forward to!

    There are lots of cheering sections, entertainment and aid stations along the course. I highly recommend this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    jmwelk REPEAT RUNNER '22

    I absolutely love everything about the Des Moines Marathon! From the swag to the amazing course to the out-of-this world volunteers, there is no race better. This year I tackled … MORE

    I absolutely love everything about the Des Moines Marathon! From the swag to the amazing course to the out-of-this world volunteers, there is no race better. This year I tackled the I-35 Challenge so this was my Sunday race and I set a PR on the course after having ran a half the day before. I never once felt unsupported by the volunteers. Each one cheered for me as I passed, offered encouragement, and would engage in quick conversation. The expo is well organized. It feels like such a big production and the hype you feel before the race is unmatched. This is a race I’ll do as often as I can.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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    mhrdlicka FIRST-TIMER '22

    Nice flat course with minimal hills throughout. Great scenery with a wide variety of landscape to look at. All volunteers are very approachable and nice to interact with. I would … MORE

    Nice flat course with minimal hills throughout. Great scenery with a wide variety of landscape to look at. All volunteers are very approachable and nice to interact with. I would recommend this course to anyone looking for a fun and invigorating race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    freundmarkj REPEAT RUNNER '22

    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
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    JerReil FIRST-TIMER '22

    I would run this race again. Everything went smoothly. Expo was fine and bib pick up was fast and easy. Plenty of support along the course, definitely not lacking in … MORE

    I would run this race again. Everything went smoothly. Expo was fine and bib pick up was fast and easy. Plenty of support along the course, definitely not lacking in side stations. A couple of rolling hills in the front half and flat in the second half. My headphones died on me at the halfway point and I enjoyed the second half of the race as much as the first half.
    The food and drink tickets did not get as much as I hoped for. There are smaller races that offered more food and drink post race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    slhunt FIRST-TIMER '22

    I walked the half marathon not in shape to run or jog it yet. Maybe next year. The overall experience was amazing. I attended pre race dinner and that was … MORE

    I walked the half marathon not in shape to run or jog it yet. Maybe next year. The overall experience was amazing. I attended pre race dinner and that was very nice to meet other people. I also loved all the fans cheering on the sidelines and their encouragement. I will definitely be back next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    lisajane FIRST-TIMER '22

    I've run over 70 marathons in 32 states and this was a top 5 race! The expo is the largest I've been at post-covid - really fun! Race shirts customized … MORE

    I’ve run over 70 marathons in 32 states and this was a top 5 race! The expo is the largest I’ve been at post-covid – really fun! Race shirts customized for each distance always a nice bonus, and they had the little oval race distance stickers for each distance too. at packet pick up. I ran the full, my husband ran the half, and my father ran the 5K. My review is for the full, but all were excellent! Loved staying at a hotel near the start – walked over to the race about 30 mins before the gun – so much more relaxing, tons of porta potties so short line, and off we went. Since the half splits from the full only a couple miles into the course, I was really impressed how many spectators were out cheering on the full! It’s so much more fun to run through neighborhoods when you have folks out there cheering and spectating. The loop on the Drake Relay’s track at mile 12 was a highlight – they call your name when you enter the stadium – I took a ton of pics and then noticed they had a photographer on course too – he got some great ones (free thanks to a sponsor, sweet!) Then we headed down to the parks/greenway… mile 23 glass bridge is really pretty. I’m a slow poke and they still had a great post race set up and folks at the finish when I crossed the line. My medal was the state capitol – we went and toured it the next day – definitely worth a stop! Custom medals for all three distances too, I liked it! Overall really outstanding race – tons of porta potties all over the course – great aid stations, zero complaints!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    aparkel FIRST-TIMER '22

    The middle of October has led to some great running weather in recent years, and that trend continues. I did not start to feel dehydrated until mile 18, even though … MORE

    The middle of October has led to some great running weather in recent years, and that trend continues. I did not start to feel dehydrated until mile 18, even though it was my first marathon. I was perfectly comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts, even though it was supposed to be in the low 40s at the start: winds were extremely low too. This is the biggest race of Des Moines of the year, and the volunteers showed why. In what’s not known as the biggest city, there were still plenty of aided water stations scattered throughout the track at the right times, in addition to the nutritionals (Gatorade energy Gel, sometimes fruit, sometimes trail mix or even gummy bears) except mile 16-17, where the course gets narrow and you cannot see much in front of you. The volunteers and fans were frequently around the track in many areas. My medal has a few scratches on it I later noticed, and in photos, it was clear that it had scratches when it was handed to me, but I can’t complain much since it was my first marathon medal. The medal designs were fun (State Capitol) and I can argue the half marathon and 5K medals were cooler looking. The IMT Des Moines Marathon Group provided a few training sessions that were somewhat valuable in the preceding months of the marathon, whether it was a free hill training program, or physical therapy/recovery. This year, the marathon was on the same day as the half marathon and 5K races, which didn’t enable some to start with their desired pace group, but since the race is so long, you will still be able to run your best at the pace you’re comfortable with (for at least the first 20 miles). There were some opportunities for runners to get action photos, including the Blue Oval at Drake, where the 20K checkpoint was, and it is always a fun run on the track as a Drake alumni myself. Photos were also taken at the finish line, by Gray’s Lake, so you could see how tired out you were around mile 23, and of course, the start line!

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    2
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    Tororuns FIRST-TIMER '22

    Well organized as Des Moines came out to support the runners. Great wx and course support. Course was fast. But I was looking for an easy half for some tired … MORE

    Well organized as Des Moines came out to support the runners. Great wx and course support. Course was fast. But I was looking for an easy half for some tired legs & this was perfect.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    supergirl21 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Last several years, it's been in the mid 30's for temp at the start of the race, but tends to turn out to be absolutely beautiful, and feels nice to … MORE

    Last several years, it’s been in the mid 30’s for temp at the start of the race, but tends to turn out to be absolutely beautiful, and feels nice to run in the cool temp. The scenery on this course is gorgeous! I love starting downtown, and then running through water works park, and Gray’s Lake area before returning downtown. I felt like there was quite a few water and Gatorade stations along the route this year. Not so many options for emergency bathroom break, if that is a concern. There wasn’t as many entertainment/live music stations as there used to be, if you really enjoy that during a race. The course is well marked, and just a few little hills here and there, but overall, I think it’s a pretty easy going, paved course. The coupons/perks for participants were good, if you’re paying attention to what is available/offered. The Expo was great this year that you can attend when picking up the race day packet. I would have to admit, the medal this year, was a bit disappointing compared to previous years, however…it was small, and not as flashy/pretty as usually they are. Was just kinda, eh. The shirt was ok. The socks that DMOS gave out at the Expo were the best! Overall, I love this race, and look forward to doing it every year! I got my kids in to the kids race, and they absolutely loved it! Great event, and very thankful to all the sponsors and volunteers. Highly recommend =)

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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