Overall Rating
Overall Rating (335 Reviews)
4.6
(335 Ratings)  (335 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.9
SCENERY
4.2
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
Local Weather (Oct 16):
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H (°F) 59 55 51 67 71
L (°F) 42 40 40 35 38
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Recent reviews

    rajarvis91 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I really enjoyed this race. It was super flat, I think there might have been one very small hill early on in the course, but nothing huge. I did the … MORE

    I really enjoyed this race. It was super flat, I think there might have been one very small hill early on in the course, but nothing huge. I did the I 35 challenge this year. This race was super easy compared to the Kansas City Half the day before.
    Lots of spectators, which is nice. I’d say the downside was the line for food. The line was soo long, I decided I didn’t want to wait and left without any goodies. I would highly recommend this race and would do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    runwalksarah FIRST-TIMER '21

    I have nothing but positive glowing reviews of this race. I loved everything about it from start to finish. You run through a mixture of city, residential neighborhoods and a … MORE

    I have nothing but positive glowing reviews of this race. I loved everything about it from start to finish. You run through a mixture of city, residential neighborhoods and a beautiful forested area. Because the scenery kept changing, I did not get bored.

    I have never seen so much (race provided) course support, especially in the second half of the full. There were volunteers on bicycles riding along checking on the runners.

    Local bands were playing at the finish festival. The kids were REALLY talented. Not to mention- pulled pork sandwiches, beer and locally brewed hard seltzers.

    I don’t tend to repeat marathons outside the state of California, but I would run this one again in a heartbeat. This race is a gem.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    LKMO FIRST-TIMER '21

    Overall, I enjoyed this race weekend from the expo to the race morning. Some of my observations: - Volunteers on bikes with Kleenex and other items runners may need including … MORE

    Overall, I enjoyed this race weekend from the expo to the race morning. Some of my observations:
    – Volunteers on bikes with Kleenex and other items runners may need including candy. I’ve never seen this before and loved it! What a great addition. Wish I would have known about them prior to the race to look out for them.
    – Spectators were full of energy. So fantastic to see and the signage was fun!
    – Course includes downtown and park settings.
    – Expo had limited vendors, but that was hopefully due to COVID. We still spent a lot of time looking around though.
    – Advertised as flat but only if you don’t include the bridges one must go up and down! However, even with that, I earned a PR for myself.
    – Plenty of port-o-potties throughout the course
    – Music support was throughout. I am not from Iowa so some of the music choices surprised me as they didn’t seem very motivating for runners as they were slower choices.
    – On the half-marathon, there was only 1 station that had food options (pretzels, oranges, gummy bears) so be prepared for that.
    – Good stretching options available after!
    – Double check the medal you receive after crossing the finish line. There are multiple races happening and you might be handed the incorrect one. Happened to me which I was able to correct later.
    – Runners in this race are very friendly! Ran and had conversations with various runners throughout which was fun.
    – A map of which roads are closed and when would be helpful for out-of-towners. Parking before and getting around after was interesting.
    – Boxed refreshments at the end was a nice touch in COVID times. I wish there was a nut-free box though for those who can’t have nuts.
    – Like the pullover swag!
    – Went to watch 5-miler race but it seemed difficult to get around to other parts of the course to see the runners. May be easier for those who live there but for those from out of town, it was difficult.
    – Races other than the marathon seems to get lost in the shuffle. There are MANY races this weekend but it felt like the only one that mattered was the marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    MarathonMary FIRST-TIMER '21

    Really had a great time in Iowa! Excellent race with easy logistics. No rental car. Stayed downtown and was close to all race starts/finishes. Really great food choices and coffee. … MORE

    Really had a great time in Iowa! Excellent race with easy logistics. No rental car. Stayed downtown and was close to all race starts/finishes. Really great food choices and coffee. Iowa sure knows how to put on a race and party! Great swag and really nice expo! I highly recommend this race! It was state 45 for me and I truly had an amazing time. Thanks to the race director Chris Burch for putting on a spectacular event!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Pamela Reeves Rainey
    lsun2shine FIRST-TIMER '21

    I really enjoyed this vacation. I went with my Run Boo and we stayed at the Holiday Inn. They had transportation to the race and offered late check-out. It was … MORE

    I really enjoyed this vacation. I went with my Run Boo and we stayed at the Holiday Inn. They had transportation to the race and offered late check-out. It was an older facility but good amenities. We drove from Kansas city and went straight to the Expo. The Expo was nice with a good amount of vendors and tons of free items (toothbrushes, caffeine products, band-aide’s, etc.) We went to eat at a restaurant named ROCA and the food was amazing!
    Race Day- We got to the race and met tons of friendly people! Some gave stories of health victories and all! The course started in the “middle of Des Moines” and then took us to a park location. I really enjoyed the second section of the park. There was a ton of crowd support and numerous water/GU stations. I really enjoyed this race. The only thing that would have made it a little better would have been going through the main part of the city a little more because the part we went through was beautiful.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    bluejayethan FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first half marathon. I don't have much to compare it to. But I did really enjoy it and it was a great environment! The route was pretty … MORE

    This was my first half marathon. I don’t have much to compare it to. But I did really enjoy it and it was a great environment! The route was pretty good, the part around the lake was a little boring. But their wasn’t much, if any elevation change, which was nice for a newbie like me. I would still definitely recommend this race to anyone interested!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    agreen REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Gorgeous weather, beautiful scenery and a lovely flat course. This race, by far, is my favorite - I’ve run the half 5 times now. Thinking next year I might try … MORE

    Gorgeous weather, beautiful scenery and a lovely flat course. This race, by far, is my favorite – I’ve run the half 5 times now. Thinking next year I might try the full marathon. Do THIS RACE!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    shainagaul FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first marathon and I was really impressed with the event overall. Packet pickup ran smoothly, the course was supported and well-marked, and the spectators were enthusiastic and … MORE

    This was my first marathon and I was really impressed with the event overall. Packet pickup ran smoothly, the course was supported and well-marked, and the spectators were enthusiastic and encouraging. This is a great time of year to race because the temperatures are cool until the last hour or so. You get to run through all the famous destinations in Des Moines and even take a quiet wooded trail for a couple of miles. I would definitely recommend this race to any runner looking for a rewarding, positive experience!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    tasha.l.moon REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Fairly scenic course highlighting the best parts of Des Moines. Some hills on the first 10 miles then pretty flat after that. Lots of Aid, lots of spectators and cheering. … MORE

    Fairly scenic course highlighting the best parts of Des Moines. Some hills on the first 10 miles then pretty flat after that. Lots of Aid, lots of spectators and cheering. Held the 3rd week of October, cool temps in the morning lead to perfect temps midday and afternoon.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    kweaver FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was an amazing race especially for a first timer! The atmosphere was amazing the volunteers and staff were very helpful. I will definitely be coming back as long as … MORE

    This was an amazing race especially for a first timer! The atmosphere was amazing the volunteers and staff were very helpful. I will definitely be coming back as long as you keep this event going! Planning on doing the IMT challenge next year. Please keep doing what you’re doing it’s working. And if this is your first race for a half marathon this is your go to the race is difficult enough to wear it makes you work but it’s pretty flat so it’s easier than some other races!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Chaserman23 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I trained but didn't really train too hard for it. It was brutal. If I do another one, I have to train better. The elevation of thus race was really … MORE

    I trained but didn’t really train too hard for it. It was brutal. If I do another one, I have to train better. The elevation of thus race was really difficult. My legs were gone by mile 19. I thought I wasn’t going to finish but I ended up making it.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    mjenn66 FIRST-TIMER '21

    Average expo. 8am race start, which is nice to sleep in a bit. Pretty easy to find free street parking not to far from the start/finish. Nice flat course, so-so … MORE

    Average expo. 8am race start, which is nice to sleep in a bit. Pretty easy to find free street parking not to far from the start/finish. Nice flat course, so-so on the scenery. Ideal weather in Oct. Decent food and some live music at the finish. Pretty well organized and run event. No complaints, but nothing really special about this race either. Finishing medal was a little disappointing, but the 1/4 zip pullover was nice. Overall good, but felt kinda plain. But i guess that’s Iowa.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    troll2069 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I enjoyed this race and would easily put it in my top 10 so far. The course was mostly flat and I enjoyed the start/finish. Where the race ended had … MORE

    I enjoyed this race and would easily put it in my top 10 so far. The course was mostly flat and I enjoyed the start/finish. Where the race ended had plenty of businesses to enjoy afterward to rest a bit after finishing. When I lined up I saw a Pho restaurant and multiple places to get a post-race beer. I thought about the Pho the entire race, and as soon as I crossed, that’s where I went. I didn’t get the beer. The race was only about 5 miles total through the town. The rest was along the river, through an arboretum around a lake, then around another lake. They had pacers through 3:00, and I finished about five minutes slower than the hillier course the day before. I felt fine, but because there wasn’t a pacer at 3:30 I lollygagged too much and finished slower. Although it was chilly at the beginning, I felt good mid-way and at the end actually a little warm. The 1/4 pullover in the swag bag was excellent and I, like many people, wore it during the run. There was a lot of people cheering along the way, there was a lot more water stations and bathroom stops along the way, and I liked the live music scattered throughout the course. The guys rapping around mile 9 were excellent. It was a great atmosphere and a fun day. There was an extra medal for completing the I35 Challenge. Even if you don’t tackle the challenge, I would highly recommend this race if you need Iowa.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    finneyswake FIRST-TIMER '21

    The amount of hydration, fuel, and aid stations, as well as porta pottys, on the course was amazing. In the pandemic era of racing, so many courses have been unstaffed … MORE

    The amount of hydration, fuel, and aid stations, as well as porta pottys, on the course was amazing. In the pandemic era of racing, so many courses have been unstaffed and understocked. Not this one. I brought hydration with me because I was very nervous about the course, and never needed it. I did use the portas, and there was no line– super important when trying to hit a certain finish time. The availability of the YMCA to change clothes and shower was awesome as well. The Expo was cool as it was neat to hear Mr. Galloway speak and there were a good amount of vendor booths to check out. There could have been more vendors, though, but I went on Friday night so I can’t speak to what Saturday was like. The course was extremely well marked and getting off course would have been next to impossible. The crowd was manageable and I never felt pressure to weave in and out of the pack. Pacers could have been better identified, but I was able to find mind and keep him in sight and he gave me some words of encouragement when I needed an extra push at mile 12. The other runners were courteous and friendly. The start was easy to find and parking was a breeze. Being from out of town, I stress about accessing the race site, and there was no difficulty. The race swag was good. Would have preferred a hat or beanie- something other than a pullover, but that was fine and exchanging for a different size at the Expo was a breeze. The only real critique I have is that the course measured long for both my brother and me, and we each ran a different course and used different gps tracking devices. The finish line was awesome! Can’t say enough good things about the crowd and the volunteers. The post race food and drink was great– a variety of options were available. The weather and terrain were extremely manageable and made for a great run. I would recommend this race to beginners as well as professional runners. I hope to be back next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Colin Piscitello
    piscitellocolin REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Tons of support, both organized and spectators. Course is great with only one caveat, there is a hairpin turn with half a mile to go. You overshoot a left turn, … MORE

    Tons of support, both organized and spectators. Course is great with only one caveat, there is a hairpin turn with half a mile to go. You overshoot a left turn, do a counter clockwise hairpin turn, run 30 meters and do an immediate right turn. Just feels like the course could be optimized a little better there for a strong final kick. Wonderful size field though, I could run with people going for sub 90 if I wanted, or could lone wolf it and have the width of the road to myself. I didn’t have my phone on me so I was hoping I could get my official time right after the race with either a print out or kiosk, but just had to rely on my watch until I got back to my car. Glad to take advantage of the complementary stretching after the race too

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    tkd4ufitness FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race was wonderful everyone we spoke to was nice and helpful. Expo was great. Course was beautiful and well monitored. First Aid stops all along. Finish line and party … MORE

    This race was wonderful everyone we spoke to was nice and helpful. Expo was great. Course was beautiful and well monitored. First Aid stops all along. Finish line and party was nice. Highly recommend. I would do this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Jason Gregg
    jgregg42 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This is the 6th time running Des Moines for me, and there is a reason why I keep coming back - the organization. Packet pick-up is easy, getting to the … MORE

    This is the 6th time running Des Moines for me, and there is a reason why I keep coming back – the organization. Packet pick-up is easy, getting to the start line is simple, and the finish line celebration has a lot of positive energy. I love the course, a few gradual hills but you also get some great views along the way. I look forward to coming back in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    jmilly FIRST-TIMER '21

    Good course for a first timer - somewhat hilly through the first 10 miles but finishes with a downhill and flat. Needs more hydration stations towards the end of the MORE

    Good course for a first timer – somewhat hilly through the first 10 miles but finishes with a downhill and flat. Needs more hydration stations towards the end of the race

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    agsesow FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first year racing Des Moines -- and only my second half marathon ever -- and I had a blast! As I was searching for a fall half … MORE

    This was my first year racing Des Moines — and only my second half marathon ever — and I had a blast! As I was searching for a fall half marathon, a good friend recommended I sign up for this one, since my schedule conflicted with our local half in Lincoln, NE. I am SO glad I took her advice; the weather was PERFECT, the course was BEAUTIFUL (and flat!), and the volunteers, staff, and other runners were a joy to be around. I fell down about 8 miles into the race, and everyone — from the official race cyclists to the other runners to the first aid tent staff at the finish line — was so kind. Plus, now I have some BA battle scars to show everyone back home 😉

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    jasmith03 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first time for this race, but my 17th half. It, by far, had the best support along the entire length of the half marathon. Plenty of water … MORE

    This was my first time for this race, but my 17th half. It, by far, had the best support along the entire length of the half marathon. Plenty of water stops, bathroom spots and people cheering. Well worth my 8 1/2 hour drive to get to this one. Will be back next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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