Overall Rating
Overall Rating (171 Reviews)
4.6
(171 Ratings)(171 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.3
The Des Moines Marathon is a long-distance running race with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers or 26 miles and 385 yards. USATF Certificate: IA16014MF Participate this year in the 5 Mile Combo by combining the Mercy Live Up Loop on Saturday with your IMT Des Moines Marathon race registration … MORE
Local Weather (Oct 20)
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H (°F) 53 77 54 70 70
L (°F) 42 55 42 58 46
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Recent reviews

    sigginst FIRST-TIMER '17

    I had trained for about a year for this marathon not knowing what to expect. I was blowing this race away running with the 7:10/mile pace group (which was an … MORE

    I had trained for about a year for this marathon not knowing what to expect. I was blowing this race away running with the 7:10/mile pace group (which was an amazing group) up to mile 18, ran two more miles and then strained my ACL. As I sat on the side of the trail a support biker rolled up and asked if I was okay and encouraged me to finish the last 6 miles. I walked those last 6 miles and at mile 25 that support biker caught back up with me and encouraged me to finish the race no matter what, so I finished it running. After I finished the same dude came up to me, told me great job and that it would be a moment I would remember forever.

    To this day I still remember every moment of that race and that gentlemen that encouraged me throughout the hardest part of the race! Absolutely love the Iowa hospitality and support at their races!

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    My Media

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    lrlarsen FIRST-TIMER '17

    Fast, flat course with just enough scenery thru parks & over pedestrian/bike bridge going across lake in mile 10 to keep it interesting. Great location downtown for start/finish area and … MORE

    Fast, flat course with just enough scenery thru parks & over pedestrian/bike bridge going across lake in mile 10 to keep it interesting. Great location downtown for start/finish area and a nice festive atmosphere post-race w/ music and race sponsors & other vendors providing free food. Free parking in nearby parking garages was much appreciated! Start of the race was very congested for first mile & this is the biggest thing that needs to be improved upon IMO. Believe the congestion could be eliminated by going to a wave start. A couple of races that I’ve done w/wave starts are Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in KC, MO & Lincoln, NE National Guard Marathon, and their congestion at the start of these races has virtually been eliminated.

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    agreen REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Love the route through water works park...gorgeous fall scenery. Relatively flat course that doesn't kill you. My third time racing this one and will continue indefinitely. MORE

    Love the route through water works park…gorgeous fall scenery. Relatively flat course that doesn’t kill you. My third time racing this one and will continue indefinitely.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
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    5
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    4

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    slomojohn REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The IMT Des Moines Marathon weekend is a comfortable, classic race with loads of local support. This is my fourth time, and the experience has consistently been top-notch. The course … MORE

    The IMT Des Moines Marathon weekend is a comfortable, classic race with loads of local support. This is my fourth time, and the experience has consistently been top-notch. The course has minor changes from year to year (often as a result of construction, but, also runner feedback), but what keeps me coming back is the organization, with outstanding aid stations and post-race celebrations/food, The course was mainly flat this year, as the ascent around the capitol was removed from the 2016 version, and still encompassed loops around the water works park and the adjacent lake, the heart of the course. Runners are on trails during these portions of the race, free to concentrate on running and not worry about traffic. The layout also allows for spectators (the town really does turn out for the race) and features themed aid stations. I missed the bacon station from 2016, but the luau team represented strong in the park, as usual.
    The race finishes on wide, open streets, with music and crowds towards the end. Once you finish and claim your medal, the post-race spread begins, This year’s edition was in several blocked-off blocks of downtown Des Moines, which made it a little hard to find all the food, but there was plenty of it, from a variety of local sponsors.
    I look forward to the Des Moines race every year. Not just because of being part of the I-35 Challenge with the Kansas City Marathon, but because of the course, the people and the post race party. I urge you to put this race on your ‘to-do’ list.

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    aeburk REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Of the handful of halfs I've run, this was by far the best. The course is scenic with a combination of wooded trails and crossing lakes and rivers. They have … MORE

    Of the handful of halfs I’ve run, this was by far the best. The course is scenic with a combination of wooded trails and crossing lakes and rivers. They have staged performers that ease the time and bring a smile. I also completed the 5 miler the day previous and received a medal that combined with this. Fuel stops were also plenty and stocked with a variety of snacks.

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    ste.jen7 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    There were a lot of volunteers and organizers along the course. There were plenty of water and gatorade stations, people on bikes helping, and aid stations. Great scenery and entertainment … MORE

    There were a lot of volunteers and organizers along the course. There were plenty of water and gatorade stations, people on bikes helping, and aid stations. Great scenery and entertainment as well. Overall a really fun, well organized race from packet pick up to the finish line.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    lauraknowles76 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This was my first time at the IMT DM events, however I am a frequent flyer to the half marathon distance in various big cities. I loved the centrally located … MORE

    This was my first time at the IMT DM events, however I am a frequent flyer to the half marathon distance in various big cities. I loved the centrally located same start and finish ( made it easy for family members to spectate the beginning and end). I was amazed at how many porta potties there were at the start, I didn’t even wait in line and was even more amazed at the number along the course. I enjoyed snaking through the city and then out and around scenic Gray’s Lake area. The course seemed to have water every mile and gel at miles 7 and 10 I believe. Race support and fans along the way were really nice. It didn’t seem like there were too many steps taken without hearing someone cheering. Once out of the city, my family was able to get around the course easily and I saw them 4 times in addition to at the start and finish! I would highly recommend this fast, flat course with good spectator capability and great water/pit stops along the way. I will be back IMT DM. Thank you!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
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    5

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    tnew2009 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my first marathon. Overall, I had a great experience. The course was beautiful, going through scenic neighborhoods, parks with trails and gorgeous fall trees, a lap around the … MORE

    This was my first marathon. Overall, I had a great experience. The course was beautiful, going through scenic neighborhoods, parks with trails and gorgeous fall trees, a lap around the Drake University track (which was a great spot for spectators). The race was lined with enthusiastic spectators, music, plenty of porter potties and hydration stations. The half marathoners start with the full for the first few miles, but I never felt claustrophobic, there was plenty of room to move around. The one complaint I have are the hills at the beginning. The course map made it look like there were two rolling hills. Well there were SEVERAL small, but somewhat steep hills, so I think the elevation map combined them to make it look like there were just two. I did not do hill repeats during my training, so the hills ended up killing my legs at the end, when I felt like endurance-wise, I could have pushed more, but my legs were just dead. BUT I don’t want to complain too much, because I really loved the race overall and it was a GREAT first marathon for me and I got a good time, even with the hills. I would definitely recommend it and would love to do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    5

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    jewles3631 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Winds through two parks and unless you really know the area well you don’t even realize it is an up and back course. The parks are pretty to run through. … MORE

    Winds through two parks and unless you really know the area well you don’t even realize it is an up and back course. The parks are pretty to run through. There is a lot of entertainment for a fun race. When Ican finish with a smile on my face it’s a good race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    My Media

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    pauseforfermata FIRST-TIMER '17

    Former local, first race. It was a good time, well set up downtown and along the course. Lots of great signs, lots of water, good places for family to watch … MORE

    Former local, first race. It was a good time, well set up downtown and along the course. Lots of great signs, lots of water, good places for family to watch multiple times. This course was almost perfectly flat, and a nice mix of parkland and downtown area, with especially great views of the capitol.
    Could have been clearer signage downtown, hard to find restrooms, bag check etc. in crowds.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    laurenr FIRST-TIMER '17

    From the communications beforehand, then the awesome starting place (downtown DSM), the lovely scenery (downtown, suburbs, Drake track, trails, and parks), and the party at the end, this was truly … MORE

    From the communications beforehand, then the awesome starting place (downtown DSM), the lovely scenery (downtown, suburbs, Drake track, trails, and parks), and the party at the end, this was truly a great first time experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
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    5
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    5
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    4

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    smsiegel REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This years course was beautiful and mostly flat! There was plenty of water stations and port-a-pots along the way! I love the entertainment along the way and although there weren’t … MORE

    This years course was beautiful and mostly flat! There was plenty of water stations and port-a-pots along the way! I love the entertainment along the way and although there weren’t as many spectators and signs as in previous years, they were still awesome and amusing

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    3
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    juhlhannah REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I love running and it is such a passion of mine. Running makes me feel free and empowered. This race was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again! … MORE

    I love running and it is such a passion of mine. Running makes me feel free and empowered. This race was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again!

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    5

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    jejacobsen FIRST-TIMER '17

    Great race. It was fairly flat, which was very nice. I liked that even the 5k finishers got a medal. The gloves were very helpful at the beginning of the … MORE

    Great race. It was fairly flat, which was very nice. I liked that even the 5k finishers got a medal. The gloves were very helpful at the beginning of the race as it was chilly.

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    sarahlbenson27 FIRST-TIMER '16

    I loved the course support bikes! I started using them after mile 15 to fuel myself. The first half was a bit hilly, but the second was flat. The medal … MORE

    I loved the course support bikes! I started using them after mile 15 to fuel myself. The first half was a bit hilly, but the second was flat. The medal doesn’t disappoint. I would do this run again.

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    fieldhockey25 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Going into my first marathon, I had no idea what to expect from race day. However, the course was great and there were so many encouraging people all throughout the … MORE

    Going into my first marathon, I had no idea what to expect from race day. However, the course was great and there were so many encouraging people all throughout the route! We also ran through beautiful parks, and having never been to Des Moines before, it was so cool to basically take a running tour of the city! The hills in the beginning were killer, but all in all I’m glad they were concentrated in the beginning and the rest of the route was essentially flat. In the future, more stops with bananas would be nice (there was only one, way more stops offering Gu but I don’t like that stuff) but that’s a small thing. : )

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    kariemerkwan REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great race course, but I missed running toward the capital, seeing entertainment on the steps/corner there. This was my 11th IMT DSM half marathon, and I like the past years' … MORE

    Great race course, but I missed running toward the capital, seeing entertainment on the steps/corner there. This was my 11th IMT DSM half marathon, and I like the past years’ entertainment better than this year. I used to describe this race to friends as “better than a Rock N Roll race with more entertaining and crowd support” – but 2017 does not fit this.
    You do have great shirts, beautiful medals, and a lot of post-race food…but the post race area was confusing. There should be signs or volunteers helping us find the pizza, chocolate milk, beer, bag check, or whatever we are looking for. Pork Tornadoes were awesome!

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    lauraknowles76 Oct 22, 2017 at 8:08am

    I agree with this person ( now that I've already submitted my review) where the heck was the post race party?? We didn't see a single sign directing us so eventually we just left because it was cold and windy and my young kids were ready to be inside after a morning of spectating. I didn't give this race any negatives but I will say I forgot about this. I'm not typically a post race food person and I don't drink beer but to say that I didn't even see a sign for the post race food would be completely correct.

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    jayudey FIRST-TIMER '17

    It starts very hilly, but after mile 15 it's a cruise to the end. Was very enjoyable. The weather can be a bit dicey since it's towards the end of … MORE

    It starts very hilly, but after mile 15 it’s a cruise to the end. Was very enjoyable. The weather can be a bit dicey since it’s towards the end of October in the midwest.

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    Too-M REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great support, well organized, course is NARROW for most of race, line up early with the walkers who have no idea what they ate doing! Lol Great city support everywhere … MORE

    Great support, well organized, course is NARROW for most of race, line up early with the walkers who have no idea what they ate doing! Lol Great city support everywhere we went!

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    2
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    bekac86 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    IMT I is the best half in Iowa. From the expo to the finish line and post party, you won t be disappointed. This was my 3rd year running in … MORE

    IMT I is the best half in Iowa. From the expo to the finish line and post party, you won t be disappointed. This was my 3rd year running in the IMT races, and it honestly gets better every year. Plus it’s affordable!

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