Overall Rating
Overall Rating (332 Reviews)
4.6
(332 Ratings)(332 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, ability, interest level… and goals. 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 Enhance your race experience by participating … MORE
Local Weather (Oct 15):
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H (°F) 63 56 60 50 61
L (°F) 50 39 45 32 48
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Recent reviews

    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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    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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    brueggie FIRST-TIMER '21

    Tons of spectators! Great to see whole streets blocked for safety instead of just running lanes. Fun atmosphere! Fast half marathon course. Definitely want to run again MORE

    Tons of spectators! Great to see whole streets blocked for safety instead of just running lanes. Fun atmosphere! Fast half marathon course. Definitely want to run again

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    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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    ckm001 FIRST-TIMER '21

    Marathon #19 for me, checking off Iowa. Ran Kansas City the day before so I was moving slowly. Excellent on course support- even for us slower runners. Frequent water stops … MORE

    Marathon #19 for me, checking off Iowa. Ran Kansas City the day before so I was moving slowly. Excellent on course support- even for us slower runners. Frequent water stops with plenty of volunteers, lots of porta potties. 1/2 folks split off at mile 3 which I liked. Loved the bike support: bikers with candy – drinks – tissue etc. throughout the course. Enjoyed the lap around the Drake track. All in all a fun event!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Emily_Baker FIRST-TIMER '21

    The IMT was well set up and the course was very manageable. I could point out who the pacers were and the course was labelled well. Plenty of water, bathroom, … MORE

    The IMT was well set up and the course was very manageable. I could point out who the pacers were and the course was labelled well. Plenty of water, bathroom, and gel/energy stations. Loved the live music that was playing as I ran my race. The swag bags had lots of goodies for the race and food/beverage was provided for after the race. The metals you received after the race were awesome, atmosphere was booming, and there was always someone there to cheer you on!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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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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    tracy.head FIRST-TIMER '21

    The scenery was wonderful and there was a lot of support along the route of water, first aid, and spectators. It was mostly flat with a few small hills but … MORE

    The scenery was wonderful and there was a lot of support along the route of water, first aid, and spectators. It was mostly flat with a few small hills but very great for first time half marathon. The support and atmosphere was so amazing!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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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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    sadihawk7 REPEAT RUNNER '20

    I have always loved this race. Between the racing organization and fans. It makes such a wonderful environment! Always excited for this one! Would make an awesome first race for … MORE

    I have always loved this race. Between the racing organization and fans. It makes such a wonderful environment! Always excited for this one! Would make an awesome first race for anyone!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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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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    wbrent01 FIRST-TIMER '21

    In full transparency I went into this experience believing that it would be a "humdrum" / mom-and-pop type experience. There were so few people at the expo, it almost ratified … MORE

    In full transparency I went into this experience believing that it would be a “humdrum” / mom-and-pop type experience.
    There were so few people at the expo, it almost ratified my preconception. There were more volunteers than participants (which is a good problem to have.)

    The race exceeded all of my expectations.
    It wasn’t a flat run around cornfields; there were hills and lakes and a university track.
    There were people cheering, loudly! Not just your neighbor on their lawn, but the neighborhood!

    Anyway,
    The good:
    Big town feel, small town race.
    Energy
    Family fast course.

    The bad:
    Getting there wound up being more arduous than I expected, but really nothing “bad”.

    Registration and Race communication:
    Fantastic updates from the RD. At regular and reliable intervals. They did course previews and strategies on Facebook and unless you, on a whim, registered the night before because you were stuck in town there were no surprises or unexpected hills. (I will say the folks on Forrest drive need to repave their street….)

    Course difficulties:
    With the exception of the mile….18? Aid station everything was spot on. That was a difficultone to get to because it was in the middle of the trail. In the moment I was not happy but all in all it wasn’t a deal breaker.. There were porto-potties at regular intervals. The aid stations were marked. The volunteers were fantastic. There were no surprises between Gatorade and water.
    The only improvement I would suggest would be the first aid folks at mile 19 could be more present. I saw the ambulance, but I only needed biofreeze (mile 22 made up for it lol 😆)

    The Swag:
    The medal was neat, designed for you to take advantage of the race weekend. It has a notch to hang your Saturday being from your Sunday being
    I liked the shirt. It wasn’t super luxe, but its nice. The marathon had 26.2 on the back and that half 13.1. I appreciate that it isn’t a tshirt (its a 1/4 zip) I may actually wear this one!

    Aid stations were about average (except for the bacon guy at mile 10)
    The amazing thing were the racing support cyclists. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this
    If I did, it wasn’t in a way that made me feel that I had my own entourage of support personnel.

    Not a race call out, but certainly notable is that there was something to eat for all dietary needs.
    Again, didn’t expect Des Moines to have so many gluten free/vegan/vegetarian options
    It just made the experience that much better.

    In short
    Do this race.
    The RD has so many volunteers and the course is well designed and gives you an amazing opportunity to tour Des Moines by foot

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    sans4824 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Overall a really enjoyable race. Great weather, well executed, wonderful people! The medals were not the most attractive though and. The food at the end was extremely sparse compared to … MORE

    Overall a really enjoyable race. Great weather, well executed, wonderful people! The medals were not the most attractive though and. The food at the end was extremely sparse compared to other races I’ve participated in.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    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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