Overall Rating
Overall Rating (232 Reviews)
4.6
(232 Ratings)(232 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
4.2
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 19)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 70 76 71 79 67
L (°F) 50 48 50 56 41
Powered by Dark Sky

Recent reviews

    A very well organized race from expo to race finish, not a ton spectators on the majority on the course (not much toward the end). A lot of friendly water … MORE

    A very well organized race from expo to race finish, not a ton spectators on the majority on the course (not much toward the end). A lot of friendly water stops and a moderate challenging course with some steady incline at spots (no major hills).
    A great medal and the race shirts (track jacket this year, is awesome).

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Kent Altena
    bowulf REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Des Moines Marathon is synonymous with quality race experience. From the sign-up page to the constant communication re: race day readiness to race day activities and support, there is not … MORE

    Des Moines Marathon is synonymous with quality race experience. From the sign-up page to the constant communication re: race day readiness to race day activities and support, there is not a single thing I would change about this race. This is a great race for those thinking they want to try their first or experienced runners wanting to hit a PR. The half course is much less hilly than the full course, but no less supported or popular.

    There have been a number of course changes in the past 10 years of running the race, but it still very much felt like home out on the course. Chris- you are doing an excellent job as Race Director!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     

    Really nice race for Iowa, not too big that it's super hard to get to the starting line/etc, but big enough that you aren't alone very much. I really enjoyed … MORE

    Really nice race for Iowa, not too big that it’s super hard to get to the starting line/etc, but big enough that you aren’t alone very much. I really enjoyed it and will definitely come back someday! Finishers jacket was really nice, good amount of aid stations and Gu along the course. Decent crowd support considering that the course mainly goes through neighborhoods. The last half of the course is quiet because you are on trails where spectators can’t get to, but the first half of the course is very spectator friendly, I saw my little fan club 5 times in the first half of the race which was awesome!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    ixtlamaster FIRST-TIMER '18

    I traveled from Kansas City to Iowa to run my first Half Marathon, we slept in a Down Town hotel in Iowa where they treated us very well because we … MORE

    I traveled from Kansas City to Iowa to run my first Half Marathon, we slept in a Down Town hotel in Iowa where they treated us very well because we were going to participate in the event. and my wife and son liked the city very much, the course of the race was very pleasant beside those lakes and with all the local people supporting the runners. excellent service of water stations and entertainers.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    HRrunnerguy REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I’m local and have run both the Half and the Full on multiple occasions. The Fall colors make this a gorgeous run. There is genuine community support for both races, … MORE

    I’m local and have run both the Half and the Full on multiple occasions. The Fall colors make this a gorgeous run. There is genuine community support for both races, with strong encouragement for all runners from the first through the final runners. For those coming from out of town, there are plenty of downtown hotel options available, within walking distance of the Start/Finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Jwilkins REPEAT RUNNER '18

    There is a lot of work out into making this an enjoyable race for everyone! The 5k, 5mile, half, full and junior jog are well attended and have great swag … MORE

    There is a lot of work out into making this an enjoyable race for everyone! The 5k, 5mile, half, full and junior jog are well attended and have great swag for all competitors. Frequent water/fuel stations & lots of entertainment. I completed the combination 5mile and half this year and loved doing both. The trade show/bag pick up was not as good this year as the previous year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Terry Harrison
    terrys.harrison FIRST-TIMER '18

    I've run a lot of half marathons in the last couple of years and wanted to get one marathon under my belt. The Des Moines Marathon has great support and … MORE

    I’ve run a lot of half marathons in the last couple of years and wanted to get one marathon under my belt. The Des Moines Marathon has great support and lots of people on the course cheering you on. Water stations and 1st Aid along with many, many bike support personnel make it one of the better courses I’ve run. As some others have said, us slower runners end up with smaller groups of people cheering, but some diehards are out there until the last person goes by. I wasn’t happy with my time and will be coming back next year for another shot.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    superloser7082 FIRST-TIMER '18

    The race was flat with just a couple of small inclines. Running around Grays lake was ausome! The water stations were spread apart nicely. The crowd was a great motivator. … MORE

    The race was flat with just a couple of small inclines. Running around Grays lake was ausome! The water stations were spread apart nicely. The crowd was a great motivator. I was able to talk to other runners also which made the run a lot easier.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    baboo.1925 FIRST-TIMER '18

    The fans, coordination, and volunteers were all wonderful...the race jacket rather than shirt was AWESOME!! Only wish my size had been available, but I guess being larger I shouldn't be … MORE

    The fans, coordination, and volunteers were all wonderful…the race jacket rather than shirt was AWESOME!! Only wish my size had been available, but I guess being larger I shouldn’t be doing halves?!?! Problem of all races I have done though not just here. Great job to all involved in planning and carrying out. A nice course for my return to the world of distances and for my sons first half. I had a total knee replacement in August 2017 and due to health problems with my knee and back had to stop for a period of time. This was the perfect race to return to even though I was quite a way off my PR.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     

    Plenty of water stops and First Aid Stations. Lots of good entertainment and people cheering you on. I'll be back. I would recommend this highly to all. I do wish … MORE

    Plenty of water stops and First Aid Stations. Lots of good entertainment and people cheering you on. I’ll be back. I would recommend this highly to all. I do wish there was a way to have the stage located somewhere so you can hear them and see them better talking and singing the National Anthem. Overall though it was a great time.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Jessie Schrock
    jessiesjungle70 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    My 9th Des Moines Marathon. I ran this year with a friend and used it as a training run, but loved it as a race! Super organized and well supported … MORE

    My 9th Des Moines Marathon. I ran this year with a friend and used it as a training run, but loved it as a race! Super organized and well supported and highlights the city well. Lots of course entertainment and good food at the end. Lots of porta potties at the start, so don’t wait in long lines, there’s always more around a corner it seems!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    marathon250 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Course Difficulty: Most of the hills are in the first 8 miles. They are bigger than what you expect, but once they are done you have a mostly flat or … MORE

    Course Difficulty:
    Most of the hills are in the first 8 miles. They are bigger than what you expect, but once they are done you have a mostly flat or downhill course for the rest of the race.
    Course Scenery:
    You get to run in scenic neighborhoods of the city, take a lap on the famous Drake blue oval, and enjoy Grays Lake and Waterworks Park, one of the best recreational areas of the city.
    Race Production:
    Solid effort is put into hosting the event. Bike support is great, plenty of water stations, first aid tents at mile 20 and beyond, and an organized finish line with half marathon on the right and marathon on the left.
    Swag:
    There are awesome zip up long sleeve athletic jackets that come with your packet pickup! I have run Des Moines 4 times and I can tell you the medals are different every year. They are unique, and if you do the 5 mile race the day before, that medal will connect to your sunday race medal (any distance) adding to the coolness factor. On top of that, you could also do the I-35 challenge (Running Kansas City and Des Moines marathons) for more unique swag.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Joe Christianson
    jwc5115 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I can't recommend this race enough. First, the people were absolutely amazing. Not just the aid station volunteers, and not even just the medics on bikes (thank God for the … MORE

    I can’t recommend this race enough.

    First, the people were absolutely amazing. Not just the aid station volunteers, and not even just the medics on bikes (thank God for the one handing out homemade brownies at mile 19), but mostly the spectators hanging out in their lawns in the 30 degree weather to cheer on a bunch of strangers. There were a number of people who set out bowls of Halloween candy, and I saw one table that probably had a couple of hundred dollars worth of energy gels just set out for whoever needed it.

    I loved the course. Some fun, challenging hills but all at the beginning when I still had energy to enjoy them. The course ran through a number of different neighborhoods, so you got to see a lot of Des Moines. And the loop around the Drake track is just an awesome, uniquely Iowa idea. I mostly do trail races, so I liked the idea that the last 10 or so miles were through the parks. But I have to admit, it was a little challenging to keep my energy level up once the racers had thinned out and almost no crowds through the parks.

    What else…the post race food selection was great. I have more unique race medals, but I don’t think I have any just as straight-up pretty as these two (I did the 5 miler on Saturday, too). The expo was set up well so that packet pickup was an absolute breeze. I love that they have an option for a relay team. I had a number of friends who wanted to run but not marathon distance, so they put together a team and had an absolute blast.

    So yeah, overall, I highly, highly recommend this race and I will definitely be back again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was a perfect fun race. From the weather to all the race support. After 27 marathons fist one that had tons of race support by volunteers constantly on bicycles … MORE

    This was a perfect fun race. From the weather to all the race support. After 27 marathons fist one that had tons of race support by volunteers constantly on bicycles with what ever you might need. I highly recommend this one to do.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    dylon28 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I have ran this since 2013. I love the event. Very well organized. Nice swag. Nice fairly flat course. If you are looking to run a PR this may be … MORE

    I have ran this since 2013. I love the event. Very well organized. Nice swag. Nice fairly flat course. If you are looking to run a PR this may be the course for you. Finishing and starting down town Des Moines is excellent. Fairly easy to find parking. Plenty for your family to do while they wait for you to finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Iamarunner2 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I've run plenty of races but this was my first marathon. Pre-race: Plenty of space to do the pre-race warm-ups and stretches. If you knew where to look, no lines … MORE

    I’ve run plenty of races but this was my first marathon.
    Pre-race: Plenty of space to do the pre-race warm-ups and stretches.
    If you knew where to look, no lines for the porta-potties.
    There were plenty of volunteers around to help with where to go and with questions. I had an equipment malfunction and needed safety pins and they had them.
    The starting chute was a little tight as it begins on a two lane (with parking on each side) city street.

    Race time: The marathon and half marathon starts at the same time and we are all lumped together which makes it quite congested for the first mile or so. At about mile 3, the half marathoners split off and go their own way while the marathoners start the hilly part of our course. The hills aren’t overly steep…they are just long. I’m glad they were early on in the race. For the next 5 miles or so, the hills continued as we ran through beautiful neighborhoods with large trees. Even in this out of the way part of the course, there were people out in their yards cheering us on. Overall, the fan support was great!

    The course support and volunteers were superb! You never even had to think about where you were supposed to be going next because there were people at every corner. In the later miles and in the more “desolated” areas of the course when we ran through the parks and wooded areas, there was always bike support nearby. The aid stations were superb! Lots of them and all of them very helpful! Some of the mid to later aid stations had orange slices, energy gel, and pretzels along with the water and Gatorade. And I can’t forget to mention the station with bacon…which I took. 🙂

    Really, the only thing that I didn’t like about this race was the 4 long stretches of just running straight for a mile plus. The post race set up is a little bit jumbled up too as they had different food in different places….but it was all good!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Matt Wagner
    mwag72 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Scenic route with an awesome lap around the blue oval at Drake. Cheer zones were terrific and volunteers working water and Gatorade stations were great too. Overall, after the first … MORE

    Scenic route with an awesome lap around the blue oval at Drake. Cheer zones were terrific and volunteers working water and Gatorade stations were great too. Overall, after the first eight miles or so, the course was pretty flat. Great race for a first time marathon runner like me.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    tdlynch REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is my 3rd time running this Half Marathon and I’ve enjoyed it every single time. I especially like the course route the past couple years compared to my first … MORE

    This is my 3rd time running this Half Marathon and I’ve enjoyed it every single time. I especially like the course route the past couple years compared to my first year running it. It’s beautiful and mostly flat, allowing for full enjoyment. Volunteers and entertainment along the way are top notch and I’d recommend this race to anyone! (Especially first-timers).

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Sarah Ridlen
    supergirl21 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was my second time doing this race event and half marathon, and definitely recommend it to friends and family interested in trying this race. The course is absolutely beautiful, … MORE

    This was my second time doing this race event and half marathon, and definitely recommend it to friends and family interested in trying this race. The course is absolutely beautiful, and for half marathoners, it’s a pleasantly flat course with some mild grade hills here and there. Plenty of hydration stations were scattered throughout the course, and options for porta potties sprinkled here and there during the course. I thought it was extra sweet they offered tissues to racers, because it was so dang cold that day! The jackets that participants received this year were absolutely awesome! Liked these way better than last year’s swag. Packet pick up went really smooth. I felt like signage was good throughout, so you didn’t get off course, and you always knew what mile you were on. My husband followed my progress with ease, using the IMT app, so that was really cool. The medal was pretty, and I’ll just cherish it, because I am proud of what I accomplished that day, so I’m not incredibly picky about that. My biggest complaint was where they decided to block the road for racers coming down Indianola Ave from the south…we ended up parking quite a long distance from the start of the race, and had to jog to the line up to make it in time. There was plenty of closer parking that was wasted, and it wasn’t like this last year. I’m afraid I didn’t stick around for the after party this year, because truth be told…I’m not a huge fan of cold weather =)

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    running4drew FIRST-TIMER '18

    From the beauty of the course to the swag to the sweet medal, I LOVED the Des Moines Marathon. The crowd support was great, especially for a smaller city. And … MORE

    From the beauty of the course to the swag to the sweet medal, I LOVED the Des Moines Marathon. The crowd support was great, especially for a smaller city. And running a lap around the historic track at Drake—where Jesse Owens once ran, is worth the price alone. The post race food was plentiful, the music on course was varied and interesting. Running through Grey’s Lake Park and Riverworks was very cool. It’s a race I hope to run again

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
  1. Races
  2. Des Moines Marathon