Many of the IMT Des Moines Marathon aid stations are staffed by employees and their families of companies sponsorin the race, area high school groups and volunteers from nonprofit organizations. Aid stations are encouraged to create fun themes and to celebrate race day with the athletes. Please be sure to thank them for spending a Sunday morning helping you run your best race.
If you have a group interested in hosting an aid station along the course please contact us and we will follow up with you to determine the best placement for your group.
On the Course
Aid Stations are available roughly every other mile through Mile 20 and then every mile of the IMT Des Moines Marathon course. Crystal Clear Bottled Water and Endurance Formula Gatorade will be served in 7 oz. cups at each aid station.
Aid stations have been organized to set up Crystal Clear Bottled Water tables before Endurance Formula Gatorade tables, and then followed again with Crystal Clear Bottled Water tables as athletes pass through each aid station. This way water is served, followed by Endurance Formula Gatorade, and then water again.
Some aid stations may stock additional items such as Kleenex, petroleum jelly, gummy bears, orange slices, etc.
Endurance Formula Gatorade is a specialized sports drink that contains approximately twice the amount of sodium (200 mg per 8 ounces) of Gatorade Thirst Quencher, along with chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium to help sustain hydration by more fully replacing what is lost in sweat. Endurance Formula Gatorade also contains a 6% carbohydrate solution (14 grams per 8 ounces), just like Gatorade Thirst Quencher, which research shows is optimal to help speed fluid back into the body and fuel working muscles.
GU Energy gels will be offered at Mile 14 on the Marathon course, Mile 20/Mile 7, and Mile 23/10 on the Marahton/Half Marathon course. Athletes that consume energy gels while running should not rely solely on the GU Energy gels offered on the course by the IMT Des Moines Marathon. They are offered on a first come first served basis. GU Energy gels will offered in the following flavors:Strawberry, Vanilla Bean, Orange Mango, and Chocolate Outrage.
Whole Foods Market fresh fruit stands will be offered Mile 14 on the Marathon course, Mile 20/Mile 7, and Mile 23/10 on the Marahton/Half Marathon course. Fresh cut oranges and bananas are offered.
Course Time Limit
The IMT Des Moines Marathon course is open for 7 hours. This allows for a 16 minute per mile pace for the Marathon. Race day services such as course marshals, aid stations, bike support and entertainment have been asked to prepare for a 7 hour day. They have been asked to provide as much support for the last walker as the first elite runner that passes by on the course.
If you are unable to keep a 16 minute per mile pace on the Marathon course, we ask that you consider participating in the Half Marathon. If on race day you are unable to maintain a 16 minute per mile pace, and would like to finish the race, we encourage you to do so. You will not be removed from the course. However, it is very important that you understand that volunteer services along the course may not still be in place.
You are encouraged to carry a course map with you if you are concerned about maintaining a 16 minute per mile pace. The last 8 miles of the Marathon course take place on paved park roads and trails. The IMT Des Moines Marathon will not pack up and leave you. Members of the Mercy Medical Center first aid stations and sag wagons along with the Bike Iowa support team will remain on the course until every athlete crosses the finish line, receives a finisher medal, official time and post race nourishment.
Marathon Pace Chart - Median Finish Time Marathon Pace Chart - Course Limit
IMT Des Moines Marathon - Combined Course Map
Many of the IMT Des Moines Marathon aid stations are run by employees of race sponsors, high school students and nonprofit organizations. Aid stations are encouraged to create fun themes and to celebrate race day. Please be sure to thank them for spending a Sunday morning helping you run your best race.
If you have a group interested in hosting an aid station contact the IMT Des Moines Marathon office for volunteer information.
First Aid Stations
If you need medical assistance on the course, try to make it to the nearest Aid Station or Mercy Medical Center First Aid Station. If this is not possible, please stop where you are and a course marshal or member of the Bike Iowa bike support team will come to you. If necessary, they will alert Mercy Medical Center sag wagons to transport you back to the finish line.
If you have any medical concerns please contact the IMT Des Moines Marathon office or alert us in person at packet pick up. You will have an opportunity to place emergency medical information on the back of the race number/bib that you will receive at the Scheels Sports & Fitness Expo.
Mercy Medical Center First Aid Stations
Start & Finish - Simon Estes Amphitheatre
Mile 12 - Drake University
Mile 20/7 - Water Works Park
Mile 23/10 - Gray's Lake Park
Mile 25/23 - Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
October tends to be a fairly dry month in Iowa. You will likely experience a bit of a chill to the early morning air on race day. Average lows are in the lower 50's and highs in the upper 60's. We rely on the weather team at ABC 5 for up to the minute weather updates when making our final contingency plans for race weekend.
Old race shirts, a sweatshirt or a pair of gloves are a great examples of ways to stay warm while awaiting the start of the race. Your body will begin to warm up after the first couple miles of the race and you will want to shed layers. Volunteers from the Iowa Homeless Youth Center will pick up any discarded clothing that you leave behind. We also donate all of the food that is leftover from the finish line festivities to this important nonprofit organization in our community.