Here are some tips that will help you watch, cheer and encourage athletes of all ages and speeds in the IMT Des Moines Marathon (IMT DMM) races.

Know When to Watch


1-Mile Walk The Mercy Live Up Loop 5-Mile Walk benefiting Courage League Sports starts at 8:00 am at Principal Park. Course highlights include the Meredith Trail, Jackson Street Bridge and great views of Des Moines from the Raccoon River.

5-Mile Run The Mercy Live Up Loop 5-Mile Run starts at 8:00 am at Principal Park. Course highlights include the Meredith Trail, Gray’s Lake Park and great views of Des Moines from the Raccoon River.

Junior Jog The Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics Junior Jog follows the completion of the Mercy Live Up Loop at 9:30 am. For distances and start times visit the Junior Jog page.

Can’t be there in person? Show your support by sending a Hello and High Five greeting card to let your athlete know you are thinking about them.


ROAD CLOSURES Consult these documents to learn what roads to avoid and what roads to take to get around on race day. road closures. traffic reroutes.

26.2 The IMT Des Moines Marathon starts at 8:00 am on Court Avenue. IMT DMM finishers will begin to cross the finish line as early 10:00 am. The bulk of the runners and some of the walkers are expected to finish before 1:00 pm. The course is open for 7 hours.

13.1 The IMT Des Moines Half Marathon starts at 8:00 am on Court Avenue with the IMT Des Moines Marathon. Finishers will begin to cross the finish line as early 9:15 am. The bulk of the Half Marathon runners and some of the walkers are expected to finish before noon. The course is open for 7 hours.

RELAY The Bankers Trust Marathon Relay starts at 8:00 am on Court Avenue. The race starts with the Marathon & Half Marathon. This is a fun race to watch as the 1st team member runs the first 4 miles of the marathon course, the 2nd member runs the next 6 miles, the 3rd member runs 5 miles, followed by the 4th member of the team who also runs a 5 mile leg. The last member of the team runs the final 6.2 miles of the race. The leaders of the marathon pack may have to look over their shoulder as Bankers Trust Marathon Relay team members come sprinting up on them with fresh legs. Look for teams to cross the finish line at various times throughout the day.

Consult the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay course map for transition areas along the course. Transition areas are a fun place to catch all of the race day action and excitement for not only the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay, but the IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half Marathon as well.

5K The Principal 5K Road Race starts at 8:30 am on Court Avenue. Look for the first runners to break the finish line tape as early as 8:45 am and the bulk of finishers in by 9:00 am.

Can’t be there in person? Show your support by sending a Hello and High Five greeting card to let your athlete know you are thinking about them.

Know Where to Watch

PRINCIPAL PARK The Mercy Live Up Loop and Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics Junior Jog start and finish at Principal Park on Saturday starting at 8:00 am. It also serves as a great location to watch the Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K Road Race in the final mile of their race… where support is needed most!

DRAKE UNIVERSITY Home of the Drake Relays. The Marathon route visits the Drake University campus as athletes complete a counter-clockwise loop around the state of the art track at Mile 12. Drake Stadium is open to spectators on race day. This is a great place to see the athletes pass by on a campus stoic with running history.

 Solace and green space in the middle of the city. The Half settles into the middle miles of the race in the park, while the Marathon arrives in Water Works Park via the Bill Riley Trail. The best way to arrive at Water Works Park is via 63rd Street to Park Avenue to Valley Drive/George Flagg Parkway or Thomas Beck Road to SW 30th to Water Works Park. Plenty of parking is available just outside the entrance to the park at SW 30th. Please note that Fleur Drive will be closed between Ingersoll Avenue and George Flagg Parkway from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm on race day.

A true gem in Des Moines. Marathon & Half Marathon athletes will enter Gray’s Lake Park for a 2 mile paved-trail loop around the lake. Park in the southwestern parking lot of Gray’s Lake Park, accessible from Fleur Drive and George Flagg Parkway or from Thomas Beck Road.

 & 3rd Street Stunning view of the downtown skyline. A long straight away allows for easy viewing of the various races with the Des Moines skyline serving as the backdrop. Park at Principal Park, home of the Iowa Cubs, and walk a block or two to catch the end of the race. Stop in at Fuzzy’s Tacos or Guru BBQ for refreshments and great race day specials.

COURT AVENUE Samuel Adams beer will be available for sale at the Sam Adams Athlete Village post-race party . Join Us At “The Finish Line” for live music on the Sam Adams Finish Line stage with performances by Jason Brown, The Nadas and The Pork Tornadoes.

All races start and finish at Court Avenue between 2nd Street and 3rd Street on Sunday. Races begin at 8:00 am and will welcome athletes across the finish line until 3:00 pm.

Know What to Look For

RACE NUMBER/BIB Athletes in the IMT DMM must have a race number/bib visible at all times. If they registered far enough in advance their bib will even include their first name. Professional athletes are assigned the lowest race number/bib in each of the races. Typically race numbers/bibs under 100 are reserved for elite athletes.

Mercy Live Up Loop race number/bib colors are green and mile markers are purple.

Principal 5K Road Race race number/bib colors are purple and mile markers are green.

IMT Des Moines Marathon race number/bib colors are light blue and mile markers are orange.

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon race number/bib colors are orange and mile markers are light blue.

Bankers Trust Marathon Relay race number/bib colors are yellow and transition areas are orange.

Pace Team leaders will be wearing safety yellow singlets for the Marathon & Half Marathon with green race number/bib colors. Pace Team leaders also have a bib on the back of their singlet with their official pace group time.

LIVE TRACKING With IMT DMM LiveTracking your friends and family can follow your progress live during the race by simply searching for their race number/bib or name by clicking here. You can then choose to post live updates to your Facebook or Twitter account with their progress. You will then be asked to log into your social media account and authorize the app to allow it to post live updates on your timeline/feed. Social Sharing.

In the new app you can find all the information you like to know about the IMT DMM: course maps, updates via social media, LiveTracking and more. You don’t need to bring your phone, as the App uses the passing of the timing mats and calculates the average speed.

IMT DMM Live Tracking is available for free download through the iTunes and Google play stores.

RESULTS for all races are published in real-time during and immediately following the race. Follow the leader board at our official Results Page.

Can’t find your athlete? Look for them at the family reunion area on the south end of Cowles Commons or check at the Mercy Medical Center Tent near the Finish Line. You can also stop at the Mediacom Results Tent at Cowles Commons to request a print out of their split times and finish time.

Know the Course

Get acquainted with the IMT DMM race courses. Athletes will spend time with the course map to become more familiar with the race. It helps them to know what is ahead of them such as elevation changes, busy intersections, narrow trail sections and areas of the course where more than one race shares the road.

Don’t park your vehicle on the course or you risk being towed. The emergency No Parking signs you see posted are for the comfort and safety of the athletes. Please respect them. The course map does detail spectator travel routes.

Don’t drive your vehicle on the course. It could become a hazard to an athlete and may ‘spook’ some of them as vehicles drive up on them. Besides…the Des Moines Police Department will remove you and your vehicle from the course.

Bring a blanket, lawn chair and/or picnic. You are welcome to pick a spot on the course to watch the athletes pass by or pick a few spots to watch. Wherever you chose to root on the athletes, let them know you are there. Cheer with enthusiasm. Clap your hands. Bring noisemakers. Make signs. Offer encouragement. Whatever you do, have fun and be loud!

Ask for additional suggestions and tips from IMT DMM Ambassadors at the Scheels Sports & Fitness Expo and around Court Avenue on race day.

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