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.
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.
26.2 The IMT Des Moines Marathon starts at 8:00 am at Cowles Commons. 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 at Cowles Commons 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 at Cowles Commons. The race starts with the Marathon & Half Marathon. This is a fun race to watch as the 1st team member runs the first 6 miles of the marathon course, the 2nd member runs the next 4 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 5.2 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 at Cowles Commons. 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.
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.
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 8. 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.
WATER WORKS PARK Solace and green space in the middle of the city. 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.
GRAY’S LAKE PARK A true gem in Des Moines. Marathon & Half Marathon athletes will enter Gray’s Lake Park for a 2 mile 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.
MLK JR PKWY & 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 el Bait Shop for refreshments and great race day specials.
MLK JR PKWY & SE 6th Street A major intersection of activity as athletes pass through three times throughout the day. Stop in to Margaritas for food and drink specials.
IOWA STATE CAPITOL Located at East 9th Street and Grand Avenue, the Iowa Statehouse is set atop a hill and offers a panoramic view of the city’s downtown and the West Capitol Terrace. Various monuments and memorials are to its sides and front, including the Soldiers and Sailors’ Monument and the Lincoln and Tad statue.
COWLES COMMONS Recently renovated, Cowles Commons has transformed itself into Des Moines’ newest downtown playground. Bleacher seating, course entertainment and food options make this a great place to watch all of the athletes on Sunday cross the finish line.
All races start and finish at Cowles Commons on Sunday. Races begin at 8:00 am and will welcome athletes across the finish line until 3:00 pm.
COURT AVENUE Hy-Vee will be serving up breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, and hot coffee/hot chocolate for the start of the races and will then switch over to a lunch menu offering walking tacos, burgers, hot dogs/brats and soda/water. Samuel Adams beer will also be available for sale at the post-race party on Court. Join Us At “The Finish Line”.
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 purple and mile markers are purple.
Principal 5K Road Race race number/bib colors are green and mile markers are green.
IMT Des Moines Marathon race number/bib colors are orange and mile markers are orange.
IMT Des Moines Half Marathon race number/bib colors are light blue and mile markers are light blue.
Bankers Trust Marathon Relay race number/bib colors are orange 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 Live Tracking your supporters can download the IMT DMM MYLAPS app, so your friends and family can track your progress live during the event. With Live Tracking they can see real time where you are running. You don’t need to bring your phone, as Live Tracking uses the passing of the timing mats and calculates the average speed. IMT DMM Live Tracking is available for free through the iTunes and Google play stores.
Results for all events 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.
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 Cowles Commons on race day.