The IMT Des Moines Marathon is dedicated to providing community events that encourage active participation in maintaining healthy lifestyle choices.

As an organization, we support a variety of charitable programs that bring a benefit to our local community through cash, in-kind product and race weekend engagement contributions. By participating as an athlete in the IMT Des Moines Marathon you are supporting many of these causes and for that, we thank you.

As an athlete, you also have a direct opportunity to make your race experience even more meaningful by providing additional support through building campaign awareness and/or fundraising for a charity of your choice. Either through your training program, or by participating on race day on behalf of one of our official charity partners. Either way, we welcome your efforts towards making the Des Moines community a better place to live, run, and play.

Charity Partners

Special Olympics Iowa Since 1968, Special Olympics Iowa has been a statewide movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. Using sports as the catalyst, and including programming on health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.

For people with intellectual disabilities, the benefits of Special Olympics Iowa include: Improved physical fitness and motor skills. Greater self-confidence. A more positive self-image. Lifelong friendships. Special Olympics athletes carry these benefits into their daily lives at home, in the classroom, on the job and in the community. For athletes, Special Olympics provides a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy. Click here.

myTEAM TRIUMPH is an athletic ride-along program created for children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such as triathlons or road races. myTEAM TRIUMPH brings the community together with the equipment necessary to allow them to experience the energy of packet pick-up and the thrill of crossing the finish line. myTEAM TRIUMPH promotes health, teamwork, and community, and requires the involvement of many people with diverse abilities and disabilities. Click here.

Trees Forever is a 30-year-old environmental nonprofit that has helped people establish, improve, and expand native plantings, including trees, pollinator habitat and more. Together with partners and volunteers, we are planting a better tomorrow! We are a “boots on the ground” and “roots in the ground” and involve an average of 7,000 volunteers every year throughout the nation. We have more than 500 sites on farms and other lands to enhance water quality, pollinator and wildlife habitat. Trees Forever has planted over 3.5 million trees since it started in 1989.

For the past 2 years we have been planting 26.2 trees each year along the IMT Des Moines Marathon route and cheering runners along as they whiz by, it so this year we decided to join the fun. We are still planting the trees, but we are growing our team to include a running contingent.

We hope that though training, fundraising, and race weekend events you come to feel like you are part of our family. We promise to support you in any way we possibly can. We will share running tips, fundraising ideas, motivational stories, photos of our journey and we hope you do the same. Although our teammates are spread across the Midwest, we hope that by the time we toe the line in October that we have already won the gift of friends, of better health and successfully fundraising for a cause that unites us all. Thanks for helping us plant a better tomorrow! Click here.

Charity Programs

Pinky Swear Foundation Make your miles count and join the Pinky Swear RUN FOR A CAUSE team.  You can be a Keeper of the pinky swear promise by participating in any of the races (walking or running)  and joining the Pinky Swear team by fundraising. You will be helping kids with cancer and their families. Open to all ages! You can sign up by yourself, as a team with your family, friends or co-workers. Click here.

Blank Children’s All Stars Go the extra mile with Blank Children’s All Stars! Sign-up to run in one of the races and raise money for Blank Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The team is open to “kids of all ages” and runners of all skill levels. You receive free registration, special training and coaching from Zoom Performance, a chance to win fun prizes, t-shirts and fun! Plus the feeling that comes with knowing you’re making a big difference in little lives! Click here.

 Children’s Cancer Connection “No parent is prepared to learn their child has cancer.” That’s why Children’s Cancer Connection is here to help navigate the road ahead. While many great organizations are working to find a cure for the disease afflicting more than 13,500 children each year in the United States, Children’s Cancer Connection strives to provide care following a cancer diagnosis. Our mission is to offer programs for education, recreation and support for the entire family for the entire journey at little-to-no cost. If you would like to be more involved with our organization this running season, consider joining Team CCC. As part of our team, you’ll raise money for our organization, and earn different running incentives and prizes. Click here.

Girls on the Run of Central Iowa is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in third through eighth grade. We teach life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. Become a SoleMate today to raise critically needed funds that ensure our council is able to serve more girls in the greater Des Moines area. Click here.

LET ME RUN is a nonprofit holistic health program for 4th through 8th grade boys. Using running as the vehicle to inspire, teach and reach boys, our comprehensive curriculum breaks down destructive male stereotypes that often stand in the way of positive futures for boys. Twice a week for seven weeks, our trained coaches guide teams of six to fourteen boys through the program, designed to amplify confidence, self-expression, and respect for others. Each fall and spring season culminates in a 5K race that celebrates the boys’ emotional, social and physical growth. Join our team of IMT Des Moines Marathon Charity Runners to make a lasting difference in boys’ lives. For more information click here or email [email protected]

Iowa State Dance Marathon is the largest student run philanthropy on Iowa State’s campus. This organization raises money year-round for children with life-threatening illnesses at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network. Recently, Iowa State Dance Marathon made a commitment to donate $700,000 to help start the first hemodynamics program in the United States, which focuses on supporting the hearts of neonatal infants. Every year in January, students come together and stay on their feet for a 15-hour event to symbolize our support for the families who spend countless hours in hospital rooms. The miracle families that we support join us in listening to music, dancing, and playing games all day. So far, Iowa State Dance Marathon has raised a total of $4.4 million for the kids. Click here.

LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients in our regions since 1963. As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center is the SOLE provider of blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients. Your donation with LifeServe will help save your neighbor, a friend or family member or a stranger on the street. YOU make a difference in YOUR community. For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 800.287.4903 or click here.

Run for Central America is a new charity running team, so this might be the first you’ve heard of us. However, I would imagine you’ve seen Central America in the news quite a bit lately. We can’t run from the stories of poverty, immigration and conflict. Our team is running to make a difference and raise funds for Central American families as they transform their own communities through a variety of poverty alleviation and community economic development projects. A $30 gift invests in one family in Central America and helps them thrive for a year!

Run for Central America is an initiative of ENLACE. ENLACE (pronounced en-lay-say, the Spanish word for link) is a Central American community development organization with 25 years of experience helping church and civic leaders learn how to work together as a team and attack the fundamental problems that keep their communities trapped in the cycle of poverty. Click here.