COVID-19 Response

August 3, 2020

IMT Des Moines Marathon Cancels 2020 In-Person Races, Offers Virtual Event Option

Virtual option available in all event distances and may be completed anytime October 16 – 31, 2020.

(Des Moines, IA) The safety of our athletes, volunteers, vendors, and community has always been our number one priority.

Today, in coordination with our local partners at IMT Insurance, Principal, Bankers Trust, MercyOne, and Special Olympics Iowa we made the difficult decision to cancel all IMT Des Moines Marathon in-person races scheduled for the weekend of October 17 & 18, 2020.

We have made this decision in compliance with a proclamation amendment announced July 31 by the City of Des Moines prohibiting participation in outdoor recreation events of more than 250 people on public property or public right of way, which was not a decision we made lightly.

However, safety is always the number one concern for our events. Social distancing mandates have made clear that it is not safe for this large-scale event to continue at this time. While we appreciate and understand your disappointment, we also need to ensure that we are all doing our part to end the spread of this highly infectious virus.

We are sensitive to the impact COVID-19 has on our valued vendors and sponsors, the hardworking volunteers (including the IMT Des Moines Marathon race committee), and our incredible participants, who have been training so hard to give their all to this 2020 event. We also want to acknowledge the impact a canceled event has on our fundraising partners, whose Special Olympics Iowa unified pairing program initiatives are funded in part with the money raised.

In light of this decision, athletes with a paid registration for the 2020 event will have the option to defer their entry fee to the 2021 event or to participate in any of the race distances currently offered in the 2020 virtual event. Additional information will be provided directly to participants with a paid registration in the 2020 event as to how they can exercise their options in the coming days.

As a proactive measure, the IMT Des Moines Marathon has already launched the 2020 IMT Des Moines Marathon Virtual Event, featuring all of our race distances in a virtual race offering. Athletes can participate in the virtual event during the month of October by downloading the IMT DMM app and registering for the virtual event. For more information, visit desmoinesmarathon.com, or our social channels to stay up to date on virtual event-related news.

Thank you to our volunteer community for their unwavering commitment, including the race committee who has been working tirelessly during this crisis, and our wonderful running experts who are staying strong and helping us connect with our community online. We also want to extend our admiration and deep gratitude to the healthcare and frontline workers for their commitment to our community during this pandemic.

In closing, we also want to thank you for your support and understanding. We are looking forward to the return of in-person races next year, and hope you will join us on the weekend of October 15-17, 2021.

Respectfully submitted,
Chris Burch, Race Director
IMT Des Moines Marathon

Event Communications & Updates

July 23 IMT DMM bulletin, click here.

June 18 IMT DMM bulletin, click here.

June 18 IMT DMM race director blog, read more.

May 21 IMT DMM bulletin, click here.

May 21 IMT DMM race director blog, read more.

Event Policies

Packet Pick-Up The Iowa Events Center, home to packet pick-up, has returned to 100% capacity and is taking steps to ensure a safe and clean environment as events begin returning indoors.

Policies and procedures for all of us may include but are not limited to; extended packet-pick up days and/or hours of operation, picking up your own athlete packet, self-testing prior to the event, staying home if feeling sick, encouraging at-risk populations to not attend with you, onsite temperature screening at the entrance, face-coverings and gloves required/provided where necessary for all volunteers, vendors, and staff, face-coverings encouraged for all participants, hand sanitizer stations, wipe downs of hard surfaces and key touch-points, and reminders to wash our hands frequently.

Race Day Policies and procedures for running events may or may not change this fall but for now, IMT DMM contingency planning follows guidelines for the staging, start line, course, finish line, and post-race areas on race day.

Some of these options that are being considered include but are not limited to: changing the location of the start line while keeping the existing course(s) and finish line on Court Avenue intact, assigned wave start times and arrivals, re-configuring services that may not allow for social distancing on the course such as self-serve water stations, entertainment, and post-race activities after crossing the finish line.

The overall goal of the IMT Des Moines Marathon is to offer the same race weekend atmosphere and experience that we have come accustomed to over the year. It is an honor to be listed as one of the Top 20 marathons in the country by BibRave. We will strive this year to also be known as one of the safest marathons in the country.

Resources & Guidelines

COVID-19 in Des Moines, click here.

COVID-19 in Polk County, click here.

COVID-19 in Iowa, click here.

CDC guidelines for mass gatherings, click here

CDC recommendations on wearing a cloth face covering, click here.

White House Guidelines for Opening America, click here.

World Health Organization COVID-19 response, click here.

Related Articles

RRCA recommended basic do’s and do not’s out on the run, click here.

Why you are unlikely to get the COVID-19 from runners or cyclists, read more.

Recommendations for runners and walkers during COVID-19, click here.

Running in the Age of Social Distancing, read more.

 

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the status of the IMT Des Moines Marathon races?

The IMT Des Moines Marathon is committed to the overall health, safety, and well-being of the athletes, volunteers, sponsors, and community in which it operates.

As of August 3rd, the IMT Des Moines Marathon has canceled all in-person races and will offer a virtual race experience only in 2020.

Please plan to join us next year for in-person races at the 20th annual IMT Des Moines Marathon on October 15 to 17, 2021.

What was considered in regards to cancelling the in-person races this year?

The IMT Des Moines Marathon consulted with city leaders and local public health officials, while continually assessing plans for race weekend based on current conditions. While the opportunity to postpone the event did not seem rationale, the IMT Des Moines Marathon was looking at having to significantly reduce the number of attendees at our event to 250 people including, but not limited to:

  • Overall number of attendees or crowd size.
  • Number of attendees who are at higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19. This includes older adults and people with underlying health problems such as lung or heart disease and diabetes.
  • How close together attendees will be at the event.
  • Potential ways to minimize the economic impact on attendees, staff, and the local community.
  • Amount of spread in the local community and the communities from where your attendees are likely to travel.
  • Needs and capacity of the local community to host or participate in your event.

On Friday, July 31 the Mayor of the City of Des Moines announced an amendment to a city-wide proclamation limiting the number of people allowed to gather at outdoor running events with a proper permit to close the city streets or right-of-way to 250 people or fewer. To read the proclamation in its entirety, click here.

As a result, the IMT Des Moines Marathon has determined that in-person races were not a viable option for our athletes, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and the community in which our event takes place.

What will happen to my race entry fee now that the in-person race is cancelled?

In light of this decision to cancel all in-person races in 2020, athletes with a paid registration for the 2020 event will have the option to defer their entry fee to the 2021 event or to participate in any of the race distances currently offered in the 2020 virtual event.

Athletes have until Sunday, October 4 at 11:59 pm to make their selection, otherwise, they will automatically be placed into the 2020 virtual event in the event category that they were registered for in 2020.

As a proactive measure, the IMT Des Moines Marathon has already launched the 2020 IMT Des Moines Marathon Virtual Event, featuring all of our race distances in a virtual race offering. Athletes can participate in the virtual event during the month of October by downloading the IMT DMM app and registering for the virtual event. For more information, click here.

Will I get a refund if I purchased pasta dinner or VIP experience tickets, or other add-on purchases?

Yes, if requested, the IMT Des Moines Marathon will provide 100% refunds for these add-on purchases, however if you have purchased and received merchandise items such as an IMT Des Moines Marathon training shirt, those purchases will not be refunded.

I would like to defer my 2020 in-person registration to the 2021 in-person event. How?

It’s simple. Athletes registered for any of the IMT Des Moines Marathon races in 2020 with a paid registration can return to the IMT Des Moines Marathon registration page and with a few clicks, complete the process to defer their paid registration in 2020 to the same event category distance offered in 2021. To do so, click here.

I would like to transfer my 2020 in-person registration to the 2020 virtual event. How?

It’s simple. Athletes registered for any of the IMT Des Moines Marathon races in 2020 with a paid registration can return to the IMT Des Moines Marathon virtual event registration page and with a few clicks, complete the process to transfer their paid registration in 2020 to the same event category distance offered in the virtual event in 2020. To do so, click here.

Should an athlete with a paid 2020 in-person race registration want to change their race distance offered within the virtual event offerings they can do so at no cost by contacting the IMT Des Moines Marathon directly with their request to do so at info@desmoinesmarathon.com.

What do I receive for participating in the virtual event?

All athletes participating in the IMT Des Moines Marathon virtual event experience will receive the following items:

Short-sleeve technical IMT DMM Virtual Race shirt. (shipping included)
IMT DMM race wrap (buff) (shipping included)
Custom race bib for download and/or printing.
Custom finisher medal. (shipping included)
Results posting to onlineraceresults.com offering interactive results.
Custom finisher certificate for download and/or printing.
Custom digital images with selfie overlays.
All of the features offered through the IMT Des Moines Marathon app designed to enhance your virtual event experience.

What actions can I take to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Please take everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19. This includes:

  • Cleaning your hands often.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
What actions can I take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the event?

Participants should monitor their health status continuously from 14 days before and during the event.

All participants should aim to keep at least a 6-foot distance from other people, particularly those who feel unwell and have a cough or sneeze or may have a fever, and should take the following preventive steps to ensure a safe and healthy event for everyone;

» Frequent hand washing by participants using soap and hot water or alcohol-based (at least 65–70%) hand rub for 20 seconds.

» People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain a distance of at least 4 feet, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash their hands).

» Avoid shaking hands, high-fives, fist-bumps, or hugging.

» Avoid steam rooms or sauna.

» Avoid touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

Anyone who feels unwell (i.e. fever, cough) should stay at home and keep away from work, school, or crowds until symptoms resolve.

Stay away from the event if, and when, feeling ill.