The IMT Des Moines Marathon is working closely with the City of Des Moines street use team as we develop a plan for a safe race weekend. Our collective priority is the health and safety of residents, participants, and all who come to Des Moines for this event. This is a rapidly evolving situation and details will be forthcoming as we continue our planning.

We will strive to ensure you can run with confidence this fall. Event policies for large outdoor gatherings that follow CDC, state, and local health guidelines will be posted and kept up to date on this page, as they become available.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon registration policy for the 2020 event has been expanded to include:

  1. Event registration remains open. 
  2. Summer pricing for all events expires Sunday, July 19 at 11:59 pm CST.
  3. A virtual event option is being considered in 2020. Details will be announced as soon as a virtual event option becomes viable.
  4. Should the 2020 event not take place, a deferral option to the October 15-17, 2021 event will be offered for all athletes with a paid registration (fees may apply).

Below are some of the COVID-19 resources we are following and encourage you to as well. #stayhealthy.

Event Communications & Updates

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, and reminders to wash hands frequently.

Race Day Policies and procedures for running events may or may not change come October as well, but for now, contingency plans follow 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

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) launched its Return to Running Events and Group Runs survey.  The goal of the survey was to get an understanding of customer attitudes as it relates to return to running in organized group runs and in-person running events. On May 6, 2020, 10,634 responses were recorded.  With many of the questions optional, 7260 people completed every question, while some questions had over 8000 responses. Utilizing the zip code question, RRCA was able to confirm responses were received from individuals from all 50 states and the District of Columbia*. Of the respondents that completed the question about gender (67% completed the question), 54% were female and 43% were male and 3% did not identify or chose not to respond. To see the details, click here.

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 (IMT DMM) is committed to the overall health, safety, and well-being of the athletes, volunteers, sponsors, and community in which it operates.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon race director will strive to communicate the truth with factual information, in a timely, responsible manner. He will consult with health and public officials before implementing any changes to our current emergency preparedness response crisis plan once any necessary updates are made to deal with pandemic crisis planning as it relates to large public gatherings.

At this time, the IMT Des Moines Marathon is planning for all scheduled events and races to take place in-person.

What are some of the things being considered in regards to holding or cancelling the event?

The IMT Des Moines Marathon is consulting with local public health officials and continually assessing plans for race weekend, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees (if possible) at our event 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.
I am considering registering for your race. I was signed up for (insert race) but it was just cancelled and I lost part of my deposit. I’m a little weary of signing up for another race and losing my registration fee. Is there anything you can tell me?

As of today, the IMT DMM plans include an in-person packet pick-up, expo, and speaker series, as well as the full schedule of weekend races that look out for your best interests and longevity, as well as those of our volunteers, vendors, and community. 

Here are some registration reminders as our plan for in-person racing continues so that you can feel comfortable about registering, training, AND participating in the IMT Des Moines Marathon:

             Event registration remains open.

             The extension of spring pricing for all event categories expires this Sunday, June 21 at 11:59 p.m. CST. 

             Event categories will return to the standard fee structure starting Monday, June 22 with the next fee increase to take place Sunday, July 19 at 11:59 p.m.

             A virtual event option is still being considered, however, unlikely. Details will be announced should a virtual event option become viable. Here are the results from the May bulletin athlete poll asking if you would like to see a virtual event option offered in 2020: 

             44% no, but thank you for asking. 

             32% yes, in addition to the in-person event.

             24% yes, but only if the in-person event cannot take place as planned. 

In the meantime, the IMT Des Moines Marathon contingency plan offers a variety of race weekend scenarios to ensure that the event will be held in a safe manner and within the guidelines set forth by the state of Iowa and the city of Des Moines.

             If modifications are made, and if those modifications don’t meet your needs as an athlete, you would have the option to opt-out of this year’s event (fees may apply) and defer your paid registration to 2021. 

             However, race entry fees will not be refunded if the in-person event takes place, is modified, or is canceled in 2020.  

What will happen to my entry fee if the event is cancelled?

A virtual event option is still being considered, however, unlikely. Details will be announced should a virtual event option become viable.
Here are the results from the May bulletin athlete poll asking if you would like to see a virtual event option offered in 2020: 

  • 44% no, but thank you for asking. 
  • 32% yes, in addition to the in-person event.
  • 24% yes, but only if the in-person event cannot take place as planned. 

In the meantime, the IMT Des Moines Marathon contingency plan offers a variety of race weekend scenarios to ensure that the event will be held in a safe manner and within the guidelines set forth by the state of Iowa and the city of Des Moines.

  • If modifications are made, and if those modifications don’t meet your needs as an athlete, you would have the option to opt-out of this year’s event (fees may apply) and defer your paid registration to 2021.
  • However, race entry fees will not be refunded if the in-person event takes place, is modified, or is canceled in 2020.  
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.

Is there a cap or maximum number of participants allowed to register this year?

The City of Des Moines does not have a cap on the number of participants at outdoor event gatherings. However, guidelines established by the CDC set gatherings at 10, 250, 1,000, and no limit based on event risk assessment, community spread and impact on hospital capacity.

Event organizers are required to present a procedures plan related to COVID-19, which the IMT DMM has prepared for in-person races, subject to change, to the City of Des Moines Street Use Team for approval and proper permitting. Many of the policies the IMT DMM has in place for COVID-19 will be posted to the IMT DMM website as we continue with planning for a safe event.

While we do not have a cap on the maximum number of participants allowed, it is something that we are monitoring this year due to COVID-19 and is part of our contingency planning. One consideration is to modify the schedule of races over the course of the weekend in order to allow for the most athletes on the course possible for each event distance. Based on registration numbers, both the marathon and half marathon would meet the current recommendations as laid out by the CDC, state of Iowa, and City of Des Moines guidelines for large outdoor gatherings.

Should a cap or limit on the number of participants be put in place due to these recommendations steps that have been considered would be to contact registered athletes to determine if they still plan to attend the event in-person so that we have a true sense of participation numbers, and to recognize registrants in a first-come, first-served system in order to reduce numbers.

 

Are you considering an extended start time of say a couple of hours so we can social distance?

Typically, the IMT Des Moines Marathon Sunday races share the same start and finish line on Court Avenue.

Due to COVID-19, plans are to move the start line to a different location on the course to allow for the following: social distancing, reduced spectators and volunteers, crowding at the finish line… and most importantly wave starts.

The wave start theory with a common start/finish line scenario is problematic. Athletes in the shorter distance races would be returning to the finish line before all of the waves for the longer distance races can start.

Based on measurements of the new start line location that is being considered, race officials can accommodate a row of six athletes lined up six feet apart from one another, followed behind them by another row of six athletes… six feet back and six feet apart from one another, etc.

The proposed start line would be seeded by a corral for wave starts that will allow for up to 30 rows of athletes. Athletes will be assembled into a staging area adjacent to the corral where they will be escorted by ‘rows’ of socially distance runners to the back of the corral. As each wave of athletes crosses the start line and out on to the course, the next row of athletes will be brought to the start line.

Now, how many seconds apart each wave will go off is still up to debate and being finalized. 4 seconds. 10 seconds. Etc.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon is asking athletes when they register to enter their estimated finish time in order to assign athletes to appropriate wave starts. Faster runners will be seeded in the morning. Casual walkers will be seeded in the afternoon.

Although social distancing will be encouraged, athletes will be allowed to pass other athletes on the course if, and when necessary. Guidelines for passing will be posted.

Will a virtual event option be offered?

No, there will not be a virtual option for 2020 entrants of the IMT Des Moines Marathon. However, we are considering some possible virtual run offerings for athlete populations that may be at higher risk for attending an event in-person, and/or other issues such as travel restrictions that may not allow for in-person participation.

Are there any restrictions in place in regards to traveling to the event?

While there is no longer a recommendation to self-isolate for 14 days after returning home from travel outside of Iowa and within the United States (as long as the traveler remains well and has not been identified as a close contact of an ill individual).

The Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend that persons returning from international travel stay home for 14 days after they return.

For additional information related to travel, please click here.

Will I be required to wear a mask or face covering at the event activities?

The IMT Des Moines Marathon strongly recommends the use of masks/mouth-nose face covering and rubber/disposable gloves by volunteers, officials, and other accredited clients that are in contact with athletes (e.g. registration, start area, post-finish area). These items will be provided at the event for these individuals.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon strongly encourages the use of masks/mouth-nose face covering and rubber/disposable gloves by participants at these event activities and should consider bringing their own mask/face covering (e.g. registration, start area, post-finish area). These items may be provided at the event for these individuals.

For more information on the use of masks, click here.

Will I be required to wear a mask or face covering during the race?

No. While the IMT Des Moines Marathon strongly encourages the use of masks/mouth-nose face covering and rubber/disposable gloves by participants at event activities (e.g. registration, start area, post-finish area) they will not be required or encouraged on the racecourse itself.

However, if an athlete chooses to wear a mask/face covering during the race at any time, they will be welcome to.

For more information on the use of masks, click here.

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.