Para Athletes

The IMT Des Moines Marathon provides inclusive events for athletes of all skill levels and abilities.

Athletes who require a pusher or guide to participate in the IMT Des Moines Marathon should register through the Marathon Relay category and select the Para Athlete race division.

This format allows all individuals within the team to be correctly registered for the event they are participating in and receive all of the official race amenities offered.

To register for any IMT Des Moines Marathon races, click here.


A waiver of liability must be signed by both the pusher (guide) and assisted (para) athlete or by a parent or legal guardian, and successful completion of a training session (race weekend) is a condition of entry.

Athletes participating in the IMT Des Moines Marathon events agree to obey and accept the rules of the race and any related events and abide by any race official’s decision concerning the athlete’s ability to complete the race safely.

The team’s responsibility is to maintain their equipment and carry a phone during the event. In wet weather, race officials will have the final determination on participation.

Para Athletes

Para  Athletes with permanent physical or intellectual challenges, who would require a second participant to push them in a customized racing wheelchair, should register as a two to five-person team in the Para Athlete race division category of the Marathon Relay.

The Para Athlete events offered are non-competitive and do not classify levels of impairment or sports class.

Awards are not presented in this race division.

Visually Impaired Athletes

Visually Impaired Athletes have impairments of the eye structure, optic nerves, or visual cortex due to injury or illness. Athletes who meet the classifications for IBSA visual impairment and seek to enter any event where they will receive aid from a non-disabled athlete (guide) must contact race officials before registering to make necessary preparations. Guides may not use a bicycle or other mechanical means of transport. Method of guidance is left to the team’s choice with either elbow lead, rope, or run-free are permitted. Bicycles are not allowed.

Awards are not presented in this race division.

Push Rim Athletes

Non-disabled para-athletes using hand-cycles or hand-cranks (powered by gears or mechanical assistance) should not register in the Marathon Relay but as individual athletes in the Marathon or Half Marathon event category. Select the Push Rim or Han-dcycle race division category.

Awards are not presented in this race division.

All Push Rim athletes must wear a helmet and use appropriate caution on the course. The chair shall have at least two large wheels and one small wheel. Mechanical gears or levers are not allowed that may be used to propel the chair. Push Rim athletes must ensure that no part of their lower limbs can fall to the ground or road during an event. The athlete’s responsibility is to maintain their equipment and provide a wheelchair that conforms to all the above rules.

Unified Pairing

Partner your 5K registration with Special Olympics Iowa Unified Pairing program. An excellent opportunity for IMT Des Moines Marathon athletes to “partner up” with a Special Olympic athlete and participate in the Principal 5K Road Race together. You will have the option to select that you are interested in participating in the Unified Pairing program during your 5K registration. You can meet with your unified paired athlete before the race. Click here.


BibRave lists the IMT Des Moines Marathon as one of The Decade’s Top 20 Marathons in the United States. Read more.

RaceRaves lists the IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half Marathon as the best in Iowa and the best in the Midwest. Read more.

Cityview Magazine lists the IMT Des Moines Marathon as the Best Local Running Event in Des Moines. Read more.

More Information

To view the IMT Des Moines Marathon race division category fee structure, click here.

To register for any IMT Des Moines Marathon races, click here.

To confirm your IMT Des Moines Marathon registration, click here.

To receive an additional copy of your IMT Des Moines Marathon confirmation message via email, click here.

All registrants should read our terms and conditions and frequently asked questions.