Crowd support is huge, but being a good spectator takes preparation and work. If you’re planning on watching on race day, follow these tips can be an asset.

Many of the roads surrounding the IMT Des Moines Marathon route will be closed on race day. Here is a list of road closures and suggest traffic reroutes.

Know When to Watch

Saturday, October 16

5-Mile Run 8:00 am at Principal Park. Course highlights include the Meredith Trail, Gray’s Lake Park, and the Des Moines skyline’s great views from along the Raccoon River.

Sunday, October 17

Marathon 8:00 am on Court Avenue. Finishers will begin to cross the finish line as early as 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.

Half Marathon 8:00 am on Court Avenue. Finishers will begin to cross the finish line as early as 9:15 am. The bulk of the runners and some of the walkers are expected to finish before noon. The course is open for 7 hours.

Marathon Relay 8:00 am on Court Avenue. This is a fun race to watch as the 1st team member runs the first 4 miles of the marathon course, the 2nd member runs the next 6 miles, the 3rd member runs 4 miles, followed by the 4th member of the team who runs a 6-mile leg. The last member of the team runs the final 6 miles of the race, with all team members able to join together for the final .2 miles. Look for relay teams to cross the finish line at various times throughout the day.

5K Road Race 8:30 am on Court Avenue. The first athletes return to cross the finish line as early as 8:45 a.m. Most athletes complete the race by 9 am.

Know Where to Watch

Principal Park A great location to watch all of the events on Saturday, as well as the first miles and final mile of their races on Sunday… where support is needed most!

Drake University Home of the Drake Relays and the blue oval. Marathon route at Mile 12. Drake Stadium is open to spectators. Great place to see the athletes on campus stoic with running history.

WaterWorks Park
 Solace and green space in the middle of the city. 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.

Fleur Drive will be closed between Ingersoll Avenue, and George Flagg Parkway from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on race day.

Gray’s Lake Park 
A true gem in Des Moines. Park in the southwestern parking lot of Gray’s Lake Park, accessible from Fleur Drive and George Flagg Parkway, or Thomas Beck Road.

Fleur Drive will be closed between Ingersoll Avenue, and George Flagg Parkway from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on race day.

between 9th Street and 3rd Street Stunning views of the downtown skyline. A long straight away before the end of the race.

Know What to Look For

Race Number/Bib Athletes must have their race number/bib visible at all times. Typically race numbers/bibs 1 through 100 are reserved for Professional & Elite Athletes.

IMT Des Moines Marathon 5-Mile Run race number/bib colors are purple, and mile markers are purple.

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.

5K Road Race race number/bib colors are green, and mile markers are green.

IMT Des Moines Marathon Marathon Maniac & Half Fanatics Pace Team leaders wear safety yellow singlets in the Marathon & Half Marathon divisions with associated green race numbers/bibs.

Be Supportive Here are eleven tips designed to ensure you are a supportive spectator on race day. Click here.

LiveTracking With IMT DMM LiveTracking, your friends and family can follow your progress live during the race by simply searching for their race number/bib or name by clicking here. You can then choose to post live updates to your Facebook or Twitter account with their progress. You will then be asked to log into your social media account and authorize the app to allow it to post live updates on your timeline/feed. Social Sharing.

In the new app, you can find all the information you like to know about the IMT DMM: course maps, updates via social media, LiveTracking, and more. You don’t need to bring your phone, as the App uses the passing of the timing mats and calculates the average speed.

IMT DMM LiveTracking is available for free download through the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Know the Course

Get acquainted with the racecourses. 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 upon 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 Court Avenue on race day.