IMT Des Moines Half Marathon
The IMT Des Moines Half Marathon in Iowa was state # 50 for us! It was a well put together race that started and ended in downtown Des Moines. Dave and I arrived in Des Moines on Friday October 14 after 10 days of travelling between Minnesota and Iowa. We were able to get a discount hotel rate through the race link and stayed 2 blocks away from the start of the race at the Residence Inn. It was a perfect location.
I purchased our race tickets back in January 2022 for $93 per person, including tax. 2,547 runners signed up for the half marathon this year and another 1,105 for the full. The race had great communication through email with many different options for races to run. We attended the Expo at the Iowa Event Center and picked up our packets shortly after we arrived on Friday. Although it was only about a half mile from our hotel we decided to drive since it was a little chilly outside.
Parking for the venue was a little difficult and we ended up walking about two blocks to get to the building. The expo was a decent size but since this was our last state running, we didn't really need any merchandise. While we were there, we started talking to a shirt vendor and asked him if he could make us a shirt that said "50th State". He was unable to do that, but he did give me a complementary race tank top on the house! We took our picture in front of a mural with the names of all of the runners for both the full and half marathon. As for the swag, we received a long sleeve running hoodie along with a protein bar, toothbrush and some miscellaneous items. The race entry also included a free ticket to the Iowa Wild hockey game.
The day before the race we took it easy and drove over to Ames, IA and checked out the Iowa State University campus. Before heading to dinner, I took a look at Facebook and saw a post on the "50 Half Marathons in 50 States" group. One of the members was participating in the I-35 Challenge (Kansas City Half Marathon and Des Moines Half Marathon in the same weekend). He was driving to Des Moines and his car broke down. He asked if anyone was in Des Moines and could pick up his race packet. I noticed that the expo was about to end at 6pm so Dave and I quickly drove over and picked up his packet. I made it just in time, right before they began closing up everything.
Now it was off to dinner. We decided to go to a family run local restaurant called Tumea & Sons. They didn't take reservations, so we just drove over and ended up waiting about an hour or so.
The place was packed with mostly all locals, not many race goers. Dave of course had the Lasagna, and I went for the Chicken Asiago which had bell peppers and kalamata olives in a cream sauce. Everything was delicious.
Race morning was a little chilly as you can see from our attire. Lucky for us we didn't have far to walk. Instead of wearing the shirt from our previous race Dave decided to wear his shirt from our very first race in San Antonio (Rock and Roll series Nov. 2011). We arrived at the starting line with almost no time to spare before the start. We began running with the full marathoners and around mile 3 we split up, only to reunite at mile 5. The route was scenic as is the usual with big city races. It took us from downtown, through some industrial areas, neighborhoods and parks. There was a nice pedestrian bridge over one of the lakes. At one point while we were running through a park one of the race sponsors was giving out bacon to the runners! Of course, I had some.
The race had a decent number of supporters with the occasional mascot or two. There was even a man with his donkey cheering us on. A good amount of bathrooms and hydration stops as well.
We quickly ran past our hotel and over the train tracks before making a left turn towards the finish line. As Dave and I approached the finish line we crossed right in front of the main stage just as the winner of the Full Marathon was receiving his award! We were given our final medals of this 50-state adventure and got our complementary picture taken by MarathonPhoto. It's a bittersweet feeling to finally be finished after almost 11 years of races, traveling and planning.