Running has gained popularity in the past few years and appears to be a trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. The following are the best races in Des Moines this summer.
- Dam to Dam– Held in downtown Des Moines, this half marathon will be held June 3, 2017. The race starts at Saylorville Dam and finishes at 13th and Grand. The race takes participants through both the countryside and downtown Des Moines with water stations provided every 2 miles. Registration opens March 15 at 6am. No registrations will be accepted after May 31st or after the race limit is reached of 9,000 entries. The entry fee is $40 for the first 5,000 and is either $45 if you are within the next group of 2,000 entries or $50 if you’re in the last group of entries
- The IMT Des Moines Marathon– Held on October 14-15, this race offers both a half marathon and a marathon, both start and finish at Cowles Common across the street from the Civic Center. These races will have you running through both Water Works Park and Gray’s Lake. This race usually has around 8,500 participants so you’ll have plenty of company while you race. The entry fee varies based on when you register so the earlier you do it, the cheaper it’ll be.
- The Color Run 5K– Guaranteed to be the most colorful race you’ll ever participate in, this 5k race will be held July 8. The race starts at the State Capital and with each completed kilometer, participants are doused with a different color from head to toe. The dye is mostly washable but they do recommend you wear clothes that you don’t care too much about in case the dye doesn’t come completely out. The race has 3 levels of entry fees from Classic with is the most basic for $34.99, the Classic Plus, $42.99 which has the added benefit of being mailed to your house and the Deluxe, $54.99 that offers a trucker hat and sunglasses in addition to your entry/participant kit.
- Des Moines Escape Triathlon– Held on September 2-3, this triathlon will have the swimming portion at Gray’s Lake, you’ll bike through downtown Des Moines and finally you’ll finish the race by running to the finish line at the Iowa State Capital. Registration is based on if you’re Olympic or Sprint (Olympic level is basically double the amount of each portion of the triathlon, so the swimming would be 1.5km versus the Spring swimming of 750m) and if you’re an individual or team. The top finisher in all age groups will qualify for free entry to the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon.
- Sleepy Hollow Beer Run– Held at Sleepy Hollow, near the Iowa State Fairgrounds, this is a perfect marriage of drinking beer and running while raising money for the leukemia and lymphoma society. 20 beer stations offer a chance to complete a game or obstacle before moving on to the next. The 300 foot Slip N’ Slide is both entertaining to watch people go down and a once in a lifetime experience. Registration costs vary per month so be sure to check out their website to get the best price. Tickets go on sale starting March 1st but the race date itself hasn’t been announced yet.
- Clive Running Festival–Clive’s annual Running Festival hasn’t had a date announced yet but is usually held in early June and will offer 5k and 10k races on the Clive Greenbelt Trail. Proceeds are used for trail improvements such as drinking fountains. The 5K and the 10K registration costs $25 for early registration and $35 after 6/1/16. This is a great race that supports a local trail that is very beloved by those who use it year round.
- Komen Race for the Cure-This annual race, which hasn’t had a 2017 date announced yet, is probably one of the most popular national races. The Des Moines branch of this race will start at the state capital where you’ll see a flood of pink clothing and items so you’ll definitely know you’re in the correct area. All funds raised go towards finding a cure for breast cancer. Registration gives different prices based on if you want them mailed or pickup option and if you’re wanting to participate in the timed or untimed race.
- Windsor Heights Annual Mini-Marathon-Windsor Heights has held their marathon for 35 years this year, being held on May 20. They offer both a 5k and a 10k course to compete in in their beautiful Colby park. Pancakes are served by the Windsor Heights Fire Department after the race and there’s even a free children’s fun run. The 5k run/walk has a $25 registration and the 10k is $35 to register-all who are registered receive a ticket for free pancakes so don’t worry about finding breakfast before the race.
- Race For Hope– this race starts at Water Works Park on May 13. The race was inspired in 2012 by 14 year old Nicholas Lovan, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and decided to bring Race For Hope 5K, held during the Brain Tumor awareness month of May, to Des Moines after participating in the Washington, D.C. race. Registration costs $35 through April 29th for the 5K with it going up incrementally until race day and the 10k costs $45 through April 29th and also going up in cost until race day.
- Bubble Run– Also being held on May 13,the Bubble Run will start at the Iowa State Capital and is a 5k race that at every kilometer participants run through a 100% safe foam bog that covers you from head to toe in colored foam. This isn’t a traditional race that keeps track of times or gives awards so if you want to run this for the sake of having a good time, then this is a fun way to dip your toe into the running world.