Looking for feedback on this marathon. I have ran Twin Cities and Grandmas and am considering going south of the border. I love TCM but don't want to sign up so early incase of complications. I'm close to 4 or sub-4 hour marathoner and like crowds or at least something scenic. Will I be running by myself at times? Is the metal nice?
I have run the half and the full marathon in Des Moines. Here is my race report from last year I have limited experience with other marathons, but from other reports, I would rank the organization of this one up there with the best. You most likely will never be running alone in this race no matter what your level of fitness. I was in your group (4hr) for most of last year's race, and I always had runners surrounding me. Course support was somewhat patchy in spots (there is a large area where you are running through a park where spectators couldn't reach), but some of those areas are the most scenic.
My wife was able to meet up with my wife 5 times during the course of the run, so it is very spectator or course support friendly. The medal is good and looks nice.
Hi there Bugs... just thought I would drop you a note about the Des Moines Marathon. I did it a couple of years ago and had a great time there. It's a very beautiful capitol city and I thought it was pretty cool how all the buildings downtown were connected by skywalks. The course itself was very scenic. The first part is generally thru residential areas, then you get to run thru the famous Drake Relays Track Stadium and get to see yourself running on their big color score board as you are finishing up your lap. The last part of the race was thru a big park area. It's a very pretty area but seemed to take forever to finish... I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't feeling so tired at the time. When you are tired any area you are running in seems to take forever no matter how scenic it is. The medal was pretty nice too. The one I got there was very shiny and gold looking with the marathon logo on it. If you decide to do this one I don't think you will be disappointed. I had a lot of fun there. After I ran it I wrote my comments on it for marathonguide.com and thought I would include those below as well. Good luck with it.
This was my 6th marathon and I have to say that I really enjoyed the city of Des Moines and the nice people there. The course was very scenic but I agree with others in that running through the parks at the end of the race seemed to go on forever. A lot of that probably had to do with the fact that I was pretty tired by that point. My favorite parts of the course were the first seven miles (even though it was fairly hilly) and running through the Drake Relays Stadium. The residential parts of the first half of the race were very enjoyable and it was an awesome experience being able to run through the stadium and see yourself on the scoreboard as you came out.
The crowd support was also very good and I especially enjoyed the drumline at mile 21. I was pretty pooped at that point and it helped pick me up a bit. A big "thank you" to those kids.
My biggest complaint is that the mile markers were way, way off. It was extremely frustrating not being able gauge what your effort level was. I pride myself on running even splits but didn't come close to that on this course because of the mile markers. My first four splits were 7:13, 8:11, 7:00 and 7:58. There were other points in the race were I ran a 6:09 split followed by at 9:05 and also a 7:38 split followed by a 9:06. Having these inaccurate splits was very disconcerting. If you want a successful marathon you have to at least have an accurate course.
Despite that I totally recommend this to other runners who want a nice, mid-size Midwestern marathon. I had a lot of fun in Des Moines.