Friday, October 28, 2016

Des Moines Half Marathon
Des Moines, Iowa
Sunday, October 16, 2016

On Sunday, October 16, 2016 I race walked the Des Moines Half Marathon in Des Moines, Iowa.  There was dense overcast fog with 100% humidity, no breeze and a temperature holding at about 62 degrees.  The course was completely closed to traffic with no cross traffic allowed at any intersection utilizing 10 miles of paved roadways and 3 miles of paved bike paths.  Except between miles10 and 12 where the course encircled the Iowa State Capitol Building which sits on a hill, the course was mostly flat with small up and downs.  There were about 7000 participants in the half marathon and 3000 participants in the full marathon.  There were also a 5K and a marathon relay of whose numbers I am not sure.  The water/Gatorade stations were located about every mile beginning at mile 3.  There were plenty on enthusiastic, efficient, friendly volunteers taking care of the needs of the participants; however, the first three stations were a little crowded because of the number of participants.  The event offered prize money to the top finishers and as a result there were several elite Kenyan and Ethiopian runners posting very impressive times.  There were many spectators everywhere along the course cheering enthusiastically for all of the participants as well as live and recorded music spaced approximately every ½ miles.  The post-race food was the best I have ever experienced in all of my 326 marathons and half marathons.  Security was used to restrict the area to the participants who were allowed to eat as much as they want from a huge selection of items including pizza, Bar-B-Que Sandwiches, Soup, Etc.  There were excellent live bands playing in the finish area.  My friend, ex-Olympian-Coach, Jeff Galloway and his wife were there.  Two of the running clubs to which I belong, Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics, held a reunion even in association with the event attracting at least 500 members.  As a result the race provided the clubs with the lobby on the Civic Center with its indoor bathrooms immediately next to the start line, as an indoor place the wait for the start. The area had a separate gear check for the club member’s exclusive use.  This was extremely nice and added to my enjoyment of the event.


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