IMT Des Moines Marathon

IMT Des Moines Marathon
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Wave Starts for Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race

The IMT Des Moines Marathon introduced the Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race to race day in 2006.  The idea at the time was to offer a 5K race so that runners new and old to the sport could participate in a shorter distance, while having the opportunity to be a part of the festive IMT Des Moines Marathon experience.  We know that not everyone is a long distance runner and if we wanted them to be a part of our event we needed to create a race they would want to participate in.

The 10K distance was examined pretty closely at the time.  There aren’t too many 10K races in Central Iowa and a local company was interested in sponsoring the distance. Possible routes were laid out, including the idea of a trail race.  Instead the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay was created.  The relay event was gaining in popularity across the country and a 5-person team could split up the IMT Des Moines Marathon course averaging between 4-6 miles per leg, which would give us a race with a 5K distance, as well as an event with a 10K distance.

The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race features a 3 mile course that shares the same start and finish line of the IMT Des Moines Marathon.  The 5K Road Race crosses the newly completed Principal Riverwalk Bridge and then runs out and back along the Des Moines River before heading through the East Village.  Participants will catch glimpses of the Botanical Center, City Hall, Iowa Historical Building, and Iowa Statehouse before retuning back downtown for a finish in the heart of downtown Des Moines at Nollen Plaza. 

Five years later, The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race has grown into a race of its own.  In 2010, there were just fewer than 800 finishers in the 5K Road Race and this year more than 1,000 are anticipated.  Finishers are offered a finisher medal and prize money is offered to the top two overall male and female finishers. 

To accommodate the growth of the Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race, race officials this year will offer a 3 wave start to ease congestion as runners reach the Principal Riverwalk Bridge.  Athletes will be lined up according to 1 of 3 5K Road Race divisions: Competitive, Non-Competitive, and Walker.  Each wave will start within 2 minutes of one another.  Just enough time to get runners across the start line map and onto the race course.

I hope you will be a part of our growing numbers as we celebrate 10 Years Running on October 16, 2011. 


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