10. Free stuff after the race! My food and drink experience at the IMT DMM these last few years has been amazing. Vendors with chocolate milk, beer, water, beer (did I say that already?), pizza, cookies, peanut butter on a spoon, fruit, sandwiches, granola bars...the list goes on and on... Oh and last year they even had vendors passing out food to spectators. How great is that?! No joke- several vendors walked around and gave out sub sandwiches to everyone. As a mom with three young kids cheering her on, this helped out tremendously!
9. You can run two races in one weekend! Yes, as many of you know you can complete the I-35 Challenge, by running a half or full on Saturday in Kansas City and then another half or full in Des Moines on the Sunday of that same weekend. However if you want to run two races on the same weekend but in the same city, you can register to run the IMT DMM Mercy Live Up Loop, which is a 5 mile run on Saturday and then choose a 5K, half or full on Sunday.
8. Guess what? The Junior Jog (kids run) is on Saturday, the day before the 5K, half or full. This is great for parents who want to enjoy a family "running" experience. I have always wished that my kids could run the "kids fun run" option with me at most of the races I particpate in, but these are always held at the same time as my run. The IMT DMM has you covered by holding the Junior Jog the day before! How awesome is that?!
7. The registration fees are really, very affordable. Right now (until April 18th), you can register for the full marathon for only $73.00. And, as the price increases in April and July, the highest fee is still under $100. That truly is a good value. If you run races, you know it is often the fees that sometimes dissuade us runners from registering. The half is currently only $58 and never goes higher than $68. You can even run the two IMT DMM Mercy Live Up Loop option for as little as $44 right now!
6. The expo rocks. By far, the best exposition/packet pick up I have ever attended. There are so many vendors, advertisers, companies, organizations and other races with booths and lots of free stuff to hand out. Deep discounts on merchandise and other race registrations are very easy to find. Plan on spending at least an hour browsing the exposition after you very quickly and efficiently pick up your packet. Last year there were guest speakers presenting during the expo, one I listened to for a few minutes was an ultramarathon runner. Wow, incredible stuff.
5. Pasta. Really- need I say more? The Saturday night of race weekend there is a pasta dinner, very affordable and you can bring the whole family. A great way to meet other runners and carb load.
4. So I don't like to admit it, but sometimes I run races for the cool shirts. The IMT DMM has included in the registration fee pretty awesome long sleeve, dry-fit pullovers both years I have participated. I get compliments all the time on mine. It isn't some cotton t-shirt that you will never wear again- these shirts are wonderful. I wear mine weekly. I love how they state your distance on the back too, and are color coordinated for whether you ran the half or the full that year. Very cool IMT DMM, very cool. I also heard that there are training shirts available on their website this year too! I need to get my hands on one of those!
3. Technology savvy. Not only is the #IMTDMM active on Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot, Instagram and has a really great website, but the race has a wonderful App that you can put on your mobile device. It shows you where your runner is while they run, has route maps, gives you your race results afterward, and has several other cool functions. Follow this race on social media and over the next few months you will get a lot of good information about route changes, guest speakers, price increase dates, discount codes, etc.
2. Supportive. This is the most supportive race I have ever, ever run. There are volunteers during and after the race that truly make this experience what it is. From complete strangers cheering you on by your first name (yes they put your first name on your bib!) to helping you figure out where the Gatorade, water and GU stands are. If you have ever run a distance race you know that sometimes after a long run you can get a little disoriented. There are lots and lots of volunteers on hand to help guide you to get your finisher medal, move you through the stations afterward, find first aid or massages, point out the free nutrition and hydration vendors, and really are just there to answer any questions that you might have.
1. You could run for free! Ahem... My giveaway of TWO race entries ends at midnight on April 11th, so you still have several days to enter. You can enter multiple times on multiple days... so what are you waiting for?! Enter this awesome giveaway! Even if you don't win one of the free race entries, a few other lucky entrants will win free race swag. See the giveaway at the top of my website to enter.