IMT Des Moines Marathon

IMT Des Moines Marathon
Join Us At The Finish Line!

Friday, March 30, 2018

One of your new IMT Des Moines Marathon bloggers

Hello IMT Des Moines Marathon runners!!!!!

I just wanted to tell you that I am the newest member of the IMTDMM blogger account and couldn't be more excited for the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for the sport with you. To give you a little insight into who I am, please sit back with a nice cup of coffee, tea or a cool adult beverage and enjoy...
One of our kids is not pictured :)
My name is Brad Dains. I am a husband. Dad to 4 AMAZING children. I am an insurance underwriter. Part-time running shop sales associate (Fitness Sports in Clive ☺), soccer coach, mediocre blogger (find my personal blog here), most recently a member of the board of directors for the Capital Striders, the race director for the Sycamore 8 Trail Run and race director for the Booneville Backroads Ultra series...oh...and I like to run....ultra marathons!!!!!

To give you some background on myself, I was not always a runner. In the fall of 2004, I'd reached my end. I was fighting depression, suicidal thoughts, and a severe food addiction. I was 315lbs and had a hard time walking up a flight of stairs. I was wearing a size 44 pants and XXL shirts were starting to become snug. I was big and getting bigger every day. If you'd like to know more about what I was going through during this time in my life and how I eventually came out of it, I'd encourage you to watch a recent talk that I did as a part of the Active Endeavors Storyteller series. You can find it here

Since I hit my breaking point, I've run a lot. I've done a couple of marathons (including the IMT DMM), Dam to Dam a bunch of times, tested my fitness at the Grand Blue Mile a couple of times, a ton of 5k's and 10k's. The area that I've spent the most amount of time training though has been focused on trail races and ultras...especially the 100 mile distance. But I just love to run. No matter the surface, distance, weather, or whatever. I just love to run!!!! I love it so much, I've even run 100 miles on a treadmill....OK...that did kind of suck.

I'm really excited to be a part of the crew and to share the things that I've learned in the past 14 years of running. I'm not a doctor. I don't have schooling in kinesiology, physical therapy, or sports nutrition. I done a lot of research on my own as a part of a way to help others around me learn to love the sport because, let's be honest, there are days where running really sucks. I may be one of the most over zealous running fanatics, but I have days where it's not a lot of fun...and that's OK. My hope and goal with this blog is to get you even remotely as excited as I am about the sport that I love so much. Ask anyone who knows me and I LOVE to talk about running!!!!...and I use far too many exclamation points 😂

I hope to be able to bring up topics that you may have never thought about. Talk about common injuries I'm seeing as a part of working for Fitness Sports. I hope to educate you so that when the proverbial "human waste hits the rotary oscillator"....think it'll be more knowledgeable on how to manage the roadblocks you may face. 

Like I said, I LOVE to talk running and welcome you to hoping over to my social channels and "like", "heart", "follow" or whatever and let me know if there are topics for this blog you'd like to hear about. 

Thanks for reading and I can't wait to share my excitement with all of you

Stay Strong, Run Long
Brad Dains
Instagram ...get ready for lots of selfies...
Learn all about Central Iowa's UltraMarathon... Booneville Backroads Ultra

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Course Annoucement!

New scenery and new distances are ahead for participants in this year’s IMT Des Moines Marathon, organizers announced today.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon and Half Marathon, Principal 5K Road Race and the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay will all run on new routes this year, due to the start of construction on downtown Des Moines bridges. “We tried to keep the parts of the courses that people liked best,” race director Chris Burch said, including the Drake Blue Oval on the Marathon course. “But at the same time, this was an opportunity to incorporate the Capitol grounds and some new neighborhoods. We’ve also added a little bit of a challenge.” The Marathon and Half Marathon will both see new changes in elevation, with a stretch dubbed the “Capitol Climb.”

All four races will begin and end at a somewhat familiar spot: Cowles Commons. “This was our start/finish line back when it was Nollen Plaza,” Burch said. “We’re excited to try out the open, renovated space.”

The IMT Des Moines Marathon and Half Marathon, Principal 5K Road Race and the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay all take place on Sunday, October 16. Full course maps are available at

Organizers also announced a new slate of events to take place on Saturday, October 15. Mercy Medical Center will sponsor Mercy Field Day, to include the 5-mile Mercy Live Up Loop, Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics Junior Jog for kids and many other family activities. Mercy Field Day will be centered at Principal Park.

Find a complete race weekend schedule or register for any of the IMT Des Moines Marathon events at

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ten Reasons Why You Should Run the IMT Des Moines Marathon

My family after the IMT DMM in 2015.

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.

Outside the expo in 2014.

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!

In my awesome race swag!

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.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Big 3000 Follower Giveaway: Free IMTDMM Marathon, Half, 5 Mile or 5K Race Entries & Swag!

Last month I noticed that I was getting close to 3000 Twitter followers, which is quite a milestone for just one year of MamaGottaRun. I was so excited that I decided to offer another awesome giveaway to celebrate! The last giveaway I offered was a couple of free race entries, and my Tweeps seemed to love it, so I thought I'd try to offer race entries again. Hoping to find a donation from one of my favorite races, I jumped onto the IMT Des Moines Marathon Twitter page and saw that they too were right around 3000 followers, perfect! When I approached the IMTDMM it was an easy sell. They were gracious enough to offer two race entries (full, half, 5 mile or 5K- your choice!) and swag to two additional winners, so 4 prizes! This year the races are on October 16, 2016. Please see the Rafflecopter at (starts Monday, March 28), but hurry and come back often as the giveaway ends 4/11/2016.

This giveaway is particularly special to me because the IMTDMM was my very first marathon in 2014 and last year they invited me to be a guest blogger on their official blog for them as I ran the IMTDMM half in 2015. This year I will be training to run the full marathon again, so I am really excited to offer these prizes and hopefully get to meet some of you on the start line!

Recent training. Although for a different half I have next month, the miles
will kick-start me as I begin training for the IMTDMM full coming this fall.

I absolutely love the IMT DMM races. As I said, I have run both the full and the half, and both times have been an amazing experience for me. I blogged about both race experiences here and here and am excited to start blogging about my training for my 2016 experience. Last year I posted several articles on the IMTDMM official blog that will help you understand why I love this race so much. Not only is it in my home state of Iowa so I always have family to cheer me on as I run it, but last year my brother even ran the half with me- his very first half marathon. The medals, the course, the option of the I-35 Challenge (two races in one weekend), the amazing food venders, but more than anything the IMTDMM is the most supportive race I have ever run. So many incredble volunteers and spectators cheer on complete strangers as they run the course... the race director does an excellent job of making sure the whole package comes together wonderfully.

Me running the full in 2014.

My 4:19 finish in 2014. I am hoping for closer to 4:00 this year.

Running the half in 2015 with my brother who completed
his very first half marathon that day!

Last year, 2015, when I completed the I-35 Challenge (two
half marathons in one weekend, Kansas City and Des Moines).

Okay, so how do you enter to win these free race entries and awesome swag? It is so easy! On the top of this website there is a Rafflecopter. You simply complete a few easy tasks of your choice, such as visit the IMTDMM Facebook page, 'Like" us both and Tweet about the giveaway, as well as a few other options, and you're entered! Some of the entry options you can even complete daily, meaning that you can get even more entries into the drawing. When the drawing ends, Rafflecopter with randomly draw winners from the entries and then I will personally notify winners via email and tell them how they can collect their prizes. The Rafflecopter will run for two weeks and the only stipulation for winners is that they must use the free race entry themselves (no gifting it to someone else). Remember you can decide what race distance you want to enter (full, half, 5 mile or 5K). And that's it! 

On your mark, get set, go! I will post again next week with more details about the race, such as price increase dates, the race weekend events, route maps and anything else I can pass along.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Winter Running Blues

Winter is here. Although we have yet see much snow in the Midwest, the cold temperatures and frosty ground are upon us. I am not sure about you but this is the time of year when I struggle to get out of bed in the morning to run, knowing that the temperature outside is going to be sub 30 degrees. 

But winter running doesn't have to mean a cut in your miles. There are some tips and tricks that can help you overcome those cold days.

1. Dress appropriately. Although you want to dress with more warm layers due to the chilly air, don't overdress. After a mile or two your heart rate will increase, you will start to sweat, and you will get too warm too quickly if you have too many layers on. You really don't need more than one layer of long sleeves until the temperature is lower than 40 degrees. I add a layer of long sleeves every 10 degrees after that. At freezing (32 degrees) you will want gloves for your fingers and a hat to cover your ears.
2. Try running later in the day. This is tricky if your work or family schedule isn't flexible, but it is usually a good 10 or more degrees warmer later in the day. If you can, try running in the early afternoon or early evening.
3. Stay hydrated. Even though you are out in the cold, you will still sweat. You will need to replenish your fluids just like you would on a warm day.
4. Be mindful of your steps. Choose shoes that have grips; you can even buy not so attractive grippers that you can adhere to your running shoes if you like. The grass, road and sidewalks are much more slippery so a fall will be more apt to happen and if it does, the ground is now frozen so the landing will hurt more.
5. Stay positive. When you do get out there to run, appreciate the little things. Look for the gleaming reflection of the sun on icicles, try to admire a gorgeous sunset or sunrise, or even take a few moments to simply count the bird nests that are now visible with the disappearance of leaves from the trees. It may be cold outside, but it is still beautiful out there.

So there you have it. If you do slack on a few runs due to the colder weather, don't be too hard on yourself. Winter season is a downtime for most runners and there aren't as many races to register for anyway. Don't give up; just get back out there as soon as you can.

What do you do to stay motivated in the winter to run? What tips or tricks do you have? Comment below, I'd love to read your ideas!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Did Someone Say Two Half Marathons In One Weekend? Yes Please!

Double the bibs and double the hardware.

I'm the kind of person who likes to set running goals in order to keep herself motivated and focused. I register for races early, tell the world my plans so that I have to hold myself accountable, and then I start training (posting on social media every step of the way). When that race is over, I set a new goal and repeat the process.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy running, a lot, but a runner is lying if they tell you that they have never been in a running rut. To keep things fresh, I like to set what I call a "big" race goal for myself each year. A few years ago I decided to run a half marathon. Last year I decided to run my first full marathon. This year I went "half" crazy and decided to run two half marathons- in ONE weekend! Yes, I accepted and completed the I-35 Challenge by running two races that are literally located in cities along Interstate 35, during the same weekend. It was a few days ago and it was just as amazing as it sounds.

For the last four months I have been training for this challenge the best I could. I searched and searched online, talked to some runners I know, but couldn't find a true "Two Halfs In One Weekend" training plan anywhere. After thinking about how I run and what it would take for me to be prepared to run back-to-back halfs, I came up with a training plan. I am proud to say that I came close to following it almost exactly, and it worked well in helping me to be prepared physically and mentally for the challenge. I felt totally ready.

Basically I ran about 25-35 miles per week varying the length of the runs from 5 to 8 miles most of the time. For the last several months (prior to this last month) I also ran two back-to-back longer-ish runs every other weekend, like two 8s, 9s, 10s or 11s. And then this last month I ran a few 8s and 10s, but focused more on shorter, much faster runs, as I really wanted to PR my first of the two races. I wasn't sure how sore I would be after running my heart out trying to PR, so my goal for the second half marathon was to just finish respectably.

The smile of a new PR!

The first of the two races was the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon, half marathon option.  My husband ran with me, it was his very first race ever- let alone his first half marathon! He is naturally faster than me so I knew he would push me and help me PR. We figured that we had to get about 8:45 average pace for me to PR. We actually blew that out of the water with an 8:35 pace, and finished in 1:52.22. My previous best was 1:55.49 back in the 2014; so I ended up shaving almost 3 1/2 minutes off my previous best. I was stoked!

After the dust settled we showered, we picked up the kiddos from my sister's house, drove along I-35 to Des Moines, picked up my IMT DMM race packet at the Iowa Events Center, checked into the hotel and got ready for round two the next morning.

As the day wound down and the evening rolled in, several factors started to make me second guess my decision to run another half the next day. I started to get a horrendous cold and sore throat with a fever, aches and chills. I couldn't sleep because I was nervous my alarm wouldn't go off and I was sharing a bed with several kiddos- one of which was a 3-year-old that insisted on kicking me in the head all night. My cortisone shot from my torn rotator cuff (surgery planned for this December, yuck) still hadn't kicked in, and after running as fast as I could earlier in the day, my shoulder hurt- a lot. And to top it all off, I weirdly locked us out of our hotel room with my race gear inside earlier in the day and it took several hotel staff and a bent hanger to get us back in the room. Oh and how could I forget that it was only 30 degrees outside on the morning of the race? Icing on the cake was how sore my body was when I woke up from after the Kansas City marathon the day before. My legs literally felt like tree trunks.

It never crossed my mind NOT to do the challenge, but I definitely dreaded getting up that morning. This was the very first time I had ever woken up race morning not super pumped to run. Before the race started, standing out in the freezing temps with aches and chills, legs and feet screaming with soreness, I definitely didn't feel much excitement. But that did change, as my inspiration to stay on course was my little brother. He had agreed to run the IMT DMM leg of the I-35 Challenge with me, even though he had never run a race of any distance before.

When I looked over at my brother at the starting line, standing beside me, chatting with complete strangers, laughing, cracking jokes, jumping around to keep warm, things started to change for me. He was just the most excited I had seen him in, well, maybe ever. THAT changed something in my mind. I decided not to worry about my pace, the distance, my aches... I decided to just run with him. He was so very excited just to be running his very first race, ever, and I remember that wonderful feeling.

After a few miles I no longer noticed the aches and pains or the freezing cold; I only noticed how awesome it was to run and cheer my brother on along the route. Honestly, I lost track of the miles most of the time and just ran. I didn't worry about anything- I just ran.

I ended up having so much fun and getting so much enjoyment out of it.

Both races complete!

Eventually, we got to the end. And I DID IT! I ran TWO HALF MARATHONS IN ONE WEEKEND! It was incredible. I am so glad I did it. What an accomplishment!

You know what? We did pretty good too. I still finished in the top 25% of all women with our 2:06 time. Not too shabby for the girl always picked last in gym class.

Since training, Tweeting and blogging for the IMT DMM blog, I have met many runners online that were doing the I-35 Challenge too. Some ran one full and one half, some ran two halfs like me, and some "full" crazy ones even ran two fulls in one weekend.

I have to say that I am inspired.

I think.. I think... that I could challenge myself to run even more next year. I mean, I ran my two halfs this weekend with a torn rotator cuff and a really awful cold, sore throat and cough- among other obstacles... just think of what else I can do?!

I am sensing a new goal for 2016 coming on... :)