Monday, March 20, 2017

My Favorite DAM race


If there's one race that keeps me coming back, year after year, it is Dam to Dam.

Hands-down, this is my absolute favorite event. In fact, I just registered for my 10th consecutive Dam to Dam last week.  And, Runner's World magazine gives this event a nice mention in their April 2017 issue (page 91).



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Back when I pinned on my first D2D bib (in 2008), it was a 20K. In 2014, it was lengthened to a half marathon (which didn't require much adjustment on the course other than to loop around a few extra city blocks near the finish). The registration opens in mid-March, is limited to 8,000 participants, and usually sells out (there also is a 5K option). The first Dam to Dam hit the streets in 1980, and takes place on June 3rd this year.

There are many reasons why I LOVE this event.

First of all, it was my first-ever distance event(Recap HERE)
My first Dam to Dam, May 31, 2018 (pay no attention to the dorky hair or white shoes)
The course is unique, challenging, and scenic. We start out on the Saylorville Dam, with a view of the Des Moines skyline (off in the distance).

Can you see the Des Moines skyline...13 miles away?




There is an awesome tribute, called Memorial Hill (near mile 7), honoring all the fallen Iowa armed forces service  members (since the inception of Dam to Dam). The hill is long (nearly an entire mile), and usually has more walkers than runners by the time everyone reaches the top.
Each flag (along both sides of the course) represents a fallen soldier
The hubby has run it six (of the nine) times that I have. We seldom run the entire race together, but we have enjoyed many bumpy rides on the shuttle buses. That's ride...school buses. Being a point-to-point course, all runners are required to ride the buses to the start line.

The Dam runners on the bus go up and down, up and down....

Even though it's 13.1 continuous miles, there's continuous crowd support, music, and entertainment. Also, there are plenty of porta-pots and water/fuel stations every mile or so.

They have great tattoos! 



The registration is very reasonable ($40, for the first 4,000 registrants!) and includes a gender-specific tech shirt (from Brooks), socks (also from Brooks), and an awesome medal. The post-race party is pretty legit, too.  

2015
And, it's obvious there's plenty of race photographers along the course and I somehow always manage to spot them (apparently, I need some new camera poses). .
2015

2013

2014

In the nine years I have been running this race, I have experienced pretty much every kind of weather condition (with the exception of tornadoes, lightning, or hurricanes). One year (2009), it rained for the first nine miles (and I forgot my music at home that morning). Another year (2014), it was extremely hot and humid. In 2015, it was cool, damp, misty, and windy. Last year (2016) we had the most ideal temps and race day conditions yet...temps in the mid 70-'s, low humidity, and a gentle breeze.

2016
Well, have I sold you on Dam to Dam? It truly is a fun, and well-organized event! What do ya say? Care to join me on June 3rd?

**disclaimer: I am not an ambassador, nor have I been compensated in any way for this post. I simply LOVE this event! Want more info? Click HERE for the event website.

Aren't they pretty?
Do you have a favorite race you have run numerous (consecutive) times? What keeps you going back, year after year?

I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run...we're talking about favorite races that we've run several times. Join the party!


Also, I'm linking with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner



And with Nicole and Annmarie and Jen for the Wild Wednesday Workout

49 comments:

  1. I first heard about this race years ago when I started wanting to race all 50 states. I'll be getting Iowa this year with a Mainly Marathons race, but I still want to come out to do this one some year. So many races, so little time.

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    1. I plan on doing this race for the rest of my life ;-)

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  2. Sounds like a great race! Point to point courses are fun even if they require a little extra planning with the logistics.

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    1. I agree! The shuttles are a bit of a pain, but worth it ;-)

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  3. I'll be experiencing my first point to point races this year!

    Usually I try to be done with my halfs by June, since heat is not my friend. At least that big hill is in the middle, not the end!

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    1. The big hill is always a challenge! It's only the past 3 years that I've been able to run the entire hill without walking.

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  4. You've sold me on it but I don't think I can swing it this year! Sigh.

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    1. This is a great one....don't let the FOMO wear you down ;-)

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  5. Wow! It must be a great race if you ran it that many times! I do like point to point races. I find them less boring because you are not seeing the same things on the way back.

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    1. I agree! Sometimes it's fun seeing all the fast runners on their way back...but it can also be a bit discouraging.

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  6. Sounds like a great race. So far I have not repeated any halfs. I am tempted but there are so many to choose from. I do repeat the Freihofer 5K because it's local and everyone runs it.

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    1. We don't have as many 13.1's out here (at least ones that are close by or worth driving to). I envy the peeps who have them to choose from almost every weekend!

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  7. Iowa seems to have its share of iconic races. This sounds like a great one. I always dread races with a shuttle bus involved but at the end of the day they're kind of fun.

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    1. Sounds like you may need to road trip out here sometime and hop on the bus with me ;-)

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  8. Love point to point races- this one sounds fun!

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  9. Iowa has some great races--and not too far away!

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  10. Wow, that does sound awesome! And $40 for a half?? Let me check my calendar ....

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    1. $40 for the first 4,000.....last check it was already in the 3,000's I think....

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  11. Sounds like a great race and you really can't beat that price!

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    1. It's a great price...especially for the first 4,000 who register ;-)

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  12. I love that you and your husband have run this together so many times. Looks like a fun one. Maybe some year I can run in Iowa!

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    1. YES!!!!! I'd love to have you come and run with me!!!

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  13. I just love the name of this race, lol. It's awesome that you and your husband were able to run the race together a lot, I know that must be fun!

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  14. I think we all have those races we just love to run each year. Dam to Dam sounds awesome! I have been doing the Run for Clean Air for a few years in a row, only missing 1 when I was injured. Sometimes it's nice to have no surprises and just enjoy!

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    1. I've had some injuries int eh past 10 years...I'm just glad none have interfered with this race (knock on wood!)

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  15. I've actually heard a lot of great things about this race- it's on my bucket list!!!

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    1. Woot!!!! Let me know when you venture this way ;-)

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  16. Love the mention of the white shoes! LOL - we are all about the neon now aren't we! Looks like a great race for sure and $40 registration fee !!! That's amazing! Races are getting so expensive

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    1. Ha! Yes, me in white shoes does NOT happen very often LOL

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  17. Sounds like a great race, even though point to points are not my favorite due to logistics.

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    1. The logistics are a bit of a challenge, but they have the details down to a near-perfect science so it all goes well getting the runners tot he start line

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  18. The races I wish I could do consecutively tend to either have high registration fees or are lottery-entry :(. I'm hoping to find some solid local ones in my new city to do again and again, though! I just need all the years of a bazillion weddings to be over, so I can actually be around to do them haha.

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  19. This looks like a great race. I LOVE point to point races. They're so much better than loops and out-and-backs. You take such awesome race photos!!

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    1. Well....I am not sharing the bad photos LOL

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  20. $40 for a half marathon, that's awesome! Love that your husband has run it as well. THAT hill looks intense!

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    1. Well, it's $40 for the first 4,000 registrants....last check it was around 3,8XX something I think....

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  21. Wow this looks like such a great race! The course and skyline pic is beautiful! I love the tattoos! So cute!

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    1. I love the start line...seeing the skyline off in the distance ;-)

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  22. Wow 9 yrs running this race - that's awesome!!! I've ran RNR San Diego a few times but not consecutively. Would love to go back to Mammoth for their 4th of July mile race though - it would be a 3rd time this year if I run it.

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    1. I ran this race that first time, and knew I'd be back LOL I just can't stay away....

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  23. That does sound like a fun race! You can't beat the entry fee and the tattoos! Have fun!

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  24. Looks like an awesome race and it must be because you keep going BACK! I'll have to put it on my racing list!

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  25. This sounds like such a blast! I do enjoy point-to-point races!! Love all your pictures too :-)

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