As much as I hate to face reality, summer is winding down and fall is just around the proverbial corner. Although the temps will be cooling off and the days getting shorter, there's plenty of fun to be had in the great state of Iowa.
Here are five fun races my state offers for runners (and walkers as well). Take a look!
The Quad Cities Marathon East Moline, IL (September 23, 2018)
Ahhhh, the QC 26.2. I have so many warm fuzzies associated with this wonderful event. It was my first marathon, after all, in 2013. I returned in 2015 as part of a marathon relay team. In 2016, I ran the half marathon and also on a relay team with three of my cousins. The route is unique in that in encompasses four cities on the Iowa/Illinois border (known as the Quad Cities). The course takes you over the Mississippi River (four times, via several different bridges) with plenty of crowd support. (For more details, check out the race website HERE).
|The Gunhus Gals relay team, 2016|
I have only run this race once, but it was a lot of fun (recap HERE)...and it was my first official race after my recovery from my emergency surgery last summer. This race is a pretty flat, but not especially fast, course due to the large number of participants and the crowded route conditions. But, the swag is phenomenal, and the race ends on the field of Kinnick Stadium, where the Iowa Hawkeyes play football! Also, did I mention that I'm a proud University of Iowa alumni? Even better, though, is the charity this race benefits...the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, which works year-round raising funds in support of families and children affected by childhood cancer. (For more info, the website is HERE)
|Kinnick Fieild with the hubby|
I have done this race twice (in 2016 and 2017), and plan to do it again this year (I just haven't registered for it yet). It's a flat and pretty fast course beginning at Principal Park, looping around Grays Lake, and ending back at Principal Park, just outside the baseball stadium. This race has a lot of sentimental value to me, as well, in that it was another rally-back race for me last year. I had to run some of it in the rain (complete with a lovely dry cleaning bag as a make-shift poncho), but was able to snag a 3rd place age group victory. This race is part of the IMT Des Moines Marathon weekend, and is held on the day before the marathon. (More info is HERE)
The Hillbilly Hike Indianola, IA (November 3, 2018)
The IMT Des Moines Marathon Des Moines, IA (October 21, 2018)
This is another awesome event, now in its 17th year. This was my second marathon (2014) and I have also run the half marathon several times. There's also a 5K and a marathon relay option. This course has everything...downtown excitement, historic neighborhoods, a lap around the "blue oval" (where the famous Drake Relays are run) and some scenic parks. For those who love doubling up, the medals from the Mercy Live Up Loop 5-miler and the half/full marathons have magnets that "connect" the medals together. Cool, right? (More info on the website HERE)
|Half Marathon and 5-miler medals from 2016|
This a fun, family-type event that takes place on a point-to-point route (from Indianola to Carlisle along the Summerset Trail). I ran the half marathon in 2014 and 2015, and the 10K in 2017 (there's also a 5K option). This race benefits a local church, the Chistian Union Church, and its mission endeavors. The trail is beautiful, showcases numerous trees and is a rail trail, so it's pretty flat. The post race food is incredible....biscuits and gravy and pie!(More race info HERE)
|Yes, I took the hillbilly theme seriously and ran in a flannel shirt|
So, there you go! A small sampling of upcoming races in Iowa...do any of these sound enticing? Do you have any favorite fall races in your area? Any favorites that you run every year?