Monday, November 12, 2018

Favorite Cities for Racing


Do I have a favorite city for racing?

By default, I'd have to go with Des Moines. Not because I live there (I'm actually about 50 miles east of Iowa's capital city), but because that seems to be where a lot of my races happen.

It seems like I find myself in Des Moines frequently, whether it's for shopping, travel (via the Des Moines International Airport) or a fun dining out experience. Hands-down, though, I'm there far more often for some of my favorite races.


My all-time favorite Des Moines-based race has been Dam to Dam. This race had a 39-year run, and ended this past summer, on June 2nd. It had always been a 20K, but had changed to a half marathon in recent years...but they brought back the 20K distance for its final hurrah. I ran this for the first time in 2008 and immediately fell in love with the event, and returned every year there after (11 total DAM times). Another company will be doing a similar race, DAM to DSM, utilizing (I believe) the same route...so, fingers crossed the tradition will continue, albeit with a different name.
My 11 D2D medals...from 2008-2018
I have also run the IMT Des Moines Half  Marathon numerous times, like seven times to be exact. This was my first-ever half marathon (in 2008) and the 2012 race holds my 13.1 PR. The route has had a few tweaks and modifications, but for the most part has remained about the same, showcasing some of the downtown sights and looping around Water Works Park and Gray's Lake.
October 2018...my 7th time at the IMT DSM 13.1
There's also the IMT Des Moines Marathon itself, where my 26.2 PR happened in 2014.
This epic pic of  the hubby & me is from the 2014 IMT DSM Marathon, at the 26-mile mark
Another favorite race I have done many times, in Des Moines, is the Leprechaun Chase, a 10K event that gives the lasses (aka the gals) a 5-minute head start ahead of the lads (aka the guys). Essentially, as the name implies, the lads truly chase the lasses, and whomever crosses the finish line first earns their entire team (all the fellow lads or lasses) a free green beer at the post-finish line party.
March 2018...go green or go home
Every February, right before Valentine's Day, there's the Red Flannel Run. This event benefits the Wellmark YMCA (downtown) and has featured 5K and 5-mile options. Unfortunately, in 2019, they are eliminating the 5-mile and replacing it with a triathlon (indoor). I have always done the 5-mile race, so I probably won't be heading back there in February, which is a bummer.
2018...my 7th Red Flannel Run
Although I have done a lot of racing in Des Moines, there have been other fun cities that deserve mention:

**Davenport, IA -  famous for the Bix-7 and the Quad Cities Marathon, two more of my favorite events!
Image may contain: Kimberly Busse-Hatting
Bix-7 finish line
**Chicago, IL - I have run along the lake shore several times, but have also run the RnR Half Marathon (twice), the RnR 5K (also twice), and the Wintrust Lakefront 10-Mile.
Image may contain: one or more people, skyscraper and outdoor
on the lakefront path
**Philadelphia, PA - I have only been there once, for the RnR Philly Half Marathon, and it was phenomenal!
Image may contain: Kimberly Busse-Hatting, smiling, standing and outdoor
on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
**San Francisco, CA -no official racing, but a couple of runs happened in the downtown area, as well as across the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate!
So, those are a few of my favorites. Although I love returning to the same cities for a variety of races, I enjoy exploring new places as well. In fact, I am on a quest to do a race in every state. Currently, my "racing states" count is at 10....so I have some work to do.

How about you? Got any favorite cities? How many different states have you raced in?

**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

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


**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Marc and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner
Running Coaches Corner Logo
Are you following me on social media?
Let's connect Facebook Instagram  Pinterest Twitter

38 comments:

  1. Well, I'm at 18 states, so yes, I have a lot of work to do too. :) I don't have to work around family too much, but it's still hard to take multiple trips a year (even if I want to).

    I can only imagine how cool it must be to run along the waterfront in Chicago! I LOVE running by water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping to grow my "state count" in the next few years after we finish up with all the college stuff LOL...I'll have more time for traveling and more financial flexibility as well ;-)

      Delete
  2. I'm always amazed at how big and great those Des Moines races are! I'm with you, there's no place like home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I want to explore more places, it's nice to have some great options nearby ;-)

      Delete
  3. While I've traveled extensively, I runfess I've never run in Iowa. In fact I may be wrong but I think the only Iowa city I've been to is Dubuque. Too bad Dam to Dam is no longer. I wish the new organizer would at least keep the name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am always amazed at the number people who have not been west of the Mississippi River ;-) Come on over...we have corn ;-)

      Delete
  4. That race photo of you and your hubby gets me every time, lol.

    Looks like I need to add Des Moines to my racing list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably post that pic too often, but it has a lot of meaning to me, and the memories of that race are awesome. YES....get your #KimButtocks to Iowa LOL ;-)

      Delete
  5. Like you, I love running in the big city nearest to me - Philly. We go there often for the restaurants, theater and to get to the airport. I love running in Philly, especially down by the Schuylkill River along Boat House row, near the art museum. Loved reading about your Des Moines exploits. If I ever run a marathon in Iowa, I will be sure to visit1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you're pretty lucky to be so close to Philly! My short weekend was over and done way too quickly. I'm eager to go back ;-)

      Delete
  6. It sure is hard to pick just one favorite city. You all do have a ton a great races in Iowa. I am looking forward to racing in Philly this weekend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have fun in Philly! Are you gonna run the Rocky steps?

      Delete
  7. I live near KC so its my default fave city too. I haven't traveled much. Des Moines marathon would be a great weekend trip and they have alot of great competition for the half. Ive def thought about that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DSM Marathon weekend is pretty incredible. The also have a 5-mile race on Saturday that is part of the weekend's festivities...and the medals from that race and the half/full go together as a set.

      Delete
  8. I don't do that many local races, and maybe I should. i live closer to Denver than 50 miles, but I never want to drive in for packet pickup. I could've done RnR, but it's a pain to get to the expo. If they had a mailing option for local runners, I'd take full advantage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to run the RnR Denver some day....not sure how the elevation would affect me, though.

      Delete
  9. So glad to see you mentioned Davenport, that's my hometown! I did the Bix 7 ages and ages ago as a teenager, one time mostly walking, and one time running I believe, though it's a very hazy memory. Then I ran it again summer 2017 when in town for a visit - had an absolute blast!
    I did the Quad-Cities half marathon in 2005 when home for a visit, I was living in NY at the time. I enjoyed it up to the 9 mile mark when my knee started hurting, in a bad way. Limped to the finish, and had to stop training for the NY marathon, which was going to be my first marathon. I was sooooooo disappointed.
    I've raced in only 4 states (IA, IL, NY, NJ) but living outside the US now I'll doubt I'll add any more, other than maybe one or 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've run the Bix-7 three times and am eager to go back (I've had schedule conflicts the past few years and was still in recovery last summer from surgery). I love the atmosphere there and all those hills in the heat of July....totally great challenge!

      Delete
  10. The Leprechaun Chase looks like fun! I've only run in Des Moines once when I did the half marathon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Leprechaun Chase is really fun...it's a different format than most races, and they really play up the competition between the guys and gals.

      Delete
  11. Running is such a great way to explore a city! I've never really been to Iowa, though I did run there once when I was visiting my son in Nebraska years ago. I couldn't miss the opportunity to run across the river (the Missouri, I think), just so I could say I ran to Iowa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it looks like you need to make an official trip to Iowa ;-) I'd probably recommend you wait a few months...unless you want to experience a "real" winter LOL

      Delete
  12. So...Bozeman counts as a city, right? I think the only big city I've run in was Vegas and it's definitely not a favorite LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right...you're more of a scenic trail kind of gal ;-)

      Delete
  13. I remember you saying how much you love the Dam to Dam race before. :-)

    Of the cities you mention, I've only run in Chicago and San Francisco.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the D2D race will always be my favorite race...

      Delete
  14. I wish I could say I’ve run in different cities but I haven’t really run much other than in my own town. I need to branch out haha!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm kind of a race-junkie, so by default, I get to explore a lot of towns/cities with a race bib

      Delete
  15. Great list!

    Jacksonville is my Des Moines - it's about 30-40 minutes from where I live, but that's where all the races happen, and they're most great. There's a combination of urban, beach and rural, so there's plenty of variety too.

    I have raced in 7 states so far, and I would love to run a race in all 50. Let's see if I can get it done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm eager to see all fifty states in my running shoes, too!

      Delete
  16. I LOVE San Fran and have yet to make it to Iowa but would love to visit Des Moines. Gonna put it on my bucket list :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Leprechaun Chase sounds like a fun concept for a race! :] The Red Flannel race looks fun too--sad that they took out the 5k option! :[

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Leprechaun Chase is one of the funnest races I do every year...the costumes are great!

      Delete
  18. I love all your pictures and the different places you have taken your running! I was in San Fran a few weeks ago and did a last minute 5k just to enjoy the city!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've run in Reykjavik, London, Birmingham and Coventry, so I'll have to say my home city. I've done the half marathon 7 times and the marathon the only time it's been run. Then again I've astounded my friends by cheerily running in the snow in Reykjavik plus it's where I did my first mara ...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've raced in three states*: NY, Florida and DC. I don't have any immediate plans to add to that since vacation logistics are hard enough without layering in race schedule. I'll be repeating Florida in 2019
    Iowa is on my 50 before 50 list so maybe I"ll do one of your races. You always make them sound so interesting

    ReplyDelete