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On a full stomach


Devour Des Moines will be held on Aug. 2 beginning at 10 a.m.

Devour Des Moines will be held on Aug. 2 beginning at 10 a.m.

Sometimes runners take extra care about what they eat and drink in the weeks and days leading up to a race. Maybe they’ll carbo-load, order extra servings of broccoli and beans or drink gallons of water. Then there are races that buck the traditional triathlon style for something a little more unique — a little more delicious. Like Devour Des Moines.

“Participants not only have to be able to run or bike, but they have to do it on a full stomach, which is definitely a challenge!” says Jill Olsen, Devour Des Moines Committee.

Teams of four people will compete to be the All You Can Eat Champion of the 2014 Devour Des Moines by completing a series of bacon-centric eats and athletic feats.

The first team member will eat the famous Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots from the High Life Lounge and then complete a 2-mile run. That person will then tag a teammate who will enjoy not only Bacon Wrapped Smokies from El Bait Shop but compete in the slippery and soapy water challenge, which includes an inflatable ring toss followed by a ride down the slip ‘n’ slide. Participants will be sprayed down with “clean grease” — dish soap — to ensure a smooth slide.


Team member three then gets to enjoy the brand new, never-before-served Bacon Cheese Balls from The Library before taking a 2-mile jog through downtown. Next up is locally-grown freshness with an ear of Deardorf sweet corn from Buy Fresh Buy Local and bacon/tomato stacks before a 6.5-mile bike ride on the side.

Zombie Burger created a dessert just for Devour Des Moines, and the first team to eat its Bourbon Bacon Apple Fritter and cross the finish line will be the winner.

“This is a fun event and a great atmosphere, but like any athletic event, there is some competition,” Olsen says. “We have two teams that have gone back and forth for first and second place the last few years and started a bit of a friendly rivalry, so it will be fun to see if one of them ends up on top again this year.”

But what about the potential for an involuntary expulsion?

“We have had very few people over the last four years that haven’t been able to keep the food down, but we’ve really tried to keep the food portion at a good balance where it is a challenge, but not a ‘toss your cookies’ situation,” says Olsen. “Competitors are not disqualified if they vomit, but they are required to clean up any messes they make along the trails, or that can lead to disqualification. Our policy is, ‘If you puke, keep it neat, use your bag, not the street!’ ” CV     

David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Devour Des Moines
Saturday, Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. at El Bait Shop. The awards ceremony and after party will take place immediately following. Participation will be limited to 50 teams of four members each and cost is $120 per team. Registration is available at

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