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Much more than a marathon

10/14/2015

“Over and over, athletes tell us it’s the support of the community and the welcome they get from the volunteers and even the spectators,” said Elizabeth Keest Sedrel, IMT Des Moines Marathon public relations. “We’re a big race — 10,000 athletes the past few years — with a very small-town feel.”

The IMT Des Moines Marathon will take place Oct. 17-18. Photo courtesy of IMT

The IMT Des Moines Marathon will take place Oct. 17-18. Photo courtesy of IMT

The IMT Des Moines Marathon is back. Whether you’re a marathon person, running novice or spectator, there will be many kinds of entertainment happening downtown Des Moines Oct. 17 and 18.

“Our goal is to put on an event that promotes the sport of running as well as community health and fitness and also provides a fun time for everyone involved,” said Sedrel.

There are five main events this year: marathon, half-marathon, marathon relay, kids run and the 5K road race. That means that even if you don’t consider yourself much of a runner, there’s an event for you to join. A 5K is only 3.13 miles, after all.

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“We’re friendly to athletes at all levels,” said Sedrel. “Our course stays open for seven hours. That’s a 16-minute mile.”

Or take the 5K Combo by participating in 5K Road Race and your race of choice on Sunday. Athletes taking part will receive a Leslie Jordan premium The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race beanie stocking cap and a Leslie Jordan Milano 1/4 Zip pullover in their race division on Sunday, along with two finisher medals. That’s right, two finisher medals that will magnetically combine with each another to highlight the 5K Combo accomplishment.

The Scheels Sports and Fitness Expo, located at Hy-Vee Hall, kicks off the race weekend Friday, with more than 70 exhibitors are on hand featuring the latest in active apparel, accessories, product innovations and adventure events.

In addition to the running events, a handful of speakers will also be on hand to tell their stories and the rewards of running. Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. An iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, author and television commentator, Switzer’s life and contribution to athletics has helped forever change the face of sports, health and opportunities for women around the world as well as fearlessly empowering millions beyond the finish line.

“She won’t be running, but she’ll be at the Scheels Sports & Fitness Expo. She’ll be the keynote speaker at the Local 5 Pasta Dinner, and she’ll be cheering athletes at the finish,” Sedrel said.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be a showing of “Spirit of the Marathon, Spirit of the Marathon II” and previews of the upcoming documentary “Boston.” On Saturday, check out the entertainment along the 5K Road Race course, and Justin Roberts will play a free concert (open to the public) at 10 a.m. On Sunday, more than 40 acts will be along the IMT Des Moines Marathon course, and The $nack$ will play at the finish.

“We want to be a true community event, and that means offering something for everyone, from a walker trying his first 5K to a seasoned runner trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” Sedrel said. CV

IMT Des Moines Marathon
Oct. 17-18 on the Locust Street Bridge
Visit www.DesMoinesMarathon.com and check out the MidAmerican Energy Speaker Series; all free and open to the public.

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