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Cover Story

2013 Best of Des Moines- SPORTS & REC


As the old adage goes, any job worth doing is worth doing right. Whether you’re flipping burgers at a local bar and grill, parading a catwalk dressed in drag, balancing the budget of a multi-million dollar corporation or running the state government, we believe you should take pride in your work. When you do, it shows, and it is rewarded in community trust, an increase in business and eventually, more money in the old bank account.

Cityview’s Best Of Des Moines contest is an example of such rewards in motion. It’s the people — the client, the customer, the consumer — who appreciate a local person, product or service enough to get out and vote for it as their favorite, as Des Moines’ best above all others. Earning the appreciation, respect and recognition of the public is its own reward, one that is priceless.

In the spirit of true merit and appreciation, we bring you another edition of our Best Of Des Moines — our readers’ choices for all things dining, drinking, shopping and more. “Congratulations” doesn’t quite say enough, but “thank you” is a start.








Waveland Golf Course was voted the Best Place to Play Golf (Public). Photo by Amber Williams

Waveland Golf Course was voted the Best Place to Play Golf (Public). Photo by Amber Williams

Best Place to Play Golf (Public)

Waveland Golf Course

The oldest golf course west of the Mississippi, it is no surprise Waveland Golf Course continues to be Cityview readers’ most beloved public course. With its pristine greens and traditional layout, Waveland is no doubt one of the nicest municipal courses in all of Iowa. Built on wooded hillsides, the rolling slopes provide a nice challenge for veteran golfers, while novice players can advance their skill on this unique course.

4908 University Ave., 248-6302.

Runners-up: Legacy Golf Course; Copper Creek Golf Course


Best Place to Play Golf (Private)

Des Moines Golf and Country Club

There’s nothing quite like a Pete Dye golf course. The most difficult question a Des Moines Golf and Country Club member faces is which of the two (or both) Dye courses to play in an afternoon. Whether it’s the North or South 18, Cityview readers have again unanimously selected DMGCC as the best private course to play. Located on 475 acres in West Des Moines, the course is nestled on a beautiful hillside overlooking a valley of rolling fairways.

1600 Jordan Creek Parkway,

West Des Moines, 440-7500.

Runners-up: Glen Oaks Country Club; Wakonda Country Club


Best Yoga Instructor

Mat Koder

Knocking off Ben Easter for the top spot this year is Mat Koder for Des Moines’ best yoga teacher. Koder is a certified GSP instructor with more than 3,000 hours of training under his belt. He’s even been trained by esteemed yogi James Miller in Adamantine Yoga, in which only 18 instructors in the U.S. are certified. He has people flocking to his weekly group lessons and special advanced classes at the Altoona Campus.

1500 Eighth St. S.W., Altoona, 967-0788

Runners-up: Abra Pulley; Ben Easter


Best Massage Therapist

Robert Crane (Salon Tech)

Heads up, Des Moines, the readers have voted, and if you’ve got stress, pain or a heavy spiritual weight building in your shoulders and back, Robert Crane is the best man to see. As a licensed massage therapist for roughly three years, Crane specializes in relaxation and stress relief. For expecting mothers, he also offers a prenatal massage. His personal motto is “enjoy life to its fullest,” and apparently Cityview readers do.

1234 Grand Ave., West Des Moines, 222-0200

Runners-up: Silla Blades (Blades Massage and Wellness); Cassie Sampson (East Village Spa)


Best Local Coach

Mark Muse (MidIowa Rollers)

As if the Des Moines Derby Dames and the Mid Iowa Rollers didn’t already have enough of a rivalry, now the coaches are going tit-for-tat for readers’ affections. Mark Muse has done a great job leading the Mid Iowa Rollers to victory in the past, and now he’s edged out last year’s winner, Coach Ozone, of the Derby Dames to keep the “best coach” trophy in roller derby hands. And the battle rages on.

Runners-up: Paul Rhoads (Iowa State University Football); Jerry Pezzetti (Ankeny High School Football)


Best Local Athlete

Dante Muse (Your Mom Men’s Roller Derby)

Move over, Olympians. Step aside, baseball stars. The season is over, football studs. It’s flat track time. The speed and tenacity of Dante Muse from Your Mom Men’s Roller Derby makes him Cityview readers’ favorite local athlete. After international success in speed skating, Muse is now focused on aggressive skating. Once you see him in action, it’s clear he’s spent nearly all his life on wheels.

Runners-up: Shawn Johnson; Lolo Jones


Best Local Sports Team

Iowa Cubs

Baseball season is just around the corner, and that means folks will be gearing up for a day out with Des Moines’ favorite, the Iowa Cubs. The boys in red, white and blue reclaimed the top spot thanks to Cityview readers. As the top minor league team for the Chicago Cubs for the past 30 years, the Iowa Cubs feature some of the most talented regional athletes who step out on to the diamond.

Runners-up: Mid Iowa Rollers, Iowa Barnstormers


The High Trestle Trail, stretching 25 miles from Woodward to Ankeny, won Best Bike Trail. Photo by Amber Williams

The High Trestle Trail, stretching 25 miles from Woodward to Ankeny, won Best Bike Trail. Photo by Amber Williams

Best Bike Trail

High Trestle Bridge Trail

Twenty-five miles of majestic Iowa scenery flow along the old Union Pacific Railroad freight line between Woodward and Ankeny. A favorite of Cityview readers and numerous others, the High Trestle Trail is estimated to have more than 3,000 people visit it each week. The High Trestle Trail gets its name from the bridge that connects Madrid and Woodward and crosses the Des Moines River. Celebrating the area’s coal mining history, the unique, metal framing around the nearly half-mile bridge gives the illusion of peering down a mineshaft.

Runners-up: Great Western Trail; Clive Greenbelt Trail


Best Place for a Run

Gray’s Lake

Stretch out those hammies and grab your jogging shoes. Any time of year is a good time to get out and explore Gray’s Lake. The two-mile trail encircling the lake is Des Moines Best Of voters’ choice for a prime place to run. The well-lit trail equipped with emergency phones gives runners the option for day or night running. On the trail or off the beaten path, Gray’s Lake’s 167 acres have runners and terrains of all kinds.

Runners-up: Waterworks Park; Raccoon River Park


Best Place to Work Out

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping

A lot of weight-loss programs talk about results, but for our readers, Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping delivers with authority. The program is designed to combat obesity and offers an alternative to the self-motivated workout routine. Combining cardiovascular exercises to burn fat, strength training to build muscle, a nutritional plan to ensure healthy eating and instructors and coaches to lend their support, our readers have agreed Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping has crafted a proven regiment for success.

Multiple locations,

Runners-up: Aspen Athletic Club; YMCA


Best Place to Kickbox

Farrells eXtreme Bodyshaping

When Cityview readers feel like kicking some tail, this is where they say is the best place to go. It’s easy to get sucked into a boring workout routine, but why not have a little fun in your fitness training? Farrell’s Fitness Kickboxing class is the reader favorite for alternative exercise. Dynamic kicking and punching gives a full body cardiovascular workout to achieve overall physical conditioning and toning. Fans can’t get enough of Farrell’s kickboxing classes, and many say, along with a great workout, it gives them a sense of confidence and empowerment after each workout.

Multiple locations,

Runners-up: Kees Camp Fitness Studio; Kosama


The YMCA was voted Des Moines’ Best Place to Go Swimming. Photo by Dave Mable

The YMCA was voted Des Moines’ Best Place to Go Swimming. Photo by Dave Mable

Best Place to Go Swimming


Here’s a little ditty for all you ’70s disco lovers about Des Moines’ favorite place to swim (to the tune of “Y.M.C.A.” by The Village People): Hey folks, there’s no need to stay dry / I said, hey folks, there’s a place that’s nearby / I said, hey folks, not after you’ve had pie / It’s time to dive on in the pool / You know our readers love Y.M.C.A. / Yes, they really love, Y.M.C.A. Even more than our local lakes and aquatic centers, voters chose the YMCA as Des Moines’ best place to take a dip.

Multiple locations,

Runners-up: Ashworth Pool; Raccoon River Park


Best Personal Trainer

Jennifer Kees (Kees Camp Fitness Studio)

Experienced in hundreds of workout styles, it’s no shocker that Jen Kees is Cityview readers’ go-to gal for personal training. With more than two decades of group training experience and dozens of fitness certifications, Kees has helped thousands of Iowa women achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. Add in her nearly two decades of dance and choreography history, and fitness buffs can bet they’ll leave her studio looking and feeling sexier after each visit.

2700 University Ave., Suite 202, 779-5337

Runners-up: Patrick Smith (Altoona Campus); Amber Cahill (TGR Fitness in Ankeny)


Best Place to Bowl

Plaza Lanes Family Fun Center

Put down your Wii, and get out for some real bowling at Plaza Lanes. With state-of-the-art facilities, Plaza Lanes is the choice premier bowling center for folks in Des Moines once again. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young novice, an amateur professional or league champion, Plaza Lanes is “Your Lane, Your Way” to enjoy one of the most popular sports in the world.

2701 Douglas Ave., 255-1111

Runners-up: Air Lanes Bowling Center; Val Lanes


Best Place to Miniature Golf

West Grand Golf

When it comes to mini-golf, no one does it like West Grand Golf, according to our readers. The beautifully arranged, 18-hole course boasts six ponds connected by three creeks, flowing waterfalls, a practice green and night lighting for extended evening putt-putt. Challenging and fun for children and adults alike, West Grand Golf is the choice mini-golf spot for Cityview readers looking for camaraderie and competition.

6450 Raccoon River Drive, West Des Moines, 255-7076

Runners-up: A.H. Blank Mini Golf Course; Toad Valley Golf Course


Best Indoor Sporting Event

Des Moines Derby Dames

Cityview readers have voted, and it’s not mainstream sports they want to watch inside, it’s the sexy but aggressive Derby Dames barreling around a flat track. The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) officially recognized the Des Moines Derby Dames in 2011, and since then its popularity has continued to grow. The high intensity matches leave audiences gasping while trying to follow the streaks of green and black.

Runners-up: Mid Iowa Rollers; Iowa Barnstormers


Best Outdoor Sporting Event

Iowa Cubs

Whether it’s one of Iowa’s sweltering afternoons or breezy evenings, our readers will still make it out to the ball park to support their beloved Cubbies. Baseball has been a staple in Des Moines since Grover Cleveland was president (the first time) in 1887. Folks have been showing up in droves ever since, always lending a cheer to the team that calls Des Moines home.

Runners-up: Hy-Vee Triathlon; Drake Relays


Best Place to Watch a Sporting Event

Principal Park

Was there ever a doubt in your mind? Cityview readers’ can’t get enough of Principal Park, home of our Iowa Cubs. Located at the confluence of the Des Moines River and Raccoon River, Principal Park hosts many talented minor league players. Whether it’s watching the sun set over the third-base bleachers or a foul ball heading toward the river, Principal Park is the place where memories are formed that last a lifetime.

Runners-up: Wells Fargo Arena; Buccaneer Arena


Best Running Event

Dam to Dam

Cityview readers agree year after year that there is no other race that better captures the spirit of Iowa than Dam to Dam. Dam to Dam wins again, and when you look at its 30-plus year history, it’s not difficult to see why. Beginning on the Saylorville Dam, winding through the beautiful Greater Des Moines neighborhoods and finishing downtown with live music littered about to help runners keep pace, competitors get to see the city in a new perspective.

Runners-up: Color Run; Des Moines Marathon

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