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Dam to Dam

Quick facts

Distance Half marathon

About Dam to Dam

Is there another race that represents Iowa running more than Dam to Dam? Frankly the answer is easy--NO! Dam to Dam is for runners; not a charity, a sponsor or a non-running organization. It is “run” by volunteers and non-profit.

With marathons being out of reach, Dam to Dam seems to revive an early summer goal to go far enough to tire but not so far to fall apart. There has been little doubt that each year this race displays Iowa talent as well as any race. Additionally each runner is treated like the next.

Des Moines’ Dam to Dam races offer some of the flattest terrain and most scenic views that Iowa’s capitol city has to offer, with a race that starts at one dam outside the city and crosses over another in the heart of downtown.

Practicalities

After Race Services

Water, refreshments, drink and osteopathic manipulation therapy will be available near the finish line. Portable bathrooms are available on the south side of the finish area. Results will posted on the east side of the Pappajohn Center at 12th & Grand. Refreshments are available on Locust Street. Finishers must show their race number and be prepared to show a photo ID for alcoholic beverages.

Age Limit

Half-Marathon entrants must be at least 12 years old. 12 & 13 year old entrants must run with a parent.

Aid Stations

Water stations are provided at least every 2 miles with medical support at the last water stations.

Award Medals

A special Dam to Dam medal will be presented to each finisher under 3 hours 15 minutes immediately after crossing the finish line area. Half-Marathon awards will be presented at 9:45am near the finish area. Top male and female Half-Marathon winners will be announced to the crowd and receive a trophy. Top 10 money winners are eligible for age group awards. Brooks apparel will be awarded to all age division winners at the awards tent, 13th & Grand, west of the Pappajohn Center, beginning at 9:00am.

Maximum Time

Course open for 3 hours 15 minutes (until 10:15am)

Timing

All runners will be provided a bib chip. Your race number will have a chip affixed to the back. You will be timed according to your chip or net time. Open and age division awards will be determined by gun time. The bib chip cannot be folded, pinned or bent in anyway for it to record your time correctly - failure to wear the race number correctly will result in disqualification.

Dam to Dam Route Map

Dam to Dam Route Map

Start:

Saylorville Dam

Saylorville Dam, Johnston, IA 50131, USA

Finish:

13th and Grand, Downtown Des Moines

1201-1299 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA

Difficulty

flat

Highlights

The Des Moines River, the largest river in central Iowa, has a history of too much or too little water, depending on season. Major floods occurred on the Des Moines River in 1851, 1903, 1935, 1938 and 1944. Following these floods, a study of the Des Moines River was authorized by Congress on December 22, 1944. 

Iowa is Agriculture. Since its first settlers crossed the Mississippi River in the 1830s, Iowa's history has been shaped by the richness of some of the best soil in the world. Bordered by two major river systems, Iowa's gently rolling countryside was originally covered by thousands of acres of prairie grass, some of it so high that to see over it required riders to stand on top of their horses. 

Each of the 102 American Flags presented on Morningstar Hill (fondly referred to as Memorial Hill on race day) represent the loss of an Iowa serviceman or servicewomen while serving in combat since the first Dam to Dam on June 15, 1980. The tribute to Iowa’s service men and women is the result of a long history that Dam to Dam has had with Iowans serving their state, not to mention that the race now falls on the first Saturday after Memorial Day.

One hundred years ago the citizens of Des Moines were worried about taxes, annexation, politics in Washington, D.C., a new form of city government, building a new city hall, and consolidating the school districts around the city into one large system. 

In September 2009, the Des Moines Art Center and the City of Des Moines partnered to open a 4.4-acre sculpture park in the heart of Downtown Des Moines. It currently displays 24 works of art worth a combined $40 million, a collection that ranks among the most artistically significant sculpture parks in the nation. 

A focal point of The Principal Riverwalk, this iconic bridge spans the Des Moines River, linking the east and west sides of the city at the northern edge of the riverwalk loop. This single-arch pedestrian bridge opened on June 28, 2010. 

The City of Des Moines traces its origins to May 1843, when Captain James Allen supervised the construction of a fort on the site where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers merge. Allen wanted to use the name Fort Raccoon; however, the U.S. War Department told him to name it Fort Des Moines. The fort was built to control the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, who had been transplanted to the area from their traditional lands in eastern Iowa. 

Overview

Runners start the race outside the city at the Saylorville Dam, which was built over a dozen years between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s as a way to control floods on the Des Moines River. From there, the race starts in the middle of the dam and heads east toward Horseshoe Road and 37th Street, and from there heads into the Des Moines River valley.

The next stretch features a big downhill around the 1st mile marker and then lots of flat terrain through the valley, as runners head south along 37th Street, Toni Drive and 66th Avenue. The elevation doesn’t change much again for the next five miles, remaining flat until runners hit the half-way point of the race on Morningstar Drive.

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.