Dam to Dam enters its 35th running at a new distance and although the distance has changed, the race remains the same - it is Dam to Dam.
Was it a hard decision – you bet. Are some of our long time participants nostalgic – you bet. Are we going to look back – no way. We are going to focus on making this the best race we can – we are just a group of runners trying to put on the best running event that we can. We aren’t going to win any awards for marketing or PR, that’s for sure - that’s not what we do. We focus on putting on a great race and every decision is made with the runners’ interest in mind – after all that’s what we are too. We are an all volunteer race committee and do not answer to anyone but you - the runners.
Would we have changed the race had the city of Des Moines not suggested looking at alternative routes – probably not; but the fact is the current route caused serious traffic issues in the city, potentially outgrowing a Saturday venue and as in any good partnership you work things out for the good of all. We did that and are excited with the outcome. We recommended and the city has approved the best half-marathon course not only in the city but we think the Midwest.
We wanted to keep the awesome start at the Dam and we wanted to keep the finish at Gateway West. By using the new Riverwalk, that distance happened to work out to a perfect 13.1. When we previewed the course, the committee was ecstatic at how it laid out and the aesthetics that it will provide to our participants and voted unanimously for the new course with the hope that the city would approve it – they did.
We will continue to be a Saturday event so everyone has time to fully enjoy the race and the after race party without having to rush home because you have to work tomorrow or you have a 3 hour drive to make – we want people to stick around, enjoy the day, have a well-deserved cold beer or two and not have to rush home. Enjoy the camaraderie and the music and the sunshine.
Being a non-profit, all volunteer race, we pour everything back into the race – entry fees, sponsorships, our heart and soul. Having a great race day experience for our participants’ is our only goal – that and showing off our beautiful city by providing a great race course. We also have always strived to keep our entries fees the lowest in the race community while still providing more amenities than any other event that you will participate in. We are a simple race with simple goals – the same goals that we had in 1980. This change continues the tradition.
Will you see a glitzy marketing piece expelling this change – no, that’s not the way this race operates and we don’t have the bucks to do that anyway. We’re not going spend money on something that does not give value back to you. We promise this will not be just another half, this will be Dam to Dam and we think it’s going to be better than ever.
The distance has changed but the race remains the same – it is Dam to Dam.
DAM Board Members: Jim Adair, Paula Buenneke, Joe Kobes (founder), John Leonhart (founder), Cal Murdock, Tom Riley, Kurt Schaeffer and DAM race committee.