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Des Moines Marathon Runs Through Drake Stadium In 2006

February 21, 2006

CONTACT: Chris Burch, Des Moines Marathon, (515) 288-2692, cburch@desmoinesmarathon.com;
Daniel P. Finney, Drake University, (515) 271-2833, daniel.finney@drake.edu

The IMT Des Moines Marathon announced today that it is partnering with Drake University to add the school’s campus and venerable Drake Stadium, home of the Drake Relays, to the course of the Full Marathon. The route will take athletes into the stadium where runners will complete one loop around the renovated stadium and track during the race set for Saturday, Oct. 15.

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Drake University,” said Chris Burch, director of racing events. “It is a vision of the Des Moines Marathon to attract a larger number of athletes to our event while offering a premier racing experience in Des Moines. Today is another step towards achieving our goal.”

“To go around the new Drake Stadium track in a setting rich with traditions will be a very exciting day for our race, athletes and greater Des Moines,” Burch said.

Drake is completing a $15-million revitalization of Drake Stadium, which includes new seating, a new track that meets international standards, press box renovation, lighting and a new artificial FieldTurf surface large enough to accommodate Drake’s football and men’s and women’s soccer programs. The majority of the upgrades will be ready in time for Drake Relays on April 27 to 29, which will be the 80th year for America’s Athletic Classic to be held inside Drake Stadium.

The revitalized stadium will host Des Moines Roosevelt High School home football games as well as continue to host the state’s boys’ and girls’ high school track meets – all part of Drake’s continuing commitment to partner with its neighbors and friends to be a resource for the community and the state.

“The addition of Drake’s campus and Drake Stadium to the Des Moines Marathon is another extension of our efforts to be an active leader and partner in the success of this community,” said Drake President David Maxwell, who also runs recreationally for fitness and enjoyment. “We are pleased to host these athletes on our campus during this great event.”

The course for the Marathon and Half Marathon will be altered in 2006 due to road and bridge construction. Changes to the course suggested by 2005 athletes have also been taken into consideration. Drake Stadium will be added to the Full Marathon course at approximately mile 9.

“We are in the final stages of our course design. It’s not as easy as one might think to create 26.2 miles for 5,000 people to run on. You know, why don’t you just turn here or take it there? Our course may continue to evolve over the coming years, but we are very happy that we will now be including Drake University,” Burch said.

Race festivities include a two-day Sports and Fitness Expo to be held at the Polk County Convention Center. The expo, featuring national vendors and a Speaker Series, is open to the public on Oct. 13 and 14. Race day will include the Full and Half Marathon, 5-Person Marathon Relay Challenge, 5K Road Race and Kids Run. The start and finish line for all events and post race festivities will take place at Nollen Plaza in downtown Des Moines.

Registration for all events is open online at http://www.desmoinesmarathon.com/.

For more information, contact Chris Burch, Des Moines Marathon director of racing and events, at (515) 288-2692.