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Girls on the Run: Not Your Typical Half Marathon

The 2017 Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon, 5k, and Team Relay will take place on May 7 in Des Moines, Iowa. The entire event is a celebration of femininity, a platform to show the many faces of fierce women, and a reminder that being powerful is beautiful.

The races will take place primarily around Jasper Winery, the official host of the event, and Water Works Park. Runners will trek through parks and trails, as well as the streets of Downtown Des Moines. There’s no need to bring headphones, because music and entertainment will be provided along the entire course.

The relay race and the 5k are great for women of any athletic ability. The relay is for teams of three, so each participant will run about 4-4.5 miles of the half marathon, which is in total a 13.1 mile race. The 5k is a bit shorter, at 3.1 miles. Both the first and last participant will be celebrated as victors, and every runner will walk away with a Shape Activewear shirt, a finisher medal, and an engraved wine glass. These races are perfect for girlfriends who want an excuse to sweat a little, then kick back with a glass of wine to toast to empowerment!

The half marathon, however, is the signature event of the weekend, and it is aimed at participants who have trained for long distance running. Jasper Winery is awarding the winners of each age group in the half marathon with a private label bottle of wine, but every participant is invited to celebrate at the post-race party, where free wine will be served! What’s more motivating than that?

The Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon and 5k started the #IAmMore campaign, which encourages registered participants to use the hashtag throughout their experiences to connect with a community of other strong women. The campaign will highlight ‘ordinary women’ from the community as they break stereotypes and labels on their journey to the marathon. Some of the campaign slogans include “#IAmMore than your first impressions,” and “#IAmMore than a toddler tamer.”

The program has also announced that it is partnering with Girls on the Run (GOTR), a physical activity based, positive youth development program for girls in third to eighth grade. Ten women are running the half marathon as SoleMates, or athletes who train for the event, while raising money for GOTR. Each SoleMate will make a minimum of $300 for the non-profit.

Girls on the Run has a mission to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.” The nonprofit was recently named the recipient of a $50,000 grant through the LIDS Foundation’s annual “Tip the Hat Award.” This award supports nonprofits that promote active, healthy lifestyles and leadership opportunities for today’s youth.

The 2017 Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon is more than just a race; it is a movement! Amazing things happen when women encourage each other, so there’s no doubt that amazing things will happen at the Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon and 5k. If you are located in the area and would like to register for the event, click here! To donate to Girls on the Run, click here!

Featured Image by Peter Mooney on Flickr
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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