DT and I headed south last weekend to run Des Moines’ big Dam to Dam half marathon.
I was extremely slow on the uptake with photos over the weekend….I just didn’t have the ol’ shutterbug in me. I’m a little bummed that I missed some good shots, but I’ll also get this post out quicker without much to edit. 🙂 See? Trade-offs, I guess.
While I’m missing the visual flair, I still wanted to write about the weekend because we found some new little treasures (and revisited some old favorites) in Des Moines and I didn’t want to forget them. AND I wanted you to know about them too.
First – big, fun news. Hellraising Hot Sauce has officially entered the Des Moines market! Through family/friend connections, DT and I met Rory at AllSpice Culinarium in the East Village neighborhood. We dropped off an order of sauce on our way into town and got to see his fantastic shop.
Saturday/race day was much cooler and wet than we expected. It wasn’t pouring ran, thankfully, but misting enough to be annoying and downright cold as we waited at the starting line.
I borrowed/stole this selfie from my brother-in-law Tom.
DT and I crossed the finish line together and it felt so good to be DONE. High five!
We headed to Exile Brewing for celebratory post-race beers at 9:30 am. They were delightful.
DT and I ate lunch at Court Avenue Brewing Company. We nearly fell asleep at the table once we had food in our bellies. Sooooo….nap time!
We’d heard so much about Fong’s Pizza, we had to check it out. The rumblings were true – Fong’s makes delicious pizza. Super thin and chewy crust, zippy sauce, and a bunch of topping options.
It was a whirlwind of a weekend! I always feel like our time in DSM goes by way too fast. We’re already plotting a return summer visit so we can get another Iowa fix. 😉
DT and I decided to try a little something new with our run this year. The past couple of years we’ve done the Minneapolis Marathon/Half, which was suitable for the most part. The full marathon we did three years ago was pretty much a nightmare (the 26.2 miles turned out to be the easy part, if you can imagine – it was the enormous amount of rubbish along the way that completely broke our spirits). Anyway – it was nice to do a race here in the Cities, sleep in our own bed the night before/after, come home and recover, and not have any travel. But it just felt like it was time for a change.
So, we signed up for the Dam to Dam half marathon in Des Moines, DT’s beloved hometown.
We rolled into town Friday afternoon and picked up our race stuff at the convention center.
Free food and beer to fuel up for the run!
After the serious business, we met up with a couple of DT’s DSM friends at Confluence Brewing Company.
Confluence’s taproom was very lively with the Friday-after-work-it’s-the-weekend crowd.
Their Des Moines IPA was tasty.
Next up came our pre-race dinner ritual: PIZZA. When in DSM, there is no other option than Tavern, DT’s most favorite pizza on the entire planet.
Here is our steamy, ooey-gooey pepper cheese pie from heaven:
We devoured it.
As much as we wanted to flit about and party late into the night, we had to behave ourselves. Behaving is so hard sometimes, especially in such a fun town! We capped our evening at Charlie’s Filling Station with their famous freshly-squeezed OJ Screwdrivers. Ahhh! Like health in a glass (Wellll….kind of! Healthy with vodka? Okay sure).
Goooooooooooood MORNING, sunshines!
Gah! This was taken at 4:30 am – so very early! Big morning ahead.
I wish I would have had my camera to take photos of the starting line at the Saylorville Dam. It was a really beautiful spot, and the before-dawn calm was incredible.
The race started at 7:00 am with 9,000 registered runners. The route took us from the first dam, through the rural outskirts of Des Moines, into residential neighborhoods, along the Des Moines River, and we landed downtown to finish. DT and I loved the change of scenery!
We crossed the finish line, gulped down some Powerade, and [very stiffly and slowly] made our way toward Court Avenue where the farmer’s market was in full swing. Can I just tell you AGAIN how much I LOVE the Des Moines Farmer’s Market??
It was absolutely, positively the BEST energy we could have found after our 13.1-mile trek.
Run done, man!
We grew roots at Mickey’s – more Screwdrivers tasted pretty darn good. And, it was an amazing morning to be out on a patio (thankfully the sun didn’t come out during the run or we would have been on fire – it was already 70 degrees at the start, eep! We had a little drizzly rain along the way which actually felt quite nice).
A few other friends of DT’s popped in to say hello and visit.
After our refreshments and lunch, we checked into our Saturday night hotel, The Savery. We stayed here a few years ago and were glad to be back – great accommodations and a prime location downtown.
Then we napped. Ohhh, I love naps! By the time we fell asleep around 3:00 we’d already been awake over 11 hours and had run a half marathon. Whew! The R&R felt amazing.
120 beers on tap, yowza!
Such a fun place!
Our final stop of the night was over to Raccoon River Brewing Company for their delectable vanilla cream ale.
This here is like a pint of crack, it’s so so good.
Stick a fork in me, I’m DONE!
What an awesomely wonderful, albeit long, day. DT and I had a blast, that’s all there is to it.
Before leaving town Sunday, we made a trip to Hy-Vee (where shopping for groceries is simply a delight) and visited DT’s Grandma Mo. Then the long ride home.
We’re already making plans for next year’s Dam to Dam, but it’s going to be tough to top our inaugural run!
DT and I took the kids down to visit his grandma in Des Moines on Friday. It was a whirlwind 24 hours, but we wanted to squeeze in time for the farmer’s market Saturday morning. If you haven’t ever been, this is something to see. And do.
Court Avenue was PACKED! Food vendors, fresh produce and flowers, crafts, dogs in all shapes and sizes, live music, block upon block….downtown Des Moines is a pretty cool place.
Big Daddy’s has some great sauces to try.
Oh, hello Henry!
We couldn’t leave the state without some fresh Peaches and Cream corn (and Yukon Gold potatoes and grape tomatoes).
And at long last….I’d waited five years. DUTCH LETTER!
My first Dutch Letter was at my first Des Moines Farmers Market five years ago. It moved me. A flaky, S-shaped pastry with almond paste and cinnamon inside? YES! Back to where it all began, folks. Heaven in Iowa!
Checking out the Des Moines River:
We tried to do this group shot….well, hrm. :-\
Sam and Henry requested a big ol’ bag of kettle corn. This was basically breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We had such a fun morning! I would be down here every Saturday if I could. Make this market part of your summer bucket list!