DAM TO DAM: New Distance This Year

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Thousands of runners will set off from Saylorville dam Saturday morning making their way to downtown Des Moines.

This is the 35th year for Dam to Dam. It started with just 342 runners but has grown to more than 9,000 participants this year.

Organizers are bumping up the mileage a bit, now making it a half-marathon instead of a 20k. It adds about eight-tenths of a mile and that changes the route.

After dealing with traffic congestion for years, Dam to Dam organizers worked with the city to find ways to open up more roads on race day.

Joe Korbes is the treasurer for Dam to Dam, he says getting to the Farmers Market on Court Avenue should be fine. All roads north of the market are open.

He recommends if you’re going to the market from the south side, to use Fleur as your path.

“We really think it’s going to open up the whole city, there is nobody on the Principal Riverwalk that should be bothered what-so-ever. It’s going to be beautiful. It will showcase the old library, it will showcase downtown, the skyline will be beautiful, it will be something extra special,” says Korbes.

The dam and roads leading to the dam close to traffic at 5:30 Saturday morning. The race finishes at 13th and Grand Avenue.

Korbes says along with spectators, more than 25,000 people could be gathered at the finish line. Organizers say one of the best places to watch is along Martin Luther King Junior Drive. Runners will have a beat to run to — ten bans are playing along that stretch of the race route.