Several elite athletes could be found in downtown Des Moines Monday checking out the course for the Grand Blue Mile.
The kickoff event for the Drake Relays will be held Tuesday; the one mile race through downtown takes off just after 7 p.m.
This year’s race features a top prize of $5,000 to the fastest man and the fastest woman.
Runners can win an additional $2,500 for setting a new course record.
The 2012 women’s champion Sara Hall says this race is much different than running the distance on the track. ”It’s really different to me, road races, road miles it’s just the pure essence of the sport and running hard,” she said.
There will also be thousands of everyday Iowans on the course, the recreational race starts at 6 p.m.