Drake Relays Road Races Half Marathon & 5K

Sunday, April 21, 2024 • Des Moines, IACourse Map

Run along mostly rolling terrain through the heart of Iowa’s capital city, the half marathon at the event now known as the Hy-Vee Road Races at the Drake Relays have been a fixture in this city for more than four decades — the race will mark its 56th annual running here this spring.

From the starting line near the athletic stadium on the tree-lined campus of Drake University, the race follows a counter-clockwise, out-and-back loop course through the city, winding through a mix of neighborhoods, commercial districts, and park and greenspace areas.

Race organizers say the race is one of Iowa’s best-loved half marathon races, and it’s easy to see why. The course features a pleasing yet also challenging mix of flat and hilly stretches, easing runners into the race for the first couple of miles and then throwing in big downhill and uphill stretches between miles 3 and 6.

The race then flattens out for the next couple of miles before hitting its next significant hills between miles 8 and 10, and then flattens out again for the last two miles to the finish line back at the University campus.

There’s a course time limit of 3 hours for the half marathon, which means that runners are expected to keep an approximately 14-minute-per-mile pace or faster. Organizers plan to re-open the course to traffic after 11:30 AM.

Though they are the marquee races in the Drake Relays road races, Saturday’s events are just the conclusion of an extra-long weekend of track and field events that take place at Drake University’s stadium, where the half, 10K and the 5K start. Tickets are available as part of your race package for the previous days’ events, which take place Thursday through Saturday.

The start of the 2013 Hy-Vee Road Races at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Phil Roeder/flickr)

The start of the Hy-Vee Road Races at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Phil Roeder/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Located in the southern half of the state and close to its center, Des Moines (the state’s capital city) enjoys warming but still often quite cold weather conditions in April, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 9 degrees (in 1975) and as high as 93 degrees (in 1980).

On race day (April 21), the average low is 45ºF and the average high is 66ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Drake Relays Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

see race website


see race website


To reserve your spot in the spring 2024 running of Des Moines’ Road Races at the Drake Relays Half Marathon or 5K race, visit the event website below.

Official Race Website



Ever run in the Drake Relays Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: April, Iowa

4 comments… add one
  • maria October 3, 2018, 4:06 pm

    Great course, great race– love the new finish on the Blue Oval!!!!

  • Paula April 13, 2018, 9:59 am

    Can I have someone else pick up my packet? I won’t be getting to town until later in the evening.

  • JoeMunoz April 8, 2018, 4:48 pm

    Just one question… What when and where is packet pic up for the half
    Thank you Joe

  • Bill Fellows April 26, 2017, 1:43 pm

    Trying to find location and times for packet pickup for the 2017 Drake Relays 1/2 Marathon. Please direct me to appropriate web site or provide date, time, location.

    Thank you for your assistance.


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