When will EMC Dam to DSM 2020 take place?

The race will always be held on the first weekend following  Memorial Day: The 2020 20K Event will take place on Saturday, May 30, 2020.

What is the EMC DAM to DSM Route and Distance? 

Our 20K event will start at the Saylorville Dam and travel south towards downtown Des Moines. The unique point to point race course will cross some of Iowa's rural beauty and some of Des Moines most storied neighborhoods before finishing in the heart of downtown. The total effort will be a certified 20K course. You can find our course map here, and our course highlight video here.

Who is producing this event?

RipRoar Events is proud to be producing EMC DAM to DSM in 2020.

RipRoar Events is a Des Moines based endurance event company that also produces the Des Moines Turkey Trot, Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon, 5K + Team Relay, Iowa Dog Jog, RipRoar Youth Triathlon Series as well as numerous endurance events around the country. 

does EMC dam to dsm benefit a local charity?

Absolutely! As with every race RipRoar Events produces, EMC DAM to DSM will have multiple charitable components. 

Starting in 2019, EMC DAM to DSM will partner with The Army Corps of Engineers at Saylorville Lake to identify a physical project to promote recreation, health and wellness at the park and will give funds from every athlete's registration to see these projects come to life. Each year we'll find a new project, and continue the tradition for as long as the race runs across the Dam. 

Do you know of a local charity that would be a great fit for the event? We'll do all we can to bring in as many charity partners as possible. Contact us and let us know your suggestion! 

Can I get a refund or transfer a registration to a friend?

Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds or transfers, but if you’re unable to toe the line you can still pick up your swag during packet pick-up.

Can i walk the 20K?

The cut-off time for the EMC DAM to DSM 20K is a 17 minute per mile pace. Athletes that do not maintain this pace will be picked up by a support vehicle and either advanced on the course or transported to the finish line.

Do you have training tips for me?

Training tips provided by Broadlawns Medical Center can be found here.

What is the minimum age to register?

We ask that participants be 12 years old or older on race day.

are there host hotels?

The host hotel for EMC DAM to DSM is the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel (401 Locust St., Des Moines). The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel is located just steps from packet pick-up and the post-race party and is only an eight minute walk to the downtown shuttle pick-up location via the skywalk.

What will the temperature be on race day?

The average high for early June in Des Moines is 78 degrees with the average low being 58 degrees. But, this is Iowa, so if you’re traveling we recommend packing layers and various weather options.

Where is parking on race day?

There are four different options for catching the bus to get to the start line at the Saylorville Dam. The bus pick-up locations are DMACC Ankeny Campus, Downtown Des Moines, Merle Hay Mall and a very limited number of drop-off's at the Saylorville Dam are available. Exact bus locations are being confirmed and will be posted as soon as possible. Bus transportation is only available to the start line and buses will not transport from the finish line back to those locations that athletes were picked up at. All buses and the drop-off option are only available from 5AM-6:00AM. No bags are allowed on the buses or at the Saylorville Dam.


Yes! The Army Corps Of Engineers requires that all athletes attending the event arrive via shuttle bus or through our provided drop-off (see next question). This is for the safety and security of athletes attending. Sheriffs, Army Corps Staff, and Race Staff will not allow anyone on to the Dam that does not follow these two methods.

DMACC Ankeny parking information can be found here.

Merle Hay parking information can be found here.

Downtown bus pick-up information can be found here.

Tell me more about the drop-off location at the Saylorville Dam.

This option is an additional cost of $30 and is on a first-purchased, first-served structure.  It is extremely limited to ensure sufficient time to complete the drop off and walk the 1 mile west to the starting line.  Your vehicle pass will allow access for one vehicle to the Saylorville Lake Visitor 
Center from 5AM-5:45AM to drop off up to 4 athletes and will be picked up at packet pick-up. Absolutely no vehicles without this pass will be allowed to gain access. This is a drop-off only and no parking will be allowed. Each vehicle will therefore need a non-racing driver. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, US Army Corp of Engineers, onsite security team and RipRoar Events 
staff will be monitoring drop-off’s at all entrances to the Saylorville Dam and each pass will be removed as vehicles make their drop-off. Those caught attempting to drop-off at the Saylorville Dam without proper vehicle credentials will not be allowed access to the Dam and may face permanent expulsion from the event.

Tell me more about the gps tracking powered by broadlawns medical center.

We're excited to offer a complimentary race technology allowing athletes to be tracked by family and friends with a live GPS tracker as well as push notifications at every mile. GPS Tracking Powered by Broadlawns Medical Center will give families reassurance by sending out athlete's splits and loved ones can even send encouraging messages and/or music throughout the race to their athlete. More information GPS Tracking Powered by Broadlawns Medical Center will be sent out to all registered athletes closer to race day. This technology uses an athletes cell phone and must be downloaded prior to the race start at no charge.

What streets will be impacted and what times?

A street impact list can be viewed here. To view a map of the detour, click here.

What type of support will be on the course?

You will be running on clearly marked closed roads or trails for the entirety of the race. Aid stations will have fuel and hydration along the course. Stay tuned for more information about aid stations.

**Water will be at all aid stations. Mile 6.5 and Mile 8.75 will have Poweade Sports Drink. Mile 9.75 and Mile 10.25 will have SIS energy gels.

Will the race take place rain or shine?

Pack your ponchos! Rain or shine, the event will happen. If there is unsafe weather we will work with the Des Moines Police Department to monitor the weather and keep you informed. We most definitely want to ensure each athlete gets to experience DAM to DSM, but we will make sure that the safety of the athletes, volunteers, staff and city officials are the number one priority. All weather updates will be posted via email to all registered athletes and social media.

Will there be age group awards?

Yes! We will do age group award medals for 1st-3rd for the following age groups for male and female: 19 and Under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+, and PC division.

The award ceremony will take place at approximately 10AM.

Will emc dam to dsm support elite athletes?highlighting those from the state of iowa?

EMC DAM to DSM will support elite athletes highlighting those from the State of Iowa. The elite field will be limited to 10 men and 10 women that qualify at the A-Standard Times and 10 men and 10 women that qualify at the B-Standard times.

The A-Standard:

Men: Sub 1:08 Half-Marathon Women: Sub 1:20 Half-Marathon


Men: Sub 1:15 Half-Marathon Women: Sub 1:25 Half Marathon

**All athletes that are registered for EMC DAM to DSM will be qualified for the prize purse.

If you qualify as an elite please email andy@riproarevents.com to receive more information on the complete Elite Athlete package.

Prize purse w: heartland soles. png.png

Will There Be Discounted Or Complimentary Entries for Elite Athletes?

The first 10 men and 10 women that request entry and meet the A-Standard time will get a free entry and the first 10 men and the first 10 women that request entry and meet the B-Standard time will receive a 50% off entry.


If you qualify for the A-Standard or B-Standard times you should reach out to andy@riproarevents.com. Remember, elite slots are limited to the first 10 men and first 10 women that reach the A-Standard and the first 10 men and the first 10 women that reach the B-Standard the that reach out to Andy and apply to be an official elite.

Will there be beer at EMC DAM to DSM?

What’s a 20K in Des Moines without some beer?! We are excited to partner with Exile Brewing Company to provide a local, tasty beer at packet pick-up and at the post-race party. Cheers!

When and where will packet pick-up be held?

Packet pick-up will be located at Cowles Commons (221 Walnut St, Downtown Des Moines) on Thursday, May 30th from 4-7PM and Friday, May 31st from 2-7:30PM. There is no race morning packet pick-up.

Where is parking for packet pick-up?

Downtown Des Moines parking information can be found here.

What do i bring with me to packet pick-up?

Bring your ID and your smiling face. If you are picking up packets for people other than yourself you will need a filled out proxy form from that athlete(s) and a copy of their ID(s). The proxy form can be found here.

Can i pick up race packets for others?

Yes! Just bring a copy of their ID and a signed proxy form from that athlete(s). The proxy form can be found here.

I am interested in being an expo vendor, what should i do?

We’d love to have you as a vendor at the 2019 EMC DAM to DSM Expo! Please fill out the attached form and send to sarah@riproarevents.com.