Fitness Sports

Iowa Marathons to Put on Your Calendar in 2024

Iowa Marathons to Put on Your Calendar in 2024

The Hawkeye state has a wealth of fun opportunities to get out and put some miles in. There are all types of races and fun runs that take place in our awesome state.

For the more serious runners, or people looking to knock a big goal off their bucket list, Iowa also offers a few well-known marathons you can run in. We’ll go through the list so you know when and where they take place, and how to get signed up!

And before you’re finished, please take a peek at our recommended long-distance shoes for the upcoming year!


Here are the 5 best marathons currently scheduled in Iowa for 2024, in date order.


1. Des Moines St. Paddy’s Marathon

Next race: March 16, 2024

Location: Des Moines, IA


Test your luck in Central Iowa’s best St. Paddy’s race! Every March in Des Moines, lovers of leprechauns and green things meet up to pound the pavement and boost their heart rates.

Participants will enjoy commemorative pint glasses for the post-race beverage, a performance long-sleeve shirt and the famous finish line Shamrock cookies – talk about ideal recovery!


2. IronHorse Races

Next race: May 4, 2024

Location: Riceville, IA


The Marathon at the IronHorse is a Boston Marathon Qualifier and explores the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail in Iowa and the Shooting Star Trail in Minnesota.

The organizers have done a great job of incorporating dedicated recreational trails and shuttle service. Scenic routes showcase rural beauty, wind turbines, Amish farming, and wetland boardwalks.

The IronHorse races are conveniently located about one hour away from Rochester, Mason City, Clear Lake and Decorah.


3. Prairie Series (Day 5)

Next race: May 14, 2024

Location: Sioux City, IA


Organized by Mainly Marathons, the Prairie Series consists of 8 days of races across the Midwest – from Oklahoma to North Dakota. You can participate in one race or, if you’re hardcore, complete the whole series! Feel free to check out the Prairie Series facebook group for more info.

The Sioux City race will take place at Riverside Park right along the Big Sioux River.

Mainly Marathons races are designed for long distance runners. All finishers in races longer than half marathon get a custom metal-stamped nameplate!

There is another race in South Sioux City a day earlier on May 13th, which is technically in Nebraska.


4. Heartland Series (Day 5)

Next race: July 10, 2024

Location: Clinton, IA


The Heartland Series is also Organized by Mainly Marathons, and consists of 7 days of races across the Midwest – from Ohio to Minnesota.

The Clinton race is situated on the Discovery Trail along the Mississippi River.

They also have a dedicated Facebook group!


5. IMT Des Moines Marathon

Next race: October 20, 2024

Location: Des Moines, IA


This is the big one! Voted the Best Marathon in Iowa by RaceRaves, the IMT Des Moines Marathon showcases the Des Moines skyline with a scenic route that incorporates the cozy neighborhoods, college campuses (and the historic Blue Oval), city parks and pleasant downtown atmosphere that Iowa’s state capitol has to offer.

Runners are playing a part in charity as well, helping to benefit the Children’s Cancer Connection, Iowa State Dance Marathon, the ALS Association and Childserve.

Since 2002, the Des Moines Marathon has been a staple of the Midwest, and continues to be a running destination for people all over.


Wrap Up

As many locals will assure you, Iowa offers more than just corn and college football.

Running opportunities abound in Iowa, and this is just a short list of some amazing events that can help get you into shape, build community, and make a difference in the lives of those who benefit as a result of event fundraising.

If Iowa isn’t enough, you can branch out a little and explore more 2024 races in the midwest. Check out our Summer and Fall marathon recommendations.

The Fitness Sports team wishes you the best in your 2024 running adventures!