This was the smallest marathon I have ever run in! Last year they said they had about 20 runners and this year almost 80! It was a point to point, rails to trails dirt/gravel bike path that started outside of town and you ran towards town. You could park at the finish before the race and then shuttle you to the start. Only, they had 2 small party buses to transport us in, pretty funny. Turns out the other bus had a little dance party en route with the lights and everything, seemingly lead by Dave Mari, fellow Marathon Maniac.
It is warm in Iowa in June and so the race started at 6am, and the course being 60-70% shaded. Temperatures did get into the upper 80's but the race organizers did a great job of having all the water and gatorade containers filled with ice.
I had a little mis-hap about midway through the race where I put down my bag of electrolyte capsules to fill a cup with fish crackers and I just never picked them up, not realizing this until the next aid station. Luckily they had big bags of pretzels at each aid station so I got enough salt replacement. The aid stations were spaced like an ultra, about every 4-5 miles apart. Some people were running their first marathon! I was impressed as it was a hot one.
Finished in 4:40 which was pretty good considering the heat. I recovered very quickly afterwards, giving me the confidence that I had trained enough for the VT 100k coming up in July.
Finisher medals were dog tags with the race info engraved on them.
Also offered was a relay race along with the marathon.