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Join Us on New Year’s Day for the Capital Striders Mitten Run & Potluck

Start the new year off right with our traditional Jan. 1 Mitten Run, followed by a potluck.  The Capital Striders will provide the chili, beverages and table service, and ask participants to bring a side dish or dessert.  Meet us at 10 a.m. at the Lions Park shelter house in Urbandale (just south of the High School), for the run. The potluck lunch will begin at 11 a.m.  Runners can choose to run from routes of one to six miles, which wind through the streets of Urbandale.  Small groups often break off and do less or more than the mapped route.  This is an un-timed and casual fun run – no racing on this day (at least officially!).

To help give back to our community, the Capital Striders asks attendees to bring new or gently used kid-sized mittens, gloves, scarves, stocking hats, boots, or other cold-weather items to donate to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa.  Cash and checks also will be accepted.  These donations will be distributed to children in need in Central Iowa.

Come help us celebrate the new year with a run, feast, friends and the warmth of giving.

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Don’t Miss Out on Sycamore 8

December is right around the corner – don’t miss out on the upcoming trail race, Sycamore 8.  The Capital Striders Running Club has been given the honor of carrying on a Central Iowa tradition and will be hosting the 2012 Sycamore 8 Trail Run in Johnston on Dec. 1. This 8-mile trail race will take place on the Sycamore Trail between NW 66th in Johnston and the Polk County Office on Euclid. With the perfect wintry blend of road and groomed single track trail it promises to be a messy good time. Unpredictable Midwestern weather has always given participants a unique run whether it is dealing with snow, ice, sleet or flat out rain.  Click here to read more and register today!



Capital Pursuit Recap

It was a perfect running day on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, as over 800 runners rocketed through downtown Des Moines to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Capital Pursuit.  Thanks to the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) for making our 10-mile race the State Championship event with a record setting 655 finishers. Local runners dominated the 10-mile race by cruising through the finish line in seemingly effortless fashion.  The overall female winner of the 10-mile race was Danna Kelly, finishing in 59:22, (5:56 pace).  The overall male winner of the 10-mile race was Jason Flogel, finishing in 51:10, (5:07 pace).  The overall 5k female finisher was Yelena Nanaziashvili of Clive with a time of 18:33 (5:59 pace).  The 5k male winner was Mason Frank of Ames with a time of 15:04 (4:51 pace). 

Many thanks to the City of Des Moines and the DM Police Department for keeping our runners safe and traffic moving.  There was a 2 block section of Locust from E 4th through E 6th that was opened so our runners could take a quick tour of the World Food Festival, which I was told, smelled delightful. 

We had 19 student athletes and 17 adult mentors from See-Us Run Des Moines running our 10 mile race.  Capital Pursuit sponsors SRDM by inviting the students and mentors to race free of charge.  SRDM is a wonderful program of Iowa Kidstrong, Inc.   See-Us Run Des Moines helps teens who face adversity in their lives learn that they are capable, resourceful, and resilient to respond to Life's challenges by providing them the opportunity to experience first hand the benefits of goal setting, character development, adult mentoring, and improved health through committing to training for and completing the Des Moines Marathon. 

Des Moines' next generation of runners showed us how speedy they are as approximately 30 Pursuit Junior kids sprinted for the finish line Sunday to earn participation medals.

Thank you to our many wonderful sponsors who without, we would not be able to continue to put on this race.  These businesses, organizations and individuals provide critical resources to support our races.

Pella Windows - Premier financial sponsor Living History Farms Race Scheels Fitness Sports Crystal Clear Water America's Best Apparel Gatorade Lint Van Lines Taco Johns Brueggers Bagels Capital City Fruit Roberts Dairy Mars Chocolate Prairie Life Fitness America's Best Apparel, Inc. Capital City Graphics DMU Osteopathic Finish Line Treatment The Suites of 800 Locust Dahls Grocery Momentum Magazine Des Moines Register Juice Magazine As anyone involved in race directing knows, the weather and runners are only part of the formula to a successful event.  More than 200 people volunteer each year to help with Capital Pursuit.  They pour water, serve as course marshals, help with registration, distribute food, provide massages, and a host of other tasks that go on seamlessly behind the scenes. 

Special Thanks to:

Awards - Capital Strider Board Members:  Mike McGinn and Ellen Wade

A big thank you to Prairie Life Fitness for allowing us space for packet-pickup on Friday night.  Thanks to Gail Bormann, Lisha Steffey, Caroline Pester, Bill Wedeking, & Board Members Curtis Downs, Jeff Gray, & Mike McGinn along with other helping hands who just couldn't resist helping. 

I want to thank Mike McGinn for stepping up to the plate to organize the course marshals this year, also helping are a host of volunteers including 20 some men from the Drake Cross Country Team and 20 some women from the Roosevelt Cross Country Team.

Thanks to Terry Lint of Lint Van Lines for being an wonderful sponsor, providing the truck that carries an unbelievable load of supplies for our races.  Many thanks to Board member, Curtis Downs and the Lint Van Lines volunteers who did all the heavy lifting and provided invaluable assistance in moving materials and supplies to set-up and tear down our race courses.

Start and Finish Line - Carrie Van Quathem & friends, Steve Bobenhouse, Stan Smith, Larry Jablonski, Cal Murdock. 

Pursuit Junior - Cindy Elsbernd of See-Us Run Des Moines.

Announcer - John Leonhardt & Ron Ricker

Thanks to Lori Ballard who sang the National Anthem.

Bike Support - Carl Voss

Denny Wheeler and Scott Dennis for marking the course.

Larry Jablonski for providing and setting up the finish line scaffolding.

Stan Smith for providing finish line and sound equipment for the last 30 years as well as Cal Murdoch for his 30 years worth of timing this event and providing race history.

Thank you to the The Suites of 800 Locust for helping us out with lots of last minute details as well as providing an area for race day registrations.

Thanks to Scheels and Fitness Sports for providing awards.  Also special thanks to Wade Wearmouth of WCM Metals for providing the special metal hanger awards that went to our top men & women. 

A huge thank you to our Water Stop support teams:

Greg Altmairer & friends for - Water Stop #1 Dan Hostager & the Drake Men's Cross Country Team - Water Stop #2 Todd Shemper of Work Systems Rehab and his friends of Central Presbyterian Church - Water Stop #3 Chris Burch and friends of IMT Des Moines Marathon - Water Stop #4

Thanks to you who share your photos with us on Facebook.

Also many thanks to my family and friends who got up very early Sunday morning to volunteer with set-up, late registration, and wherever needed.  I know I have overlooked many who are so kind to reach out to us wherever they see we are in need.  There is nothing more awesome than runners helping runners.  We are so fortunate to live in such a supportive running community.  Great job everyone!  Hope to see you all again next year.



Donate Your Race Medals to Medals4Mettle

Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization that facilitates the gifting of marathon, half marathon, and triathlon finishers’ medals. Runners from around Iowa, and the world, give their hard earned medals to Medals4Mettle. The organizations volunteers then award these medals, attached to a Medals4Mettle ribbon, to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race but are in a race of their own just to continue to live their life. It is in honor of this mettle and courage in bravely facing these challenges that they are awarded a medal. If you have some medals that you would like to donate, they can be dropped off at Fitness Sports in Windsor Heights, The Runner's Flat in Cedar Falls, or mailed to Medals4Mettle, 1640 SE Florence Dr., Waukee, IA, 50263.  "Like", email, or visit to help!



Capital Pursuit Results

Congratulations and huge thank you to everyone who came out and ran Capital Pursuit.  It was a beautiful day for a race, and we had a great turnout, with a record number of 10-mile runners. Thanks to all of our sponsors and volunteers; we couldn’t have done it without you.  We’re already looking forward to next year!  Find your results here.



Capital Pursuit 30th Anniversary

Capital Pursuit is just two weeks away – don’t miss out on the early bird pricing!  The 10-mile race is the State RRCA Championship event and begins at 8 a.m. at 8th and Locust.  There also is a 5K run/walk, which also begins at 8 a.m.  With two different distances, there is something for everyone at Capital Pursuit! All 10-mile runners who finish under two hours will receive medals. In addition, the first 850 registrants receive beautiful, long sleeve technical T-shirts.  A portion of race proceeds will be donated to Iowa Kidstrong, Inc., as we welcome the See-Us Run Des Moines students to the 10-mile race again in 2012.

Check out the Capital Pursuit page for more race information and don’t forget to sign up by this Friday, Sept. 14 to take advantage of our early bird discount registration prices.



Location of Saturday Training Run Moving Due to Hy-Vee Triathlon

The Capital Striders will be moving the location of the Saturday training run this Saturday, Sept. 1 for ONE WEEK ONLY to accommodate the Hy-Vee Iron Kid's Triathlon, which will be using Gray's Lake Park at that time.  We will relocate to Fitness Sports, 7230 University Ave. in Windsor Heights for this one time only, and will still meet at 7 a.m. This is ONE WEEK ONLY and is only happening ONCE.  We are only doing this because Gray's Lake is being utilized by the Hy-Vee Triathlon.  We will return to the southwest corner of Gray's Lake on Saturday, Sept. 8.



Saturday Runs Moving on August 18

Parking concerns stemming from the overlap of the Capital Striders Saturday Training Runs and Yoga in the Park have led us to move our runs to the southwest corner of Gray’s Lake Park starting Saturday, Aug. 18.  Water will be set up in the covered pavilion on the upper level of the terrace building.  There is parking for 40 vehicles in the main lot and overflow parking is available and easy to find by following this map.  We are glad to do our part to help with traffic flow at the park.



Pacers for the 2012 Des Moines Marathon Needed

UPDATE: The pace team for the IMT Des Moines Marathon has been filled.  Thanks for your support! The IMT Des Moines Marathon is seeking experienced distance runners that have a strong desire to give back to the sport by serving as Running Room Pace Team Leaders for the IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half Marathon on Sunday, October 21, 2012.

Marathon pace team goals will mirror the 2013 Boston Marathon qualifying times, ranging from 3:05 to 5:25 hours. Half Marathon pace team goals will be every 10 minutes from 1:30 to 2:30 hours. Although many of last year’s Pace Team Leaders will return this year, there are always few positions to fill for each race. Click here to learn more.



Saturday Morning Runs are Going Green!

We hope to see you this Saturday morning (and every one thereafter) as we kick off our Summer/Fall Training Program.  This is a great way to train for any upcoming race, especially a fall marathon. To help save paper and reduce waste, we will be cutting back on the number of printed maps we make available prior to the run.  There will be maps to view as we gather, but if you want to carry one along, please print a copy before you leave home.  Thanks and see you Saturday!



New Discounted Races for Capital Striders Members!

We’re excited to announce that we have new secured discounts to several new races for our members! See below for more details. One Hill of a Run Receive a $5.00 discount off your race entry! If you enter via the paper entry form, please write "CAPITAL STRIDERS" (plus your Capital Strider member number) on the form in big letters so the race director can make the required changes. You also can enter online via Enter the discount code “CAPITALSTRIDERS” to receive the $5.00 discount.

Sleepy Hollow Sports Park Races Register for any of the extreme races at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park using the coupon code: RUNNINGCLUB (plus your Capital Strider member number) and receive $5 off! For more information on how to register for these races, visit the Sleepy Hollow website or their Facebook page.

  • May 19 – Kosama Warrior Mud Run
  • July 14 – Kosama Warrior Water Run
  • Aug. 25 – Aspen Warrior Fire Run
  • Oct. 13 – Run of the Living Dead



Loop the Lake Recap

The 12th annual Loop the Lake was held Saturday, April 14, at the scenic new venue of Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines. Three hundred and twenty five runners registered for this flat, fast 10k on a mix of paved and crushed gravel trails circling Blue Heron Lake. It was a damp and cool morning, but perfect for running, as evidenced by the times for Men’s Open winner, Scottie Cross (35:52), and Women’s Open winner, Sara Hendrickson (42:22).  All participants were treated to great post-race food and beverages and cool technical running shirts.  Age group winners were rewarded with gift cards to Scheels and Fitness Sports – allowing them to buy more racing gear.  Other place winners received Polar insulated water bottles for those upcoming sweltering summer runs.

We also invited eager young runners ages three to 10 to enjoy our Little Lakers Race, and race they did!  Every Little Laker was given a winner’s medal for participating. 

Many thanks to our sponsors, including Prairie Pella, Fitness Sports, Prairie Life Health and Fitness, Scheels and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.  Capital Striders could not host great events, such as Loop the Lake, for the Des Moines running community without supportive business partners such as these. 

And, we cannot forget to thank all those great volunteers who woke up early and gave freely of their time and energy to make it all possible. They provided course support and traffic control, manned the finish chute, put out all of that great food and water, handled the set up and clean up, and much, much more.  It takes a lot of wonderful people to pull off a good race! 

Thank you runners, sponsors and volunteers for making Loop the Lake 2012 another successful event!

Curtis Downs Race Director

Do you need a quality photo of your race? Check out all the great race photos by JK Photography at  And, Capital Striders members get 15% off their order with coupon code CAPSTRIDERS12.



Congratulations Contest Winners!!!

We had tremendous response to our "Sign Up for Membership Before January 15th" Contest, and we're happy to announce our winners. Congratulations to Jeremy Arickx, he is the winner of our Grand Prize, which is free entry into both Loop the Lake and Capital Pursuit.

Our Second Place winners were Alvin Ravenscroft, Connie Robinson, Robin Weiler and Bill Lawless.  Each won free entry into their choice of Loop the Lake or Capital Pursuit.



Pork, Prizes and Solar Energy Made for a Great Annual Dinner

The Capital Striders Annual Dinner felt a bit like a family reunion ~ a very big family reunion. Eighty-four members filled the tables at the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant where the overall clad wait staff served up a family-style meal of chicken, pork, homemade bread and delicious side dishes.  Topped off with a cookie, it was a meal Grandma would've been proud to serve. President Mike McGinn presided over the business portion of the evening. Guest speakers included Abby Fellingham of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Korrie Hoskins of See-Us Run Des Moines, Todd Schemper, Chairman of the Capital Striders Scholarship Committee and Tim Dwight, football and track standout and head of the Tim Dwight Foundation.

Fellingham spoke of the importance of the Tour De Lights and Jolly Holiday Lights. This past year proceeds from these two events helped fund more than 35 wishes, with each wish having an average cost of $8,300.00. Member Carl Voss told how the Tour De Lights started with the Striders as a small event, but has grown through the years, this year attracting more than 1,000 participants.

Hoskins discussed See-Us Run Des Moines ~ a mentoring program through the Des Moines Public Schools that pairs local runners with at risk students to help them train for the Des Moines Marathon. In its third year of operation, the program has seen very positive results in the teens utilizing the program. Hoskins encouraged members to apply to be mentors at:

In club business, Schemper relayed that there were 23 applicants for last year's three $1,000.00 scholarships.  Out of the many qualified students, the committee chose Tanelle Berard of Dowling Catholic High School, Drew Prescott of Urbandale High School and Kelsey McDougal of Roosevelt High School. The deadline for submitting applications for this year's scholarships is April 6.

The "Golden Shoe Sponsor of the Year" award went to Fitness Sports for their continued support of the Capital Striders. Their most visible contribution is in their sponsorship of our Winter/Spring Training Runs. Our Board and runners are very grateful for the weekly maps and water support they provide every Saturday morning January through May!

This year's "Volunteer of the Year" is Brad Dains. Brad served as our Saturday morning training group coordinator for our Summer/Fall training runs, ensuring our volunteers had the equipment necessary to keep our runners well- hydrated ~ a very important task!

Four new members were voted onto the Board of Directors: Brad Dains, Ellen Wade, Steve Halstead and Kristy Feldman. All four will serve two-year terms.

Tim Dwight was the Guest Speaker and gave a very energetic presentation. He spoke briefly of his sporting accomplishments, his Tim Dwight Football Camp and his Tim Dwight Foundation, but the majority of his time was spent discussing his passion for, and belief in, solar energy. Dwight is invested in solar energy not only as a businessman, but also as a true believer in its importance for the future of the United States and the world.

The evening ended with great door prizes going to some lucky members. Many thanks go to our Sponsors who generously donated gifts and services for this drawing:

Byron's Best Massage Compass Chiropractic Fitness Sports Iowa Health Out patient Therapy Kyle's Bikes and Fitness Peggi Taylor Personal Best Massage Scheels All Sports The Body Project Wade Wearmouth WCM Metalworks Work Systems Rehab Aspen Athletic Clubs Prairie Life Fitness



Red Flannel Run 2012 coming up

It's that time of year again, for the Red Flannel Run!View the printable registration brochure or choose to register online now.

The Riverfront YMCA Red Flannel Run will take place February 11, 2012 at 9 a.m. at the Riverfront YMCA in downtown Des Moines. This run is the unofficial start of the running season. And you've got options—a 3-mile and 5-mile route.  Bring your friends, family, dogs and of course your best red flannel to this fun-filled event.




2012 Annual Dinner Details

February 3rd is shaping up to be a great night in Striderland! We've reserved the big room at The Machine Shed restaurant to accommodate plenty of runners and are bringing in guest speaker Tim Dwight. You might know Tim from his college running days (three Big Ten Championships in 1999), or for his record-breaking punt return yardage and punts returned for touchdowns while at Iowa, or even for his 94-yard touchdown return in Super Bowl XXXIII (yes, the man has serious sports credentials!) But he's not a man to sit back and rest on his laurels.

He has now taken up endurance sports ~ competing in triathlons and marathons. He is also founder of The Tim Dwight Foundation ~ a non-profit organization that strives to help children and young people. More than $100,000 has been raised to date, benefitting both the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and the Tim Dwight Foundation Scholarship. A multi-faceted man, to be sure. So what will he be talking about? Well, it's billed as "An Evening of Great Strides". Want to know more? Then join us for fun, food and some motivation from Tim Dwight.

Join us on February 3rd! Machine Shed Restaurant, 11151 Hickman Rd., Urbandale Social Hour: 5:30-6:30 pm ~cash bar Dinner:  6:30 pm

Members: $25@person ($35 after 1/30) Non-members: $35@person ($45 after 1/30) Register online @

"Make your reservation today, only limited tickets available at the door"



New Year's Mitten Run - 2013

Capital Striders Family and Friends New Year Mitten Run/Potluck forBoys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

  • 11:00 Fun Run/Walk (Choice of 3,4,5, or 6 mile)
  • 12:00 Serving Food

Located at:

Lion's Park (Click Here for Map)
72th St
Ubrandale, IA

Bring a pair of gloves, mittens, coat or cash donation for Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa. Burgers, hot dogs and pop provided. Bring a dish to share FREE to Strider Members $5 for guests

2013 Membership forms will be available

Come visit with running friends and learn about upcoming 2013 Strider Events.



Jolly Holiday Lights 2011

Jolly Holiday Lights is one of Des Moines' favorite holiday traditions. Open nightly from 5:30 to 10pm. Just $10 per carload with all proceeds benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If you haven't been there yet, mark your calendar for Wednesday, December 28th as this is the evening that the Capital Striders will be volunteering at the gate. We would love to see you and you would be supporting a great cause. We still have room for a couple more volunteers, if you want to help and don't mind frigid temps and crazy board members send an email to



Guest Post: Anti-Grav Treadmill

John Taylor III, a long time Capital Striders members, writes a guest article on his experience with Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill: Do you have an injury that is preventing you from doing the appropriate training to prepare for an upcoming race or competition?  Do you feel that you’re getting out of shape waiting for an injury to heal? Over the years I’ve heard countless people say that they have given up running because of miscellaneous ailments.

On the bus to last year’s Boston Marathon I sat next to another runner who mentioned that he had an injury that prevented him from his normal training routine. Given the fact that running Boston was very important to him he did most of his training on the Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill®.

I had been dealing with Plantar Fasciitis around the time I was training (attempting to train) for this year’s Boston Marathon. After running Boston I went in for one last Physical Therapy treatment for my Plantar Fasciitis. My Physical Therapist, Ginni Peterson said that Iowa Health Outpatient Therapy West was looking at purchasing that very same Anti-Gravity Treadmill that the fellow Boston Marathon runner had used to prepare him for his big race.

After running 20 miles one Saturday morning I set up an appointment to test out this machine. I’m limping in due to just running 20 miles so I felt this would be a perfect time to test the Anti-Gravity Treadmill. After being fitted and adjusting my weight to 50% of my actual weight I started running. I was SHOCKED by what happened. All of a sudden I felt like I was fresh and had not run at all that day.

Below you will find a summary of this revolutionary machine.

The world’s best athletes and sports teams consider the Anti-Gravity Treadmill an essential part of their athletic conditioning and rehabilitation programs

  • Strengthens and improves coordination of muscles, which in turn protects surrounding joints.
  • Promotes the full range of motion while minimizing stress during athletic conditioning.
  • Enables injured athletes to maximize their fitness retention as they recover.

The Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill® generates a powerful lifting force using Advanced Differential Air Pressure Technology (ADAPT). The athlete wears neoprene shorts and zips into a pressurized, airtight enclosure which calibrates to their exact body weight. With an easy to use control panel the athlete can change his/her weight, reducing it by as much as 80% in precise 1% increments.

Trainers and coaches have found the Alter-G to be a ground-breaking training tool that is changing how athletes train. Injured athletes can recover free of interference from water or tethers which transitions seamlessly back to full weight bearing during sports rehabilitation training programs. Until now, there has not been an effective means for athletes to preserve high fitness levels while they are injured. The Alter-G permits injured athletes to reach the aerobic intensity of their regular workouts while lowering the impact on their injured body during training.

Alter-G’s performance treadmill is a highly effective athletic conditioning tool for both recreational and competitive athletes by allowing the user to train longer, run faster, gain additional strength, and enhance cardiovascular performance while minimizing impact and stress on their joints.

Another added feature of the Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill® is that you can see live video of your running form on the television screen in front of you. If you prefer you can also watch television or perhaps bring in your own DVD.

The Iowa Health Outpatient Therapy West location at 6001 WestownParkway, Suite 205 in West Des Moines would be happy to demonstrate this new revolutionary Treadmill. Call (515) 224-5225 to schedule an appointment. Many folks have purchased a Multi Visit Punch Card (10-30minute sessions) for $80. The only additional expense would be the $10 Initial visit and Instruction and to either purchase the special Alter-G shorts for $75 or rent a pair for $6 per visit. After every use the rented shorts must be dry-cleaned.

I trust that you will be amazed. I was!

John W. Taylor III