Somebody needs to tell the director of The Des Moines Marathon and Half Marathon that if you are going to invite several thousand very anal retentive people to run a marathon in your city, you should definitely include a general instruction booklet in the runner's packet at the expo. There was a very nice map of the course but there was no booklet that gave basic information about start time, place, spectator information, etc. My top three marathon necessities:
1. Information packet with written race instructions.
2. Quality t-shirt given at the finish, not before the race!
3. Sufficient post-race snacks at the finish line.
The Des Moines race was really nice. Very scenic course and excellent water stops with the exception of mile number two, where they had mysteriously run out of cups. The best part of the race was seeing my mom with Hank and Hope at miles 7 and 10, and the drum group that played on the course at miles 5-ish and 12-13.
Note to Mr. Bickerson: No jumping around like a crazy nut at a Jump it Up facility birthday party the day before races.