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South Dakota Coyotes run wild on Raccoon River Valley Trail

The team of former USD track athletes ran for the first time in a Market to Market Relay Iowa on Saturday, May 13, and they easily claimed the "Open" category championship. Among other category champs were "Women Run Nebraska," "H & B All Stars," "Run Like Hell," and "Pioneer Seed." The 5th annual event drew 2,500 runners from 23 states for the 75-mile relay from Jefferson to Des Moines, and the weather was nearly perfect.

More than 2,500 runners from 23 states on RRVT Saturday!

The Raccoon River Valley Trail's "south loop" of about 61 miles provides most of the route for the 5th annual, 75-mile-long "Market to Market Relay Iowa" this Saturday, May 13. The first wave of runners will leave the courthouse square in Jefferson at 5:45 a.m., and the elite competitors will leave at 9:15 a.m. in the last wave. Finish will be on the Court Avenue bridge in downtown Des Moines between 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Spectators are encouraged all along the route, which has 17 exchange zones.

Chad Elliott performs trailside in Adel Wednesday evening

The Lincoln Savings Bank has completed and moved into its new building on the south side of the Raccoon River Valley Trail, adjacent to Nile Kinnick Drive, in the heart of Adel. They celebrate this Wednesday evening, May 10, 5 to 8 p.m., and acclaimed Iowa singer & guitar player Chad Elliott performs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the bank parking lot. It's all free, and it's a great way to open the new trail season if you haven't already.

The "pergola" is an even bigger deal than we imagined

Artist David Dahlquist invited a group of trail supporters and public art advocates into the RDG Dahlquist Art Studio in downtown Des Moines to see the start of the work on what will be the "Waukee Railroad Pergola -- in the shadow of the rails." You can't believe the work, strain and sweat that goes into building an art installation like this one. In this brief story, and with 21 photographs, we give you a good look.