News on the Trail

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South Dakotans again run-away victors in a terrific "M2M Relay Iowa"!

The team "Six Pack and a Pound Fest" -- made up of former distance runners at the University of South Dakota -- averaged an amazing 5 minutes and 34 seconds per mile for the 75-mile race from Jefferson to downtown Des Moines! They had a 50-minute lead at the finish as they repeated as champions of the "open" category of the relay. About 3,000 runners on 350 teams from 20 states enjoyed almost perfect running weather on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

"Market to Market Relay Iowa" bringing 3,000 runners on Saturday

It's the sixth annual "M2M Relay Iowa," again using the full length of the Raccoon River Valley Trail on the "south loop." The 350 teams of six to eight runners each start at the bell tower in Jefferson in waves, with the first group leaving at 5:45 a.m., and the fastest teams at 9:15 a.m. They finish in downtown Des Moines, starting about mid-afternoon, and then they all celebrate at the Iowa Taproom in the East Village.

Several hundred cheer the "Pergola's" introduction, a great night at one of "Iowa's Great Places"!

In the 29 years of the Raccoon River Valley Trail, this was one of its biggest moments. A million-dollar public art installation -- seven years in the considering, planning, fundraising and construction -- was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting and lighting. It was obvious that nearly all in the big crowd were touched, from the lead artist David Dahlquist, to his colleagues, to sub-contractors, members of the committee, and all the bicyclists & trail advocates in attendance.

Big art & a big buzz on the Raccoon River Valley Trail!

After nearly seven years of brainstorming, then planning, development, fundraising and construction, the million-dollar "Waukee Railroad Pergola -- in the shadow of the rails" will be dedicated on Tuesday, March 27. There will be a 7 p.m. ceremony with remarks by artist David Dahlquist and Waukee Mayor Bill Peard, then a ribbon cutting and first official lighting of the art installation at the RRVT trailhead on the west edge of the community. The ceremony is free and the public is invited.