For organizers of Market to Market Iowa, the relay race from Jefferson to Des Moines, the hospitality of Jefferson residents is more important than a missing bridge over the Raccoon River. The race will go on this Saturday as in the past six years, with a short detour added.
Market to Market follows the Raccoon River Valley Trail to Des Moines. When ice on the Raccoon River took out a 100-year-old bridge north of 260th St, the route for the race was in jeopardy.
According to Jefferson mayor Craig Berry, “the M2M staff was insistent on starting from Jefferson this year because of they ‘love’ Jefferson and the hospitality that the citizens show them.”
The 75-mile race will begin in front of the county courthouse, with waves of runners leaving between 5:45 and 9:15 am. They’ll run east six blocks to the trail head at the Milwaukee Road depot and then south to Vest St. They’ll continue on S. Mullberry St and pass under Graffiti Bridge to 250th St. That part of the route is unchanged from previous years. Residents who are up early enough will enjoy watching the high-energy runners, many of them in costumes.
At 250th St the runners will go west to Highway 4 and run along the east shoulder to 260th St. Then turn back east and go to Winkleman Switch to resume the usual route. Exchange zones for the relay are at Winkleman Switch and at the weigh station in Cooper.
Berry reminds motorists that Lincoln Way will be closed from Wilson to the Milwaukee Depot until at 9:30 am.