Race for Hope DSM has become a staple in the brain tumor community. As Iowa’s first and largest brain tumor awareness fundraiser, Race for Hope DSM has raised over $500,000 for brain tumor research!

Each year, over 600 runners, walkers, kids, families, and supporters gather at Water Works Park in Des Moines, Iowa. A large community has grown over the years and race day has become a bit like a family reunion.

Race for Hope DSM brings together runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. There are four separate options so there’s something for everyone!

      • Kids through 13 are welcome to join the 100 meter Kids Fun Run
      • Walkers are welcome on the untimed 2K walk
      • Walkers and runners looking for a traditional race can join the 5K USATF certified course
      • Finally for those runners looking to challenge themselves, there is a 10.1K USATF certified course

All distances are located in a beautiful setting, are fully paved, and wind through beautiful landscapes.

About Us

About Race for Hope DSM

Race for Hope DSM is an annual event inspired by a local teenager who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. After not finding any local events, he decided to take action and start Race for Hope DSM, a community event associated with the national Race for Hope presented by the National Brain Tumor Society.

Race for Hope DSM launched in May 2013 with 400 participants and raised more than $25,000 and the rest is history. The all-volunteer staff prides itself in keeping costs as low as possible in order to maximize proceeds sent to brain tumor organizations.

The event is held every May in conjunction with Brain Tumor Awareness Month to increase awareness, bring the community together, to celebrate our brain tumor heroes who have fought and those who are still fighting, and raise funds for three amazing organizations


Race for Hope DSM is held every May in conjunction with Brain Tumor Awareness Month to increase awareness, bring the community together, to celebrate our brain tumor heroes who have fought and those who are still fighting, and raise funds for the following organizations:

National Brain Tumor Society partners with the world’s leaders in research, public policy and clinical care to advance the understanding of brain tumors, expand the availability of new treatments and drive the discovery of a cure.

Dragon Master Initiative works to create a large-scale database of molecular, genetic, clinical and environmental data to assist researchers. By collaborating data, they are able to find trends and similarities to link individuals to clinical trials more quickly and assist researchers in determining potential causes and cure.

Children’s Cancer Connection exists to enhance the lives of families affected by childhood cancer by providing quality programs for education, recreation, and support.


Where is the race held?
Race for Hope DSM is held at 2201 George Flagg Pkwy, Des Moines, Iowa 50321. Get directions and view the race day maps.

What time should I be there?
Gates open at 7:00 a.m. with the Kids Fun Run starting at 8:45.  The race will begin promptly at 9 AM, please arrive early enough to warm up.

What if I don’t want to run?
Be a “Virtual Runner” for $35 and still get an awesome looking t-shirt! Spectators are always welcome so bring the family. There are lots of fun activities for everyone!

Where do I register?
Online registration is now available at raceforhopedsm.org/register.

Can I bring my children?
Absolutely, this is a kid-friendly event! Strollers and smaller bikes are welcome for the 2K Walk and 5K Run/Walk, but for the safety of all runners must line up behind the runners.

What do I receive with my registration?
All 5K and 10K registrants receive a Race for Hope DSM shirt, finishers medal and bib number for timing, as well as complimentary sandwiches and beverages at the finish line. 2K participants receive a t-shirt and food, but are not timed.

Will there be lunch at the event?
Complimentary light snacks are provided at the finish line.

Can I pickup my race t-shirt/bib/timing device before Race Day
Yes, in fact we highly encourage it! Packet pickup is at Genesis Health Club (formerly Aspen Athletics) at 4349 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines on the Friday before the race from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where do we park?
We will pass out maps at packet pickup. We recommend entering Water Works Park from George Flagg Parkway to enter the parking area located in the center field. Look for parking attendants that will help direct you.

I signed up as an individual. Can I now join a team?
Yes. You can edit your registration at any time and join or change teams. Contact us if you need assistance.

How do I create a team?
There’s an option to create or join a team during the registration process.

Who does the race benefit?
So glad you asked! 100% of the proceeds benefit brain tumor research, including the National Brain Tumor Society, Dragon Master Foundation and Children’s Cancer Connection.

Is my information secure?
Yes, your information is secure. No personal information is stored on our website. All registration and credit card information is handled by Active.com and uses a secure connection.

How can I get involved?
We have LOTS of volunteer opportunities available. Click here to learn more. If you have something else you would like to contribute, get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

Brain Tumor Facts

BRAIN TUMOR FACTS: Each year, more than 69,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. Today, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with the diagnosis of a primary brain or central nervous system tumor. Brain tumors are often deadly, impact quality of life, and change everything for patients and their loved ones. At this time brain tumor research is underfunded and the public remains unaware of the magnitude of this disease.

      • Brain tumors will be the cause of an estimated 14,080 deaths this year
      • Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (males and females) under age 20 (leukemia is the first)
      • Brain tumors are the  leading cause of cancer-related deaths in young adults ages 20-39
      • There are 120 different brain tumor types yet only 4 FDA approved treatments
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