THE HEARTLAND 200 RELAY COURSE
START TO FINISH
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Please be aware that much of the Heartland Relay is held on public roads - there are no road closures, traffic control, or aid stations. Runners will be running on the sides/shoulders of the road. All participants must understand that there will be vehicle/farm traffic when on or crossing public roads, and several of the Exchange Points are along busy roads. Also be warned that any road hazards along the course are NOT marked, the route is next to farms and other unpopulated areas where wildlife or domestic animals live, so caution is required from all runners and drivers.
The starting line for the Heartland Relay is located at the Winterset High School in the town of Winterset (birthplace of John Wayne), about a 40-minute drive from Des Moines. Heading south to Bedford, a majority of the first half of the route is on dirt county roads through the Iowa corn fields, while the team support vans are directed to navigate to the runner exchanges via a different route to prevent runners having to deal with excessive dust.
From Bedford, the route turns east to Clarinda (birthplace of Glenn Miller), then south to Blanchard, and the start of the Wasatch Trace Trail. This (mostly) dirt Rails-to-Trails path heads northwest, and passes through the small towns of Shenandoah (home of the Everly Brothers), Imogene, Malvern, and Mineota. Before reaching Council Bluffs, near the end of the Wasatch Trail, the route will transition to bike paths, circling through Lake Manawa State Park to the Missouri River. The last leg crosses over the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to the finish at Miller's Landing and the big finish line party.