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nickiruns77 FIRST-TIMER '19

This was my 3rd marathon & I would highly recommend this race to anyone. Here's why: 1) It's logistically easy. Free parking & plenty of parking for the race start … MORE

This was my 3rd marathon & I would highly recommend this race to anyone. Here’s why:
1) It’s logistically easy. Free parking & plenty of parking for the race start & expo. Gear check was simple & quick (they just throw it in a truck and then sort by number later). Plenty of portapotties so easy to arrive, do your pre-race business, and get to your corral without stress.
2) You want it? They have it. Free bagels and coffee at the start. The student athletic center locker rooms are open for post-run showers and $6. A good variety of post run free food: pasta, pizza, chocolate milk, all the usuals. A free fleece blanket to marathon finishers with the metallic heat-sheets to keep you warm after finish.
3) The course is a little boring with mostly just running through different residential neighborhoods. The race coordinated different musicians to be spread along the course to help entertain. Also, there were a lot of community support and people out cheering which helps. Lots of unofficial aid stations with extra water, pickle juice, jelly beans and more. Lots of people dressed in costumes. Very few hills and only small rollers (by Chicago standards — perfectly flat to anyone else).
Overall, a very well organized race and great community support makes this a race I’d come back to run again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '18

BOTTOM LINE: Tell me you’re on the hunt for a high-value, low-frills scenic marathon in an underrated city you may not otherwise visit, and I’ll point you straight to the … MORE

BOTTOM LINE: Tell me you’re on the hunt for a high-value, low-frills scenic marathon in an underrated city you may not otherwise visit, and I’ll point you straight to the Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon. Jacob was not only the race founder but an avid runner himself, having completed 154 marathons before his premature death in 2014. And though he’s no longer with us in the corporeal sense, 3B26 continues to honor Jacob’s memory as a race put on for runners, by runners.

The marathon is the only distance offered so the course never feels crowded, and there’s never a point at which tired marathoners suddenly have to merge with half marathoners or 10K runners. And what the race may lack in style — no colorful start-line balloons, live musical entertainment or showy bling — it more than makes up for in substance with a smart & scenic course, enthusiastic volunteers, a high-energy finish-line announcer and an awesome heated tent at the start and finish. Oh, and a friendly neighborhood Santa Claus greets each finisher with a white-gloved high-five. What’s not to love?

The three bridges — each of which runners cross twice — are the highlights of the race, along with the turnaround at the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, which appropriately sits on the opposite side of the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge. (In case you didn’t know already, upon landing at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport you’ll quickly realize that President Clinton hails from Arkansas.). Both the Library/Museum and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitors Center — the latter of which tells the 1957 story of the Little Rock Nine and their battle for desegregation — are worth a visit for anyone with an appreciation of American history. All in all, there’s plenty to do in Little Rock to promise any visitor a full and fulfilling weekend, and 3B26 offers a more low-key option compared to the big-bling block party of the Little Rock Marathon in March.

For prospective runners, a $15 discount was available on the 3B26 Facebook page for Black Friday, lowering the already reasonable $90 registration fee to $75. Sold!

PRODUCTION: As mentioned above, 3B26 is clearly a marathon for runners, by runners. The race production itself was nearly flawless, with no superfluous bells and whistles but with plenty of positive vibes and small, professional touches such as race-day packet pickup plus a cozy heated tent (stocked with post-race pizza and drinks) that was large enough to accommodate nearly everyone before and after the race. Genius, that tent. Keep in mind this is a marathon only (no shorter distances), which allows the organizers to focus their efforts exclusively on the 26.2 crowd, from the Green Bay Packers fan I met in mile 13 who was tackling his first marathon to the woman on the morning trolley who was running her 50th. Perhaps ironically for a race that starts with a prayer, 3B26 understands that the devil is in the details.

SWAG: This was another aspect of the race that underpromised and overdelivered. The long-sleeve gray Sport-Tek shirt is more comfortable than most and sports the colorful green-and-purple 3B26 logo. Meanwhile the finisher medal, which likewise sports the 3B26 logo and which at first glance struck me as basic and lacking in creativity, in fact has an understated yet attractive stained-glass quality that I always appreciate. It’s smartly designed without being showy. Nicely done, 3B26!

For a more detailed description of race day and things to do in Little Rock, check out my race report at https://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2019/05/09/jacob-wells-3-bridges-marathon-race-report

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

JodyReed FIRST-TIMER '17

You can tell a lot about a race organization when the weather is bad. The good races, adapt, the bad race directors blame everyone else. The Lost Dutchman, fortunately falls … MORE

You can tell a lot about a race organization when the weather is bad. The good races, adapt, the bad race directors blame everyone else. The Lost Dutchman, fortunately falls under the good race banner. Instead of the usual dry sunny day for this race, it was wet and cold. So, since they could not have mats and fires to wait for the start, they left the buses at the start for people to stay in. The volunteers were amazing. The course is very scenic. The bacon and donut stop was well received. In fact, the only thing anyone could say is a negative about this race is a lack of spectators … which does not really bother me since I love running with my fellow runners. Loved the “wall” at mile 24. Highly recommend the race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was my first marathon ever, and I'll admit I wasn't 100% prepared in terms of training. This course was phenomenal, and the organization/water stations were even better! I would … MORE

This was my first marathon ever, and I’ll admit I wasn’t 100% prepared in terms of training. This course was phenomenal, and the organization/water stations were even better! I would recommend the Mohawk Hudson Marathon to anyone interested in a quick, flat course.

What stood out most:
-Water stops frequently included gatorade, water, and a few had a variety of “GU”s to choose from.
-Each water station was manned by many volunteers, many of whom appeared to be high school runners! It was great to have their goofy and enthusiastic encouragement 🙂
-Spectators along the way with some awesome signs, and sometimes pump up music!
-Beautiful course along the bike path – some may find that boring and redundant, but I found it to be so beautiful with the surrounding trees, changing leaves, tunnels, bridges, views of the river, and FLAT terrain.
-Consistent and clear mile markers each mile, with cute quotes on each one.
-Phenomenal weather. 45 degrees at the start, and no more than 65ish by the finish.
-Free massages provided at the end

Cons:
-There was apparently a medical tent at miles 18 and… 20-something. I was desperately in search of some icy hot or something to cover up a sharp nagging pain in my ankle, so was looking forward to stopping. I saw a sign for “medical tent ahead” (I think) and didn’t see any tent – just a couple cop cars – so kept going. I must have missed it, which was kind of a bummer. I wish the tents had been actual tents – would have been easier and more welcoming to just pop in to get assistance. Also, it felt a little late to have the first med tent at mile 18, but there didn’t seem to be any issues.
-This did not affect me in any way because I was not trying to qualify for Boston… but there is a set of railroad tracks around mile 18 and the race directors did not seem to know whether trains would come through. It was worded as “there is a timing mat before the tracks, so if a train comes through you will stop and then have your time adjusted”… but that would not be accepted by Boston. That may affect those looking to use this race as a qualifier, but it didn’t look like there were any issues with that.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?