Disclaimer: I received free entry to the San Jose 408K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
The address for the expo and bib pick-up was an address with no location landmarks, like for example, in front of the restaurant or next to, … Maybe for next year’s bib pick-up instructions, the organizers can be more specific. It was not easy to find where to go. Google Maps put me two blocks away with a lot of stores and restaurants in between. I didn’t have to wait in line for my bib. The bibs were handed out by number so you had to come prepared with your bib number. We received a few emails warning us of this, so it was not a surprise. There were two other tables that were promoting other Bay Area races and that was it for the expo.
For the race entry fee, I received a technical short-sleeve shirt and a finishers medal at the end.
The course was on pavement and flat the entire way. It was obvious where to go and there was always someone along the route making sure the runners stayed in the right lane. The route started at the SAP Center in Downtown San Jose and finished at Santana Row.
There was a sweat check provided by UPS. You could hand off your jackets and other items and the UPS employee would put a label on it with your bib number and hand it back to you at the end of the race. I was impressed with how many UPS trucks were present. There were also a lot of porta-potties at the beginning of the race. Along the race, I only saw two porta potties on two different stops.
This race has two key mile marker events. One is Memorial Mile and the other is Mariachi Mile. Memorial Mile depends on Veterans to volunteer their time and come out and cheer on the runners. I thought I would see more Veterans present, but I only counted a mere 4. Mariachi Mile was towards the end of the course. There were several mariachi bands playing along that mile. It was great fun to see the different costumes, the various age groups of the performers, and of course, the wonderful music. It was a great photo opportunity. Where else do you get to run past mariachi bands?
The aid stations were weak. There were two along the 8K route and they only had water, no electrolytes, or snacks. Also at the beginning of the race Amazon had a booth with hot coffee, pastries, snacks, and fruit, but it was only for Amazon employees. The race itself had nothing other than water to offer runners to fuel up for the race.
I did see a blind runner being guided by a race volunteer. It warmed my heart to see that the organizers are providing opportunities for everyone.
It was a fun atmosphere. Many people were running with at least one other person, if not a whole group. It was a timed race, but I didn’t feel like its anything more than a fun run, where people could take their time and go as fast or as slow as they wanted.
At the end of the race, the volunteers handing out the medals weren’t ready. I had to wait a few minutes for them to get more and walk over to where I was and hand me one. After the race, I walked over to the Lululemon store that was promoting that they had custom 408K merchandise on sale. I noticed as I was leaving that there was a group of Mexican dancers posing with runners and there was a long line to get your photo taken with them. I didn’t walk to the end of Santana Row, so I don’t know if there were any snacks at the end.
I met one of my Instagram followers, @dzny_girl. She was very nice. We had a nice little chat about runDisney and local races. I always invite my followers to run with me. Click on this link to see where I will be running next.
Parking tip: I parked at Santana Row early in the morning. I then took a Lyft ride to the SAP Center. This worked out well for us as our car was waiting for us at the finish line and we didn’t have to wait for the bus to take us back to downtown San Jose.