The 408K was the 3rd official race of my life & of 2012. It was also my first race in my hometown of San Jose, CA. (Better known as Sharks Territory to all the hockey fans.) I registered for this race as soon as I’d heard about it & was extremely stoked on the course: start at the Shark Tank on Santa Clara Street, run alongside the Rose Garden, finish at Santana Row, head to the wine bar. The promise vino is one I never take lightly.
When I arrived this morning there wasn’t a person in sight. Being that today is Daylight Savings Sunday for a split second I wondered if I had missed the start. No. It turns out I was just early. Really early. Why? Because having only participated in runDisney races leading up to this, I was accustomed to huge crowds of thousands and was convinced I’d be caught in traffic/struggling to find parking. No worries there, I was so early the parking attendants hadn't even arrived yet. I took advantage of my little mistake and found free parking, snapped photos, drank coffee and took a warm-up walk.
Soon enough I was at the start, warmed up and getting ready to go. You know me, I had to wear a Team Sparkle skirt and show some Sharks love:
Boom, we were off. In a matter of minutes we were turning onto the Alameda, heading through Naglee and running by the Rose Garden. Some of the cutest houses in San Jose are situated in this area. Plenty of folks were outside those lovely homes with their kids cheering us on. Next up was the backside of Valley Fair mall - AKA Mariachi Mile - which led us straight to Santana Row. Running through Santana Row to the finish line was tons of fun. All the store employees lined up along the street & cheered for us. The ones who saw my shirt chanted, "Beat LA, Beat LA". Pretty awesome.
After crossing the finish line I went on to pick up my race shirt as well as a bottle of water and snack. Before I left I registered for the San Jose Giants 5K, scored a Lincecum bobblehead, and stopped off for a race pic.
I wandered through the Row a bit and then hopped on a charter bus & headed back to my car. I loved this very fast, very flat course. 8K is the perfect distance because just when you start to feel a little tired - it's over. This is a great race to do with friends and family - especially if someone in the group is a first-timer who is intimidated by running or other runners - since the crowd and course are fun. I finished in 1:06:14 with a pace of 13:28. I can't wait to run the 408K year after year - and get faster and faster.