When I ran the Inaugural 408K last year, it was only the 3rd race I had ever run. Now here I am: 1 year and 15 races later - once again running the 408K, but this time as a race ambassador. What an honor!
Like last year, the 408K is an 8K race that starts in downtown San Jose and ends at Santana Row. Also taking place at Santana Row was the Expo the day before the race. With beautiful weather and plenty of opportunities to shop, drink wine and mingle - this was by far the best Expo I've ever attended! I picked-up my race tee and bib - then spent the day shopping in my favorite stores.
A few days before the race, the Ambassadors were notified that we would be transported from the Finish to the Starting line on race day. This was a HUGE perk for me, because I really wanted to spend time with my friends at Santana Row long after the race was over. So very early on race day morning, I drove to the Row, parked my car and hopped on the shuttle to downtown San Jose.
I spent a little time warming up and chatting with other runners until the race started. Pretty soon we were on our way! Because I was trying to beat last year's time - I only took 2 photos the entire race. Both of them were of Mariachi bands along the course.
In retrospect the few seconds I spent taking those photos may have hurt my time just the tiniest bit. I had hoped to finish under 1 hour, but finished at exactly 1 hour and 54 seconds. Those 54 seconds will haunt me all year! I'm still happy though because I beat last year's time by 6 minutes!
I grabbed my medal and finisher's tee and headed over to the VIP Race Ambassador area where food and drinks were waiting for us. I was really impressed with the set-up and the treats. It was the perfect spot for people watching and the food was great! I relaxed until my friends finished the race.
Eventually we were all able to get a hold of each other and posed for a picture together. I'm so proud of this awesome group: from a pregnant runner, to an experienced runner to a first time runner - these ladies all rocked the 408!
Now it was time to eat. I've taken my parents to the Sunday Brunch at Pasta Pomodoro a couple of times and we just love it! My favorite thing on the menu is the French Toast with mascarpone cream & fresh fruit. I was especially hungry this morning so I added eggs, bacon and a couple glasses of wine to my order.
Next stop: Kara's Cupcakes for the custom 408K cupcake! I purchased a couple to take home to my daughter who really loves Kara's.
The final post-race stop was the official after party at Rosie McCann's where the mimosas were flowing!
My #TeamSparkle skirt caught the attention of the security staff - who, in response to such cuteness, wanted to check my ID & make sure I was legal. That's always a nice thing!
I absolutely 100% recommend the 408K Race for any Bay Area runner. If you're a fan of the Bay, you will love this race and the people who run it with you. Bring your friends, put on your favorite team's colors and run to the Row!
The very best part? The Pat Tillman Foundation is the official charity partner of this race. So put on your fundraising hat on and make a difference!
Disclosure: Although I was a 408K Race Ambassador, my race entry was not complimentary. All opinions are my own.