408K RACE TO THE ROW Race Report

March 12, 2012 — 4 Comments

Yesterday, I ran the inaugural 408k RACE TO THE ROW in downtown San Jose.   The race was a point-to-point, flat course from the HP Pavilion to the Santana Row shopping center that weaved its way through several neighborhoods.  The morning was PERFECT for a run – no substantial cloud cover and temps in the low 50s.  It was also great to see a wide range of running levels represented – which is something I like to survey.  I think that makes the sport more approachable…I know it did for me when I started running.  The race benefited the Pat Tillman Foundation and, according to the organizer, raising about $10,000.

Being the inaugural event, I’m sure many were expecting glitches.  If there were any – which I’m sure there were – I wasn’t aware of any that were significant.  There was a ton of volunteers and the course signage and management was excellent.  UPS provided the sweat check service (also point-to-point), which was awesome!  The Mariachi band at about mile 4.2 was a nice touch!

The post-race expo was well organized and set up and had a good range of food (ranging from bananas to chili), SWAG-infested booths, upcoming race sign-ups, and live music.  People just hung out, which was what, I’m sure, the organizers had hoped for.  Not to many of the Santana Row stores were open when I was walking around – maybe next year they will open up a little early and benefit from the captive foot traffic…

I hung out at the expo for a while before heading over to the complimentary bus service back to the HP Pavilion – given the point-to-point course set-up.  The only glitch I encountered all day was that the signage to the buses was off slightly and I (and a bunch of other people) passed the turn to the queue and headed for Stevens Creek Blvd.  That said, the bus service was excellent and provided a good venue for post-race chats before heading back home.

My Race

My mind was pretty occupied throughout the morning because my Father-in-Law had been in the hospital since Friday night.  I phased in and out of race/him/race/him throughout the morning until hitting my “tunnel zone” (see below.)

Anyway, I got to the venue early and stayed warm in my car for a bit.  At about 45-minutes to race time, I walked around and got the lay of the land for the start area, etc. and then headed back to the car for my gear.   I usually wear pants, but with the temp higher than my normal 0430 runs, I wore shorts.  I dropped my stuff at the UPS sweat check, went through my pre-race potty/dynamic stretch/jog/potty routine, and then joined the growing throng in the start gate – standing in the middle depth of the start gate area.  Club One Fitness Center representatives lead the pre-race, mass warm-up stretch routine – I just watched and downed my GU.

The race started on time (actually, about 30 seconds early!) and, out of the gate it was pretty crowded.  I managed to weave through the crowd and settle into a comfortable pace and entered “tunnel zone” – which I can only describe as a state where I really am focused on the run and my “systems” (pace, breathing, hydration, posture, etc.) and not the course, people, etc.  It’s weird because as I try and recall the race event later, I don’t remember much about where I ran, the sights, or what specifically happened.

At any rate, my goal this for this race was a sub-40 minute time with negative-split pacing.  I pretty much stuck to plan, pushing myself a bit more this race rather than hanging comfortably back and playing it too safe as I did in my last run (read: “Leave it on the course, dude!” OR “Why train if you’re not going to push yourself a bit.”)

I was a very happy camper, er runner this morning.


Garmin time: 38:38 at an 7:52/mile pace.
Official time: 38:36 at an 7:46/mile pace.


Bottom line: The 408k was a GREAT event that has potential to build with the coming years.  They limited the entrants to 3,000, with 2,761 actually finishing – I could see this growing.

This was my 8th organized race, having started running from “the couch” in September 2011.  For me personally, it was a race where I think I safely pushed myself a bit and was happy with the outcome – maybe I’m gaining confidence and grasping/appreciating the analytical and strategic side of running.  [at least that sounds good anyway…]

No fantastical post-race meal this time…just showered and headed to the hospital.  We are thanking God that my Father-in-Law was doing much better on Sunday and seems to be on the mend.

Next up:

  • Emerald Across The Bay 12K on March 18 – my first of three runs across the Golden Gate this year and my furthest organized run to date.  I’m still trying to strategize about this one…


Training Journal – 3/12/12:

  • Current plan: 12K Training
  • Today’s session: 5 mile easy run @10:28
  • Comments: Normally, Monday is a rest day; but, with the Emerald Across the Bay next Sunday, I changed things up this week.  I did 6.3 miles @ 9:11 (I know, more than a minute off the “easy” pace…it just felt right.)

4 responses to 408K RACE TO THE ROW Race Report


    Great review! I ran the 408k and was my second organized race .. very motivational .. I plan on running the San Jose and San Francisco Giants Race .. are you planning to as well ? I lost a significant amount of race since aug 2011 .. and want to run more races to help .


      Thanks for stopping by – it was a great event wasn’t it! I am thinking about the Giant Races – either both or at least the SJ one. I started running in September after loosing about 110lbs. and haven’t looked back – I’m hooked now. Cheers & keep on running!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. 2012 Emerald Across The Bay Race Report | Observations by a Dependent Workman* - March 20, 2012

    […] it was for last week’s 408K in San Jose, the day was PERFECT for a run.  The temp was fine for shorts and long sleeves; and […]

  2. March 2012 Run Stats | Observations by a Dependent Workman* - April 2, 2012

    […] 3/12: 408K Race to the Row (8K) [report] […]

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