Overall Rating
Overall Rating (9 Reviews)
4.2
(9 Ratings)(9 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.9
SCENERY
3.1
PRODUCTION
4.2
SWAG
3.9
The San Jose 408k Race to the Row returns March 5th. The 8k Run/Walk starts in downtown San Jose and finishes at beautiful Santana Row. The Pat Tillman Foundation is the Official Benefiting Charity Partner. This fun point-to-point course features the famous “Mariachi Mile,” “Memorial Mile,” and takes you through … MORE
Local Weather (Mar 05)
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H (°F) 62 65 74 71 60
L (°F) 42 56 43 54 46
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of John Hanson
    John Hanson REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The 408K Run to the Row has a really fun vibe. It is family friendly, with the wonderful "Mariachi Mile" at the end, and the "Memorial Mile" honoring veterans in … MORE

    The 408K Run to the Row has a really fun vibe. It is family friendly, with the wonderful “Mariachi Mile” at the end, and the “Memorial Mile” honoring veterans in person. It is also a fast course, and a perfect step up from a 5k.
    I was nursing an injury, and supporting a friend taking photographs, so this was my slowest year.

    DIFFICULTY
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    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    Katboyd39 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The course is very nice. Love the music on the last mile. As a walker however, like most races, those that finish in the last 1/4 of the participants who … MORE

    The course is very nice. Love the music on the last mile.

    As a walker however, like most races, those that finish in the last 1/4 of the participants who pay the same amount as those that finish in the first 3/4 of the participants, are treated to very little treats at the end, if any. This race was no different than others. Hoping some day 1. early finishers learn to only take their share of free items and not load up their goodie bag with all the give aways or 2. race organizers really limit what each person can take until all finishers have their share of the food and drink.

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    PeteSinCA Mar 07, 2017 at 7:53pm

    Two suggestions: 1. Send an email to the Organizer, "Represent Running", [email protected]; 2. look into Brazen Racing's Hellyer (half, 10K, or 5K) on 3/26 or Western Pacific (Marathon, half, 10K, 5K) on 4/29. Coastal Trail Runs is also very good.

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    Keeber39sami REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is such a fun run! The scenery is awesome and makes the 5 miles breeze by!!! And I love that it ends at Santana Row!! The buses taking us … MORE

    This is such a fun run! The scenery is awesome and makes the 5 miles breeze by!!! And I love that it ends at Santana Row!! The buses taking us back to our cars is awesome, not all races do that for you. I love how awesome the race Bling is!

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    5
    SCENERY
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    Power Run Geni REPEAT RUNNER '17

    that this race was a great one.....i bag and like the free fibies All are well taking care off.... bus are there for us..... love the medal.. thanks MORE

    that this race was a great one…..i bag and like the free fibies
    All are well taking care off…. bus are there for us….. love the medal.. thanks

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    PeteSinCA REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Course Description: The 408K is named for the phone area code of San Jose, and the 8K distance of the race. Unlike other races run in central San Jose, the … MORE

    Course Description:
    The 408K is named for the phone area code of San Jose, and the 8K distance of the race. Unlike other races run in central San Jose, the 408K is a point-to-point course rather than an out-and-back or a loop. Runners start near – and run past – the HP Pavilion, home to the San Jose Sharks hockey team, and finish at Santana Row, a shopping and living complex. The course runs through a small business district, briefly, through some of San Jose’s nice older neighborhoods, and along two sides of San Jose’s Municipal Rose Garden, past an older middle school, around the back and side of a mall, and into Santana Row. Of the several races run in central San Jose, the 408K’s course is probably the nicest.

    Organization & Production:
    This was the 5th running of the 408K, and my fourth time doing it (I skipped the 2015 edition). Both the 2013 and 2014 editions had some organizational oopses that made those race experiences less than they might have been for me. This year was done well, from registering through leaving Santana Row.

    Online information was fairly complete (I never found mention of a finish area T-shirt pick-up, which was available) and registration was easy. Pre-race email communications were helpful. I paid to have the bib mailed to me, and it arrived more than a week pre-race; this is a nice option for those who live farther from San Jose, or who don’t want to go to Santana Row on the Friday evening or Saturday before the race.

    The parking at the HP Pavilion was $5. Everyone likes free, but $5 is not out of line for the entry/parking fee for the venues of many trail races I’ve done (many are $6). The Mountain View to Winchester line of VTA Light Rail has a couple of stops within easy walking distance of the HP Pavilion, so I got on at the Winchester station, and after finishing I walked the ~2.7 miles back to my car (I could have taken Light Rail back, but wanted the extra exercise).

    There were ample portacans convenient to the start area. Runners were corralled into 4 waves by expected finish time, with an extra initial wave of wheelchair racers. Aid stations were simple, water being what I remember, though sports drink may have been offered. The course was well marshaled by San Jose PD and volunteers; one would have had to try to go off course. There were encouraging residents here and there along the course, and along the final “Mariachi Mile” there were several bands.

    The finish area was well laid out. The finish arch was well down the Santana Row entry drive, and the people giving out water and medals were well separated from the arch and from each other (congestion was an unpleasant issue – to me – in the 2014 408K). The finishers’ lane continued and curved farther back, with stations for goodie bags and bananas, and then into the finishers’ area. There were a number of sponsors’ booths in the area, and a clearly visible and identified, well organized, pair of tables for T-shirt pick-up (this was another sore spot for me in the 2014 408K). For those who parked at the HP Pavilion there were shuttle buses to take runners back to the HP Pavilion. While I didn’t use this shuttle, a coworker who did the 408K did use the shuttle and told me that everything went well.

    Receiving my finish time in almost real time by email was a nice touch. All in all, everything was tightly organized and well done!

    Swag & Goodies:
    Goodies: I’ve already mentioned the goodies, to the extent there were some. They had bottles of water (not chilled, which was OK on a cool March morning) and cut up bananas. And there were some packaged snacks in the goodie bag – a fruit & nuts bar, some packaged nuts, some fruit gummies, and some corn thins. I don’t like bananas, so the fresh goodies were quite underwhelming to me. Getting a grocery store and/or a bakery to supply more fruit and some bagels and/or pastries would be a relatively easy (and common) improvement. On the other hand, the snacks in the goodies bag were more than I’m used to, so …

    Bib: The bib has the race name in isometric block characters, with the faces made to look like streets. In the middle of the “0” a shark fin is ripping through the number. Above is the logo of the race and the date. Across the lower part of the block characters is the bib number, with the racer’s name below the number. The bib numbers were color-coded to indicate the runner’s wave, and “Wave (#)” is in the top right corner.

    T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is a gray Under Armour Heat Gear tech shirt. The front has the same graphic as the bib, except in color. The road on the “40” is black, with orange center stripe on the “4”. The “8K” road is teal blue with white center striping. The shark fin is black, outlined in orange.

    The back has “5th Annual” over the race name/logo. Below the logo is the charity benefited by the race, the Pat Tillman Foundation, the race date, and the logos of the race sponsors.

    Finisher’s Medal: The medal can be hung from the ribbon, or it has a base so it can stand like a trophy. At the top are name/logo of the race. The lower 2/3 is a street with a shark fin sticking out of it. Visually it’s much more impressive than my description, though it doesn’t have the race date.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    I’m reasonably happy with my finish time. It wasn’t close to the PR I was hoping for, but my pace was faster than 15-minute miles, and I probably did as much actual running as I have in any previous race. That latter is one of the goals toward which I’m working this year.

    I’d love to see the 408K (Represent Running is the organizer) work out a sponsorship arrangement that would result in more and more varied fresh foods in the finish area. That said, everything the organizer tried to do was done very well, without glitches or rough spots. And the bling – the race T-shirt, finisher’s medal, and bib – are excellent! Would I consider doing the 408K again? Definitely. The less than well done experiences in 2013 and 2014 have been fixed, and Represent Running seems to have put together a formula that works well and yields an excellent race experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Barbara FIRST-TIMER '16

    Very well organized from bib pick up to parking at SAP to running and finishing and bus back to start. Aid stations on course. Nice finisher medal. I enjoyed it. MORE

    Very well organized from bib pick up to parking at SAP to running and finishing and bus back to start. Aid stations on course. Nice finisher medal. I enjoyed it.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
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    SWAG
    5

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    BayBritt FIRST-TIMER '15

    Very flat course. Fun post race area with lots of booths and good restaurants for a early lunch. The mariachi bands were my favorite part, very memorable. I did this … MORE

    Very flat course. Fun post race area with lots of booths and good restaurants for a early lunch. The mariachi bands were my favorite part, very memorable. I did this race as part of the I Run the Bay series. The medal cute with a shark (because hockey) wearing a sombrero dressed like a mariachi musician. If you’re up for a funny length race this one was pretty well orchestrated near I could tell. A little goodie bag at the end with some snacks.

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    4
    SCENERY
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    42kCookie FIRST-TIMER '15

    Registration: Super easy. I got the $39 opening special. Email updates get a little tedious after a while and I ended up getting 2 or 3 of the same thing … MORE

    Registration:

    Super easy. I got the $39 opening special. Email updates get a little tedious after a while and I ended up getting 2 or 3 of the same thing in the 2 weeks before the event.

    Packet Pick up:

    I really wish they had day of pick up as I live over an hours drive away and had to make the trek to San Jose twice in one weekend. That said it was really easy to get my packet, you just needed to know your bib number and they check it against your name. The TShirts are pretty cool and something I will actually wear.

    Course:

    Nice and flat. Nice addition to have the different ”miles” (Veteran / Mariachi). The mile markers were not completely accurate though (yup.. the serious Runner in me notices these things). Mile 2 was actually 1.1mi and mile 3 was just 0.9mi.

    The event started right on time as planned and without any hitches however I do think that some kind of enforcement of the waves has to be done. Upon coming to the start line there was no one checking bibs. I was put in wave 1 for my sub 8 min mile pace and standing at the start with about a dozen people deep in front of me I noticed a lot of the people around me were wearing bibs marked waves 2, 3 and even 4. Once we started it was also made clear that some people placed in wave 1 really should not have been there. I had to zig zag around people that were not going the correct pace for the wave. Had I been out to PR I would have been really pissed off.

    Post Race:

    I didn’t experience the ”hearding” that people had mentioned in previous years but I guess that could have been down to the fact I was one of the first 90 people to finish. There was some walk to the end to get our bibs but nothing major.

    The post race food was really lame and looking at the pictures from previous years I was expecting to get more than what I did – a bottle of Water, Apple and some Fruit chews. NO BANANA! Really? That gives me the sads. It’s common knowledge that Runners eat Banana’s. The occasional Orange slice, yes. Apples No. Unless they’re in some form of Pastry (Mmmm, Carbs).

    The medal is also pretty cool, it can be removed from the lanyard and used as a bottle opener and overall I am glad I can now mark this event off of my Running Bucket List but I doubt I will do it again. Way too far to come for what it is.

    Additional:

    This event is 1 or 3 of the ”Run the Bay” series challenge where if you complete all 3 events you get an additional medal.Other 2 events are the Across The Bay (12k or 5k) in San Francisco and Let’s Go 510 in Berkeley.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    PeteSinCA REPEAT RUNNER '14

    Course description: The 408K (named for Silicon Valley's original phone area code and the the race's 8K distance) is a benefit for the Pat Tillman Foundation. It was first run … MORE

    Course description:
    The 408K (named for Silicon Valley’s original phone area code and the the race’s 8K distance) is a benefit for the Pat Tillman Foundation. It was first run in 2012. The start is in central San Jose, uses many of the streets used by the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot and Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon, except it finishes at the Santana Row outdoor mall (i.e. it isn’t an out-and-back). Other than a freeway underpass or two the course has no hills, so it’s a fast, not especially scenic – nor especially unpleasant – course.

    Organization & Production:
    There are appropriate aid stations (four in 2015?) along the course with water and sports drink. There are groups of musicians and cheerleaders from local schools along the course, and mariachi bands in the final mile. The 408K is a mostly well-organized race, with a family friendly distance, time limit, and atmosphere.

    In 2014 I chose not to have the race T-shirt mailed to me with the bib (a service that costs extra). After the race, I had a little difficulty finding where the T-shirts were being given to finishers. When I did find the area, due to finishing toward the end of the race they no longer had my size. They took my name and info, and I got my T-shirt by mail two weeks later. The process worked, but it sort of felt like it was made up on the spot by the volunteers rather than something planned in advance. To some degree this less than excellent part of my race experience was due to the finish area size and layout (pretty much dictated to the organizers) and the large number of people who signed up just before or on race day.

    Judging by the 2015 webpages, packet pick-up and mailing are something with which the organizers are still tinkering. The 408K is a large race, with thousands of runners, getting bibs and T-shirts to as many as possible while accommodating late- and race-day registrants is something close to a logistical nightmare. Those who prefer to wear their race T-shirts during the race should choose pre-race packet pick-up or mailing options that permit that.

    The 2014 finish area, in my opinion, was too cramped for the size of the race. This discourages hanging out after the race to enjoy the goodies and activities. Thousands of spectators, finishers, and ordinary business patrons were all together in a relatively small area. It also brought some of the race-end activities close enough to where runners finish that congestion could have been caused, affecting finish times. This was not a problem in 2012 or 2013, whose finish areas were a slightly different area of Santana Row.

    So, the course is a point-to-point rather than an out-and-back, and tired finishers are some 5 miles from where they started. Now what? Well finishers could arrange to be picked up, or just run back to the start area. The 408K also has free shuttles to take finishers back to the start area. In 2014 the shuttles used the parking lots of the closed theaters across Winchester Blvd., and may have done the same in 2015. Personally, I got on the Light Rail at the Winchester Ave, turn-around and took it into downtown San Jose. After the race I walked several miles down Winchester Ave. back to the Light Rail station. I’m weird.

    Swag & Goodies:
    The race bling has evolved over its first 3 runnings (see pics). The first year, 2012, had a very nice tech race T-shirt, but no finishers’ medal. The 2013 T-shirt was tech, but the artwork looked like some one sized the artwork for a small child’s T-shirt but put it on an adult T-shirt. There was a finishers’ medal for 2013, but the design seems pretty gaudy and cheesy to me. In 2014 “somebody” got it right: the race T-shirt and finishers’ medal designs are excellent. I’ve seen pix of the bib, race T-shirt, and finishers’ medal for 2015. All are excellent: the finishers’ medal, to my taste, is even better than in 2014; the T-shirt is solid; where the 2014 bib had some artwork that was obscured by the medium-dark orange color, the 2015 bib has even more artwork, with a more neutral background color.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    The 8K distance is kind of unique. My 2014 time was a little better than 12:40 miles, with which I’m happy. I’ve been in 8 races over the past 2 1/4 years whose courses were in the same area of San Jose, so I gave the 408K a pass in 2015. But it is very convenient for me, and I may do it again. Like the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, this is not the kind of race to which one might ordinarily travel long distance to run, but it is pretty well organized, benefits a worthwhile charity, and is very accessible to runners in Silicon Valley and the South Bay.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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