It’s Sunday, March 1, a beautiful and sunny California morning and thousands of runners made their way on an 8K run/walk from San Jose’s SAP CENTER (aka Shark Tank), through some of San Jose’s more charming neighborhoods, to the outdoor shopping mecca, Santana Row, as part of the 4th Annual San Jose 408K RACE TO THE ROW.
In addition to being a fun race, the quirky running event features lots of things you won’t find at every race event. Here’s a quick list of a few highlights from the 2015 event:
Pat Tillman Foundation: For the fourth year, the San Jose 408K has designated the Pat Tillman Foundation as the official benefitting charity from this year’s race. Tillman was the first professional football player to be killed in combat since 1970. Tillman was posthumously promoted from Specialist to Corporal. He also received posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart medals. The Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships – building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. With the efforts of all of the people who joined Team Tillman, the 2014 San Jose 408k has raised over $35,000.00 to benefit the Tillman Military Scholars program. This year we hope they’ll raise much more.
Mariachis: Yes, mariachis. Real ones. Celebrating traditional Mexican folk music, in full native costume, alongside the road in the Mariachi Mile. There’s nothing like a little happy tune to push you to the finish line.
The Memorial Mile: Well-wishers lined a mile-long segment of this year’s race in support of veterans and active military personnel. Race officials bussed veterans to a spot near San Jose’s Rose Garden to help them join the group. Lots of smiles there today.
A Kid’s Race: The 408Kids Race is held just after the completion of the 8k. The little ones scamper on an out and back, 1/2 mile course through the heart of Santana Row. The event was open to anyone 12 and under. Parents ran next to their kids, pretended they were paparazzi, or just basked in the glow of seeing their kids do something healthy.
FREE Post-Race Massage: For the second year in a row, Silicon Valley Massage Therapy offer free post-event sports massage at the finish line. More than 180 runners took advantage of the freebie opportunity to recover more quickly from the run. From the looks of the line and the happy faces coming out of the massage tents, runners really valued and enjoyed the work of SVMTG team members, supported by massage therapy students in training from nearby National Holistic Institute.
The 408k is a benchmark in the beginning of a very busy running season in the Bay Area. We greeted hundreds of people who made this their first running event ever. Next year’s event should be just as much fun. Start training NOW!