There’s something appealing about the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon series that is unlike any other event. There are “groupies” who travel the world with Rock ‘n Roll and run many of their races. The San Jose Rock ‘n Roll 10K and Half Marathon Race was no different.
Why I Loved This Course
This is one of the best races I’ve done so far. The course is flat and fast. You run through downtown San Jose and then out to the neighborhoods. San Jose is nestled between two mountain ranges, DiabloMountain Range to the east and the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west.
Almost all of the San Jose homes are ranches and most go for $1 million+ dollars, because it’s situated in Silicon Valley. Most have lush plants on their property that grow nectarine, oranges, avocado, and more. So, as we were running, it was cool to see all of these plants doing so well, even though California is still in a draught.
The San Jose Rock ‘n Roll 10K and Half Marathon Race is very well organized. There are bands on practically every half mile mark. They range from traditional rock style bands, to dixie land jazz bands. Cheerleaders also line the streets cheering runners on.
The 10K runners are with the Half Marathon runners for the first five miles, then the race splits off.
Sponsors had a Great Presence
The sponsors had a great presence there too. My favorite was Brooks. They were a major event sponsor and had the initial booth when you entered the expo. They also had a huge presence on the field. There was a Brooks Running Man right in the middle of the course, of course, wearing Brooks sneakers!
Michelob Ultra also had a huge presence at the race. They sponsored some of the acts and gave out beer both at the VIP experience and after the race.
Running the Race with My Son
My son, Derek, and I ran this same race last year and we loved it. Derek is not a runner (yet). He ran it with me because he knows running is one of my passions. Derek goes to college in the Bay area and met me at Fairmont Hotel, which is directly across the street from the race.
We ran/walked the entire race. Since I wasn’t feeling well and hadn’t been since before the Hampton Half Marathon, I told him we had to take it very easy. I hadn’t run in a week because I was so sick and I didn’t want to get sicker. So, we took it at a very easy pace. Although I really wanted to PR this, I knew that it wasn’t in the cards this year. (I could barely breath, I was coughing so hard!)
Running with my son was an incredible experience. I was so happy. He did well too. He kept up with me and we crossed the finish line together!
The VIP Experience
Some people ask me if the VIP experience is worth the money. I can tell you this, at the San Jose Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon and 10K, it was definitely worth the extra money.
For starters, there is a continental breakfast in the morning with coffee. I had a whole wheat mini bagel with peanut butter. I was happy to get in my carbs and protein prior to the race. Following the race, there was a choice of different brunch items, along with sandwiches, Mimosas and Michelob Ultra (one of the sponsors).
The other and probably most important part of the VIP experience is the bathrooms. You get to use the rest rooms at the restaurant, as opposed to the Porta Potties on the street.
The VIP experience is held at McCormick and Schmick’s, a steakhouse that sits adjacent to the Fairmont Hotel. It was quite convenient!
Where to Stay in San Jose for the Half and 10K
Most of the runners were from surrounding areas. However, if you travel, which I suggest you do, there are major hotels around the area of start and finish of the race. The race finishes in front of Morton’s Steakhouse and in front of the Fairmont Hotel. We walked through the park, which had a ton of festivities, to our hotel. It was that convenient.
Would I recommend the San Jose 10K and Half Marathon to an out of towner? Absolutely!
There is something special about running through Silicon Valley, seeing tech company signs everywhere. The weather was perfect. It was in the mid-60’s, bright sunny day. The scenery was superb and the company was even better!
This was a great race and I’m sure the other Rock ‘n Roll Marathon races are just as good. My bucket list item is to go on tour with the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon around the country (and maybe even the world!).