NEW course, start time, and energy… same ol’ sass

As one of the largest all women’s races in the USA, Santa Cruz is constantly working on ways to improve safety of our participants. There are many factors we consider when planning a course. We often propose our dream course, but that doesn’t always get approved by local jurisdictions. For those of you that have ever lived in a place where your road has been closed down for a race, please know that your city officials are looking out for you. Many times courses that we want don’t get approved due to City Officials priority of respecting local residents and traffic. As a race director, sometimes it can be frustrating, but as a human it’s refreshing.

Every year, as the race goes off we say a little prayer for the fun and safety for all the participants. As our field has grown, it now takes about 15 minutes for all participants to cross over the start line. In past years, our start line and finish line have been in the same location so as the last group of people are starting the race, sometimes the fastest woman in the 5k is just about to finish (can you see how that could be a disaster?) Luckily, every year in the past these groups have been like ships in the night, passing at the perfect moment so no collisions have ever happened. But year after year it’s one of our greatest worries.

We are THRILLED (as in I jumped up and down when I got the news!) to announce that this year, Santa Cruz will be starting on Beach St. in front of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (in front of the Log ride to be exact!) and finishing where the finish line has been in past years. Please check out the NEW course here.

You know what else is new, the race time. We are pushing back the race 30 minutes. The start time of BOTH the 5k and 10k (yes they start together as usual) is 8:30am. Why is this? To be honest, sound compliance for events is 8am. Each year we have broken this rule, and I cringe as I turn our music at 7:30am as I know someone is going to be upset. But you have to have music at a start line (it would be like going to a club with no music- how would you dance?!) So instead of breaking rules, we are going to let you sleep in a little longer AND give you a little extra something to wake up for. You should plan on arriving no later than 7:30am! Besides having the sassy, amazing, happy, and bad ass Jenny Schatzle take our stage for the warm up, we’ve got another great way to make your morning the best, ever. Guess you’ll have to show up to the start line to find out;)

I can’t end this post without saying how RAD our finish festival is going to be either.

This race is currently 87% full and projected to sell out in the beginning of March. If you haven’t registered yet:

Here are some of the anticipated common questions we’re imagining:

Where do we park?

There’s a lot of options. Parking in the Santa Cruz Boardwalk is probably your best best (we have shuttled people from here to the old starting line in the past). It’s located a few blocks from the NEW starting line and we will be offering shuttles from 9am-noon after the race , from our finish festival location back to this lot. So you would park at the Boardwalk, walk or jog to the starting line, run or walk the race, enjoy the post race festival and then grab the shuttle and get a ride back to your car.

If I want to walk back to my car after the race, how far is the Santa Cruz Boardwalk parking lot from the finish area?

It’s about 1.5 miles along the coast! If you are planning to get some breakfast at Ideal Bar and Grill afterwards, this walk or jog could be split up by an omelet 🙂

Will there be a lot of port-a-potties at the start line, like there normally is?

Heck yes.

Where should my family and friends go to watch?

We recommend they watch somewhere near the Dream Inn, by the Surfer Statue (located at the corner of  West Cliff Drive and Pelton Ave), or go directly to the finish line.

Any other questions please send to so we can add them to our list. If you have a questions, chances are someone else probably does too!15793030_race_0.15403005708417172.display


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