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Wharf to Wharf

Sunday July 28th, 2019
Santa Cruz, California
Distance: 6 miles

Each year, on the fourth Sunday in July, thousands of runners from across America and around the globe return to Santa Cruz, California for the annual six-mile race to Capitola-by-the-Sea.

First run in 1973 by a handful of locals, the Wharf to Wharf Race today enjoys a gourmet reputation in running circles worldwide. Its scenic, seaside setting, perfect weather, and festive beach party atmosphere make it a favorite of casual joggers and elite athletes alike. Limited to 15,000 runners on a first-come-first-served basis, its field sells out months in advance. Runners are thrilled just to get in! While most come for sun, fun, and fitness reasons, serious athletes run to test their mettle against the best.

The race draws an elite, international field. Runners know that a good showing at Wharf to Wharf is a guaranteed boost to their running career. The roll of past champions numbers several Olympic stars. Widely acclaimed "The best little road race in California", Wharf to Wharf is the biggest summer event of its kind on the West Coast and a boon to local business, annually infusing more than four million dollars into the Santa Cruz County economy.

Industry figures calculate that it brings more than a million dollars annually to Santa Cruz County. It receives broad print and electronic media attention, is highlighted in all running industry publications as one of the top races in America, is broadcast live on radio and aired on local cable television throughout each year.

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Wharf to Wharf
Prize Money: $22,000

Race City Location Map - zoom in · zoom out · big map
displays approximate race location · Santa Cruz CA

My Best Runs Comments

Bob Anderson
I had heard so much about this race over the years. I ran this race as one of my 50 in 2012. Loved it! It sells out fast. Be sure to sign up at least three months in advance.
Steve Kettmann
I love this event - can't beat the backdrop, and the scene is fun. I do wish there weren't quite so many people on the course walking, even right at the start when they clearly got out there somehow before those of us running started.
Race Date: 07/22/2018 Distance: 6 miles
Division Time Name Age Home
Male 27:53.78 Ben Sever 23 CAPITOLA, CA
2nd Male 27:56.24 Craig Lutz 26 San Francisco, CA
3rd Male 28:00.02 Silas Kipruto 33 Kenya
4th Male 28:26.48 Scott Smith 32 Chicago, IL
Female 29:58.02 Caroline Rotich 34 Kenya
2nd Female 30:04.22 Delvine Meringor 25 Kenya
3rd Female 30:46.22 Monicah Ngige 25 Kenya
Division Time Name Age Home
M 40-49 32:25 Eric Aldrich 40 SANTA CRUZ CA
M 50-59 31:47 Joe Gianelli 58 APTOS CA
M 60-69 39:28 Steven Occhipinti 63 FELTON CA
M 70+ 34:38 Ron Jefferson 73 DINUBA CA
F 40-49 32:13 Melissa Strack 40 SCOTTS VALLEY CA
F 50-59 35:23 Jenny Hitchings 55 SACRAMENTO CA
Wharf to Wharf

The scenic six-mile race is run on gently rolling hills in local seaside streets. The weather conditions for race morning are typically perfect: cool, 60 degrees, calm and foggy, but by noon, the skies are clear and warm.

After a year of detour, which prevented the race from running along the Santa Cruz Harbor on Lake Ave./5th Ave., the race will return to its traditional route.

START:The race begins at the corner of Beach & Cliff St, near the Santa Cruz Wharf.

MILE 1:The first mile is flat and picturesque, as you run alongside the iconic Giant Dipper in front of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. At the end of the first mile, you reach the base of the races biggest hill – a fairly steep, yet short hill that overlooks the Pacific Ocean & Boardwalk.

MILE 2-4:The next 3 miles are gently rolling with frequent breezes as you dip in and out of ocean views.

MILE 5:Mile 5 is flat and hugs the coastline by the legendary surf spots, “The Hook“ and “Pleasure Point.”

MILE 6:The final mile drifts through local seaside streets… once the ocean reappears; it’s all downhill to the finish.

FINISH:The Finish Line is at the corner of Cliff & Wharf Rd by the Capitola Wharf.

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