FAQs

REMEMBER: Racers are responsible for knowing all race information and rules. 
If you have any questions you can contact us.

What is the race refund and/or transfer policy?

All race entries are non-transferable. All entrants agreed to our refund and transfer policy at the successful completion of online registration.

Refunds will be processed for medical reasons only.

Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing with a supporting doctor’s note no later than 72 hours prior to the event. You may email us here. A 50 percent credit towards next year’s race will be applied to your account.

If a relay team member is injured and unable to race on race day, a written cancellation request must be accompanied by a doctor’s note and submitted no later than 72 hours prior to the event  to allow the uninjured relay teams to re-register.  A full refund minus a $25 processing fee will be provided to relay teams if procedures are followed.

Under USA Triathlon rules, participants found racing under another person’s name will be disqualified and could be barred from USA Triathlon membership for one full year. Participants could also be barred from racing in future Santa Cruz Triathlons.

Can I have a friend pick-up my race packet on Saturday?

Yes, If you need to pick-up a fellow racers packet you will need to bring their picture ID and their valid USA Triathlon card (if they did not purchase a one day membership during registration).

For Relay team packet pick-up a picture ID and USA Triathlon card (or one day membership) is needed for each relay team member.

I am not a USA Triathlon member and do not want to be a member, why do I have to join?

USA Triathlon sanctions the Santa Cruz Triathlon, and USA Triathlon membership is required for all racers. You can purchase the one-day membership during registration and are encouraged to do so.

If you have a USA Triathlon membership card, you MUST bring it to pick up your race packet; otherwise you will be required to pay the $9 (or $27 relays) fee. Having this sanctioning we received sponsor benefits, insurance coverage and racers are able to receive points for their national ranking. The Santa Cruz is a non-profit race with all proceeds donated, this has allowed us to contribute more dollars back to the community and we thank you for this!

I am worried that I cannot make the race cutoff times because my wave starts later- can I start in an earlier wave?

Under race rules you must start with your assigned wave start. The Race cutoff times are due to the fact that the race has a limited time window that we are allow to have the roads closed.

In past years close to 100 percent of racers have met these cutoff times so we feel confident that you will be successful!

Are bike inspections mandatory?

Bike inspections are not mandatory and you may have your bike checked locally, however we are a local organization whose goal is to provide a safe venue. The simplest way to get bikes checked is at the Spokesman Bicycles downtown Santa Cruz. Bikes can be taken there during the month of September and get a bike check free of charge.

Do I need a wetsuit for the swim?

A wetsuit is strongly recommended for the swim course. The water is cold (less than 55 degrees) and there can be a current, and there can be swells and chop. Remember, a wetsuit is an advantage over not having a wetsuit.

How does the wave start work for the swim?

Because of the volume of swimmers, we start in waves at 5-minute intervals.

The first wave will start at 8 a.m. The wave will be posted on this website. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate swim cap for your wave and you cross over the timing mat at the swim area entrance.

Are there assigned bike racks in the transition area?

No, bike rack positions are first-come, first-serve.

Can I ride my bike in the transition area?

No. In order to get accurate recording from your chip you will need to walk your bike across the timing mat which will be placed at the bike exit and entrance to the transition area. As you come in from the bike course there will be a “dismount” line. You should be off your bike at this point to avoid a USA Triathlon penalty.

Where can I park?

The Santa Cruz Triathlon starts at Depot Park, 119 Center St., and finishes at nearby Dream Inn, 175 W. Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, CA. The transition area is located at Depot Park.

Parking

You can park in the neighborhood surrounding the transition area. The streets immediately surrounding the finish area will be closed. These are Gharkey, Centennial, Laguna, West Cliff Dr. between Bay and Gharkey and Bay Street between West Cliff and Laguna. Please try and be quiet when parking in this residential area, we want to be able to stage this event for many years. The nearby Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has several public lots and the daily parking fee is $10. If you park in a spot with a city meter you should note that parking meters are enforced on Sundays so plan accordingly.

Race Day Directions to Depot Park, 119 Center St.

  • From Hwy 1 or Hwy 17
  • Exit at Ocean Street heading south
  • Right onto Broadway
  • Left onto Center Street
  • Find parking in adjacent neighborhoods; pay attention to parking meters.

Race Day Directions to Boardwalk parking, 400 Beach St.

  • From Hwy 1 or Hwy 17
  • Exit at Ocean Street heading south
  • Right on San Lorenzo Blvd.
  • Left on Riverside Ave.
  • Follow city signs to Boardwalk parking areas

Who does the event benefit?

All the profits from this event support Santa Cruz County High School and College athletic programs. More than $1 million has been donated in the 31 years the race has run. This money was used to fund sports programs. Students from the organizations receiving money from the race serve as volunteers on race day. They appreciate your participation in this event!

If you have any further questions you can contact us.