Instructions

Santa Cruz Triathlon will continue to provide timing chips for accurate and prompt reporting of split times. We are a USA Triathlon sanctioned race. Sanctioning provides our competitors with national ranking. The Santa Cruz Triathlon is an International Distance race.

Remember, you are responsible for knowing race instructions and rules!

If you have questions, please email us here.

Overview for all Athletes | Relay Teams | Rules

Overview for all Athletes

  1. You must pick up your race number, timing chip, swim cap, T-shirt and other materials at a packet pickup event the week before the race. There is packet pickup on race morning for an additional fee ($15). Select race-day packet pickup when you sign up on Active.com.
  2. Bring your valid ID and USA Triathlon card to race number packet pick-up. If you do not have your valid USA Triathlon card with you, you will be required to sign up for a one-day license. A one-day license is $12. This year each relay participant team member must show payment for the $12 one-day fee unless you have a USA Triathlon annual membership card.
  3. There is no required bike check for the Santa Cruz Triathlon. All competitors are strongly urged to take advantage of the free bike inspections which are available in advance at The Spokesman Bicycles, 231 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz, (831) 429-6062.
  4. Make sure that you wear the race numbers and timing chip given to you. You will receive a timing chip and two numbers at the packet pick-up. The bicycle frame number goes on your bicycle’s top tube, just behind the handlebars. The bib number must be worn on the front of your body during the entire run portion of the event. You will be body-marked on race morning before the swim. Body-marking will start at 6 am.
  5. Review the race course before the race. It is the responsibility of each athlete to know the race course and any potential hazards which may exist on it. Note: Any course changes will be covered in the mandatory pre-race meeting on Main Beach at Lifeguard Tower #3 at 7:45 a.m. See course maps page »
  6. For safety reasons there will be a corral for swim waves starts. You will cross a timing mat as you enter the water to account for you going in and then you will cross over a timing mat when leaving the water. If for some reason you drop out of the race, please let a race official know so they know you are safe. To begin your swim you must cross over a timing mat in a fenced-in area on the beach. You must also cross over a timing mat leaving the water.
  7. Wetsuits will be allowed and are strongly encouraged. The water temperature is expected to be between 50-60 degrees.
  8. Racking of bikes in transition area is first come first served. Your bike must be on a bike rack. Please do not use more than one space for your transition area. All bike racks must be used to maximum capacity. Your transition gear will be moved if you use more than your allotted room.
  9. Athletes can walk or run–not ride–their bikes through the transition area. Chip timing is being used and Racers need to walk/run their bike across the timing mat coming in and leaving the transition area to record their time. This is also a safety issue in the transition area.
  10. Please review the bike course map.
  11. The roads are open to traffic. Ride on the right hand side of the road unless instructed by a police officer or race official.
  12. Water and Gatorade Endurance Formula will be available on the bike course.
  13. There will be water and Gatorade Endurance Formula available on the run course at mile 2, the turn around, and mile 4.
  14. Timing chips must be turned in at the finish line or athlete will be responsible for the cost of the timing chip.

Special Instructions for Relay Teams

  1. Each relay team member must pay for a one-day USA Triathlon race day license ($12.00) unless they have a USA Triathlon annual membership card. Each relay team member must bring a valid ID and USA Triathlon card to race packet pick-up. A $12 fee will be required from each relay team member without a USA Triathlon card.
  2. Each relay team will receive one race timing chip.
  3. The timing chip is passed on to team member after they finish their event.
  4. The timing chip must be worn on the left ankle by each relay team member in order for timing mats to record the time.
  5. The race timing chip must be relayed from swimmer to cyclist to runner during the race. The timing chip must record each split or relay team will be disqualified.
  6. Relay teams will have a separate fenced area adjacent to the main transition area to rack bikes. The racks will be located in Depot Park.
  7. The Relay Team Transition area will open at 6:30 a.m.

Rules and Instructions

SWIM RULES:

Final instructions will be delivered on the Main Beach by Lifeguard Tower No. 3 at 7:45 a.m. sharp. This is a mandatory meeting for all individual and team competitors. Wave-start lineup begins at 7:55 a.m. and no warm-up in the water will be allowed after this time.

Make sure you cross over the timing mat on as you enter the wave start line-up. To begin your swim, you must cross over a timing mat in a fenced-in area on the beach. You must also cross over a timing mat leaving the water.

The first wave of swimmers goes off at 8:00 a.m. and will proceed on time, with or without you. It is mandatory that you start only at your designated time. See Swim Waves. All swimmers must wear the official race swim cap of appropriate color provided and extra caps will be available on the beach.

If you need help during the swim, raise one arm or yell to a lifeguard for assistance.

Wetsuits are strongly recommended. The water temperature is expected to be between 50-60 degrees. No other swim or flotation devices may be used. Do not dive into shallow water. Upon exiting, swimmers will be guided to the transition area. Relay swimmers must proceed to the “tag zone” transition area.

BIKE RULES:

Cyclists are required to wear a helmet that complies with USCPSC Safety Standards for bicycle helmets. The approved helmet must be fastened at all times while on the bike.

You must rack your bike in the transition area on a bike rack. Racking of bikes in transition area is first come first served.

Your bike must be on a bike rack. Please do not use more than one rack space for your transition area. All bike racks must be used to maximum capacity. Your transition gear will be moved if you use more than your allotted room space.

This is not a closed bike course. Cyclists should be aware of vehicular traffic, stay to the right, and stay in the bike lanes at all times where they are available. Upon exiting transition area, cyclists must obey all traffic laws.

Cyclists are reminded to follow all rules and traffic laws unless directed to do otherwise by a uniformed peace officer or race official. The USA Triathlon officials will be active on Highway 1 and will enforce all race rules. Cyclists must follow instructions of race officials, volunteers and law enforcement officers at all times.

No drafting is allowed at any time (see below). USAT officials will monitor the course. Cyclists must wear approved helmets, which must be fastened at all times when on the bike. Water and Gatorade Endurance Formula will be available in Davenport at the turn-around point in plastic water bottles. No private vehicles or assistance to riders will be allowed on the bike course, including Highway 1. Failure to obey this rule will result in disqualification.

DRAFTING:

The drafting rule that will be enforced is a simple one: cyclists may not ride within three bike lengths of the rider in front of them or within three feet of a rider to the side. Cyclists have 15 seconds to complete a pass through this “drafting zone”. A cyclist must back off three bike lengths as soon as the front wheel of the passing rider moves ahead of his/her bike.

RUN:

The run is on West Cliff Drive foot and bike paths to the turnaround/aid station just before Delaware Avenue by Natural Bridges State Park. To insure that every racer runs the same distance, running on the street (except in the start/finish area and in the bike lane on Swanton Street at Natural Bridges State Park) is prohibited and may result in disqualification. Stay to the right at all times and be aware of pedestrian traffic on paths. Water stations will be available at mile 2 at Stockton Ave., the turn-around point and mile 4 at Stockton Ave. (both out and back).

NUMBERS:

Only numbered athletes will be allowed in and out of the transition areas. Athletes must wear their race number on their upper left arm, upper right leg, front of their body and on their bike frame behind handlebars. Please identify all equipment, such as your wetsuits, with name or race number. Race committee and sponsors of The Santa Cruz Triathlon are not responsible for lost or stolen equipment. Only numbered athletes will be allowed to remove bikes from transition area. As stated earlier, bikes must have number tags and runner must wear bib number.

MEDICAL:

Medical teams provided by Dominican Hospital will be located stationed at the end of the swim in the transition area. Medical assistance provided by the Davenport Fire Department will be at the bike turn-around point. If you witness an accident, or in the case of an emergency, notify race marshals or go to the nearest telephone and dial 9-1-1.

TIMING:

All preliminary times will be posted in the finish line area on race day as soon as possible. Complete results of every official finisher will be published via this website as soon as the official records are made available by our timing company. You may also visit and our results page.

AWARDS:

Finisher medals will be awarded to all competitors in the finish line chute after they have completed the race. Awards will be given to the top three finishers of each age group.

FINALLY…

NOTE: Athletes must arrive at the transition area by 6:45 a.m. at the latest in order to guarantee enough time to be numbered and be able to attend final instructions on the beach at 7:45 a.m.

No outside help or assistance is allowed while you are competing. Once the race starts, you may receive no outside help or assistance, unless you drop out of the competition. If you drop out, contact the race officials as soon as possible and do not cross the finish line.

No private vehicles or assistance to riders will be allowed on the bike course, including Highway 1. Failure to obey this rule will result in disqualification.

Due to race permit requirements, cut-off times will be in effect throughout the race. See Race Schedule for details. To be allowed to continue in the race, all swimmers must be out of the water by 10:00 am, all cyclists off the bike course by 11:30 a.m. The race will officially end and the run course declared closed at 12:30 p.m. All equipment must be removed from the transition area by 1 p.m.

The race will be governed by safety standards and competitive rules as set forth in the Competitive Rules of USA Triathlon.

USA Triathlon officials will enforce all rules. Under USA triathlon rules any protest of a penalty must be filed within 60 minutes of the athlete’s completion of the race. The Rule violation report will be posted on the results board, which will be located in the finish line area. The Head Referee is responsible for addressing any rule protest.

The Santa Cruz Triathlon is a non-profit event. Proceeds from the event are donated to the athletic programs of UC Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz County high schools, Santa Cruz Track Club, and the Santa Cruz Triathlon Association.

If you have any questions, contact us.