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

What is the race refund and/or transfer policy?

All race entries are non-transferable. All entrants agree to our refund and transfer policy at the 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 process the request by emailing us. Credit towards next year’s race will be applied to your account at half rate.

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 team members 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?

Per USA Triathlon rules, you cannot have someone else pick up your packet. We offer three packet pickup options to best serve our racers.

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. If you have a USA Triathlon membership card, you must bring it to pick up your race packet; otherwise you will be required to purchase a one-day USA Triathlon membership. Having this sanctioning provides sponsor benefits, insurance coverage and racers are able to receive points for their national ranking.

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.  Water course closed by 10:40am. Bike course cut-off 11:30am. Course declared closed by 12:30pm.

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. Spokesman Bicycles, located in Downtown Santa Cruz, is a sponsor and offers a complimentary bike inspection. Bikes can be taken there during the month of September to get a bike check free of charge. All competitors are strongly urged to take advantage of the free bike inspection. Spokesman Bicycles, 231 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz, across the street from Packet Pickup. For better assistance, please call in advance (831) 429-6062. Walk-ins are ok too.

Do I need a wetsuit for the swim?

A wetsuit is strongly recommended for the swim course but not required. The water is cold (55-60 degrees), there can be a current, and there can be swells and chop. A wetsuit offers advantages of warmth and buoyancy.

How does the wave start work for the swim?

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

The first wave will start at 8 a.m. The start waves are posted on this website. Please see Swim Waves under Athlete Information for details. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate swim cap color for your wave and that you cross over the timing mat at the swim area entrance and exit.

Are there assigned bike racks in the transition area?

No, bike rack positions are first-come, first-serve. However, they are grouped by distance and/or type of race, i.e., Olympic/Sprint/Aquathon/Open and so forth.

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 is the Race?

The Santa Cruz Triathlon starts at Depot Park, 119 Center St., and finishes at Cowells Beach, Santa Cruz, CA. The transition area is located at Depot Park.

Where can I park?

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 be considerate of noise 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. Check out Park Mobile App for parking convenience.


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:

Aptos High girls’ tennis

Harbor High boys’ and girls’ basketball

San Lorenzo Valley High cross country

Scotts Valley High cross country and boys’ basketball

Pajaro Valley High wrestling and track & field

Soquel High soccer and basketball

Watsonville High wrestling and track & field

Kirby athletics

Cabrillo College water polo and swimming

UC Santa Cruz aquatics and cross country

Santa Cruz Track Club

Santa Cruz Triathlon Association

More than $1.5 million has been donated in the 35 years the race has run. Students from the organizations receiving money from the race serve as volunteers on race day. They appreciate your participation in this event!

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