California > Santa Cruz Half Marathon, 10K & 5K
Santa Cruz, CA • Sunday, April 13, 2014 • Course Map
Santa Cruz's West Cliff Drive, a beautifully scenic and windswept
coastal road along this Northern California city's rocky Pacific
coastline, serves as the course for much of the Santa Cruz Half
Marathon & 10K, a 13.1-mile road race event that takes runners
across a combination of paved city streets and walking and bike paths
through the parkland areas of Wilder Ranch State Park.
More than 3,800
runners and walkers crossed the finish line in both races combined in 2012,
including just a few finishers shy of 2,400 runners in the half marathon alone.
Hilly with a few steep climbs and descents in spots -- especially
around mile markers 4, 8 and 9 -- the out-and-back race starts and
finishes at the corner of Main and Beach Streets. From there, runners
follow the course as it heads south toward the coastline along West
Cliff Drive, and then north along Swanton Boulevard and Natural Bridges
Runners then follow the course as it turns west onto Coast Road
and then onto the path toward Wilder Ranch State Park, where they run
roughly two miles through the park as they make the turnaround and head
back toward the finish line in reverse along the course they've just
Past participants describe the scenery along the course as truly
breathtaking, but note that the finish on the sand at Cowell's Beach
can be quite an unwelcome and ploddingly difficult terrain on which to
finish for runners who've just run 13.1 miles. As California
resident and HalfMarthons.Net reader Brian H. put it in an email report
to us in 2007, "The only part that wasn't too
great was the finish line. You finish, after 13.1 miles and exhaustion
setting in, on sand! Your legs are already heavy and you have to trudge
through sand to get to the finish line. Then you finish and you look
for water and find it, moving off to the right. Then you want some food
and you have to look around and it is completely on the opposite side
of the water with no easy access.
He also loved the race overall, however: "This is a wonderfully
picturesque run and am very happy that I ran it. An out and back course
that follows the coast line and takes you on some trails that you would
never find in your car. Course difficulty wasn't too hard, only a few
spots with some hills. The first hill is literally right at the
beginning of the race, and then another about half way through is a
killer in steepness, luckily not too long. There weren't too many
spectators, and the water stations were spread out."
Weather & Climate
Situated along Northern California's scenic coastline just south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz enjoys a year-round mild climate, with cool to mild weather in April, a month that has brought record temperatures here as low as 31 degrees (in 1963) and as high as 94 degrees (in 1989).
||Day of Race
||Rain: 1.97 in.
||Snow: 0 in.
See the race route map for the Santa Cruz Half Marathon
8:00 AM - half marathon
8:15 AM - 10K
8:20 AM - 5K
$60 for the half marathon, if registered before January 6, 2014
$65 after Jan. 6
$75 after February 2
To reserve your spot in the spring 2014 running of the Santa Cruz Half Marathon or 10K race, register online at Active.com.
Official Race Website
Leave a Comment
Ever run in California's annual Santa Cruz Half Marathon or 10K? Share your impressions, stories and tips from the race. Post your review here.