On July 23rd in 1973 a handful of locals got together for the first race and since then the event has grown dramatically. Today the Wharf to Wharf race has gained critical acclaim as being the one of the ‘Best Little Road Races in California’. Every summer on the fourth Sunday of July, thousands of runners and spectators alike come to Santa Cruz for the annual six-mile (or 10K) race, dubbed ‘Capitola-by-the-Sea’. It starts at Main Beach in Santa Cruz and finishes in Capitola.
Popularity of Wharf to Wharf
As the race grew in popularity, so did its business profile. As one of the biggest events of the summer, it is hugely beneficial to local businesses. It’s estimated that eight million dollars is infused into the economy of Santa Cruz as it attracts 16,000 runners (with a number of onlookers as well). The event is known to sell out months in advance, so people are thrilled to get the opportunity to participate. The race draws an elite group of athletes, some of the past champions include a number of runners who went on to compete in the Olympics.
What Wharf to Wharf is Like Today
The entire route is covered great views of the coast and different bands along the road side. Many volunteers stand along the sides with water stops and of course there are always plenty of people full of enthusiasm and crowd support. In 1980 the race became a registered non-profit organization that set out to promote fitness and health among the youth in the county. Because of this, proceeds have been distributed to a number of programs and special projects, including the development and maintenance of world-class tracks in Soquel, Aptos and Watsonville.
Today the Wharf to Wharf race has become more than just a group of runners. It’s become part of the local cultural fabric for those living in Santa Cruz and the surrounding area. The fourth Sunday of July has truly become a special date throughout Santa Cruz.
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