Each year, on the fourth Sunday in July, thousands of runners from across America and around the globe return to Santa Cruz, California for the annual six-mile race to Capitola-by-the-Sea. First run in 1973 by a handful of locals, the Wharf to Wharf Race today enjoys a gourmet reputation in running circles worldwide. Its scenic, seaside setting, perfect weather, and festive beach party atmosphere make it a favorite of casual joggers and elite athletes alike. Limited to 16,000 runners on a first-come-first-served basis, its field sells out months in advance. Runners are thrilled just to get in!
While many come for sun, fun and fitness reasons, serious athletes run to test their mettle against the best. The race draws an elite, international field. Runners know that a good showing at Wharf to Wharf is a guaranteed boost to their running career. The roll of past champions includes a numbers of former Olympians.