Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the Santa Cruz Firecracker 10K race? You may find your answer in our frequently asked questions section below. If not you can send us your questions by visiting our contact page.

  • What's the Rotary Connection?

    From 1985 through 2003 the Firecracker 10K was hosted by the City of Santa Cruz. When budget cuts threatened the race in 2004, the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary club stepped in and took over the tradition. The event is now completely run by Rotary. Proceeds of the event are used to fund charitable activities. Our featured beneficiary this year is LEO’s Haven, Santa Cruz County’s first inclusive playground.
  • How Difficult Is This Race?

    The Firecracker 10K is hilly and includes both road and trail sections. It definitely provides a challenging romp for the experienced athlete. But, it's also well marked, maintained and supported for even the most casual runner. The incomparable views of Santa Cruz and the entire Monterey Bay from the top of "the hill" alone make this race worthwhile.

    The Firecracker 5K is a certified flat and fast criterium style course that makes three loops inside the park and immediately surrounding Harvey West Business Park and has NO HILLS! The Kids' 1K is also flat and fast and stays inside the park and Business Park. We give you choices.
  • How Many Runners Do You Expect?

    This year we expect in excess of 850 runners for the 10K, but must limit the course to 1,000. We expect similar numbers for the 5K. SIGN UP EARLY to secure your spot (and save money-the price goes up on May 1)! We may very well sell out before Race Day this year.
  • How Do I Register?

    Registration is easy and fast. You can register online until 10:00pm on July 2nd. We anticipate a sell-out this year, so there will be Race-Day registration ONLY AS AVAILABLE. For information on Race-Day and other registration options visit the registration page early and often.
  • Is There A Bib Number Pick-up Before Race-day?


    On Saturday, June 30th, from 12 noon to 4 PM at the Kaiser Permanente Arena, 140 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

    On Sunday, July 1st, from 12 noon to 4 PM at Fleet Feet Aptos, 26 Rancho Del Mar, Aptos, CA 95003 OR
  • When and where can I get a race entry form that I can mail in?

    This year, we highly encourage online registration. It's fast, it's easy, and there's no savings to sending in a form because we're paying the processing charge this year for you! But if you really want to fill out a form by hand and incur the extra expense, you can print it from this website, fill it out, write your check and mail it in to us at Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary, P.O. Box 7026, Santa Cruz, CA 95061, but be sure to mail it early so that it arrives before June 28th, 2018.
  • What Else Do I Get For My Registration Fee?

    A legendary pancake breakfast (with bacon, eggs and coffee) put on by Santa Cruz Pop Warner, a race t-shirt (first 850 runners) and awards for top 3 finishers in 5-year age groups.
  • Can Non-runners Have Breakfast?

    Absolutely! Non-runners can enjoy the same pancake breakfast as runners for the pleasantly low price of only $5.
  • What Happens On Race Day?

    Pre-registered runners check-in, and race day registration from 6:30 - 7:45 AM (for 1K), 6:30 - 8:00 AM (5K/10K) at Harvey West Park, 326 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Race day registration runners pick up Bib Numbers at Registration on July 4th. Kids’ 1K run at 8:00 AM, 10K starts at 8:30 AM and 5K starts at 8:40 AM. 10K/5K/1K awards commencing at 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM.
  • Can My Kid(s) Run The 1K Without Me Running The 5K or 10K?

  • Is There Childcare For My Kid(s) While I'm Running The 10K?

    Sorry, we do not provide childcare during the 10k. Bring a friend or family member to enjoy the festivities and to keep an eye on junior while you run the big race. Additional breakfast tickets can be purchased for non-runners.
  • What Are The Awards?

    An award is given for the 1st through 3rd place finishers in each 5-year category. A certificate for a pair of shoes provided by Fleet Feet Sports will be given to the first overall male and female, overall age-graded winner and first school-age boy and girl in the 5K and 10K races. Other merchandise prizes will be awarded to the overall race Male and Female winners of the 5K and 10K races.
  • Are There Awards For The Kid's 1K?

    You bet. Every kid that finishes the Kids' 1K receives a blue ribbon, a goody bag and a popsicle!
  • Is There A Cancellation Policy?

    Sorry, no refunds. The Firecracker Races are a fundraiser for the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary Club with all the proceeds going back to the community and other deserving Rotary beneficiaries, including this year's featured beneficiaries.
  • How Do I Get There?

    The run begins and ends at Harvey West Park, 326 Evergreen St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

    From San Jose, take Hwy 17 to Santa Cruz: Follow the signs to Hwy 1 North. Turn RIGHT at River Street (the first stop light)...

    From points south on Hwy 1 (e.g., Monterey), take Hwy 1 north to Santa Cruz. Stay on 1 North around the "fish hook". Turn RIGHT at River Street (the first stop light)...

    From points north on Hwy 1 (e.g., San Francisco), continue on HWY 1 South through the west side of Santa Cruz. Turn LEFT at River Street (Hot Springs Spa store will be on your right)...

    Once on River Street, follow the signs to the Firecracker 10K.
  • How Early Should I Arrive?

    7:00 a.m. if you haven't pre-registered (and the Races aren't SOLD OUT). Otherwise, plan to give yourself plenty of time to park, stretch and prepare for your race.
  • What Is The Situation With Parking?

    Free parking is available at Costco (via the Sylvania Avenue entrance) and along Sylvania Avenue. Enter Harvey West Park via Encinal @ Hwy 9 and then turn left on Sylvania and park on Sylvania or in the Costco parking lot via the Sylvania Avenue entrance. Costco is closed on July 4th, so there is plenty of parking at Costco. But arrive early to avoid the race-day rush and leave time for the short walk/jog to the registration tables near the Harvey West pool.
  • Are Strollers Or Dogs Allowed?

    Strollers are only allowed in the 5K. We ask that runners/walkers with strollers start at the back of the pack to avoid the crush. Dogs are not allowed. Sorry :(
  • What Kind Of Weather Can I Expect?

    You just can't beat the weather in Santa Cruz on the 4th of July! Look for temperatures ranging from lows in the mid-50's to highs in the 70's and 80's. Occasionally, there will be early morning fog on the coast but it usually doesn't make it as far inland as Harvey West Park and should burn off by late morning. The cool mornings make for perfect running conditions.
  • Will The Race Be Cancelled If The Weather Is Bad?

    No. Rain, shine or fog... we run!
  • Are You Affiliated With The Wharf to Wharf?

    The Firecracker10K and Kid's 1K is a benefit event hosted by the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary Club. Although members of the Santa Cruz Firecracker 10K/ 5K organizing committee are also active participants in the Wharf to Wharf and help out with the Wharf to Wharf race packet stuffing, it is an entirely independent race.
  • What Else Is There To Do In Santa Cruz?

    Here are just a few suggestions for things to do in Santa Cruz:

    • Go to the Beach Boardwalk. Ride the roller coaster and eat dippin dots. (
    • Visit Roaring Camp and ride the narrow gauge steam train through the redwoods. (
    • Check out the Mystery Spot. (
    • Picnic in the Forest of Nisene State Park, Henry Cowell or Big Basin.
    • Visit Seabright Beach.
    • Take a walk along West Cliff and watch the surfers. Visit the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum at Lighthouse Point.
    • Take a stroll down Pacific Avenue for some unique shopping, then take in a movie at one of several downtown movie theaters.
    • Picnic in the Forest of Nisene State Park, Henry Cowell or Big Basin.
    • Drive north to Davenport and do some whale watching.
    • Attend a Cabrillo Stage Performance. (
    • Check out the Aptos 4th of July Parade.
    • Play a round of golf at DeLaveaga or Pasatiempo.
  • I Want To Spend The Night. Can You Recommend A Place To Stay?

    There are many fine places to stay in Santa Cruz with camping, B&B's and many nice hotels available. Obviously, the 4th is a busy weekend so make your reservations early. The Visitors and Convention Bureau is a good resource. 1-800-833-3494.
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