Santa Cruz Firecracker 10K Recap

Santa Cruz is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to run. It's on the coast, it has beautiful parks, and it's just overall a fun place to visit. Plus, it's close and easy to drive to (assuming you don't hit that terrible weekend beach traffic that is.)

Earlier this year I volunteered for the Surfer's Path Marathon in Santa Cruz and decided that race would be my marathon goal in the spring. Last weekend we went trail running in Nisene Marks, which I think has some of the most awesome trails in the area. And yesterday, I ran the Firecracker 10K which is a combination of roads around Harvey West Park and trails in the park. Wonderful!

Kevin and I decided to do this event last weekend so it was pretty last minute for us. We were able to pick up our shirts and bibs at Fleet Feet Aptos last Sunday and that saved us a long line on race morning. They had race morning packet pick-up, but the line was so long they had to delay the race start by 15 minutes.

We made great time driving to Santa Cruz at that time of morning and parking at Harvey West was really easy, not to mention free. Aside from the start delay due to crowds for bib pick up, everything was great. It's a gun start, no chip timing at all. Easy, organized, and overall fun.

Pre-race, showing off my jet pop nails and patriotic headbands.

My favorite thing about the 10K course is that it's part road and part trail. That means it's quite a hard 10K course with a big hill climb and lots of dirt in the middle! I had no PR goals here (summer fun running time, remember?) but I did want to finish in under an hour. My road splits were great, trail climb splits much slower as expected, but I passed a ton of people on the trail section and after it so that felt good. The section on top of the hill in the park was gorgeous, trail surrounded by redwoods.

I didn't run with the Garmin and I'm starting to love this whole no-Garmin thing. To the best I remember from lapping on my Timex, my splits were:

Mile 1 - 8:45 (road)
Mile 2 - 8:55 (road)
Mile 3 - 11:xx (up the big, mile long hill)
Mile 4 - 10:xx (finishing the hill then trail)
Mile 5 - 8:08 (back to road)
Mile 6 - 7:56 (whee downhill!)
Finish time - 58:08

The highlights of the finish area were the popsicles and a pancake breakfast included on the race entry. Yum! Not a bad start to the 4th of July if I do say so myself. I think we'll be repeating this race in the coming years. Thanks for such a fun time Santa Cruz!


 And pancakes...

Hope everyone had a fun 4th of July!


  1. Congratulations!! That sounds like a pretty challenging course, and you killed it!

    I love your festive-ness :D

  2. I love your patriotic nails and headbands!

  3. awesome job! running without a garmin is so beneficial at times, its very relaxing. next step no watch at all?

  4. that sounds like a tough 10k!! sounds like you had fun though! happy 4th!


Post a Comment

Leave me a message!

Popular Posts