Get Lost!! Running, Racing
Road ID RRS 4th Thursday Adventure Run

Discover a new neighborhood... or one you thought you knew well!!

Preliminary results.

Street Scramble participants start the race in 2012Santa Cruz Street Scramble
Urban Adventure Hunt

Explore the streets of Santa Cruz, as well as parts of Capitola, Live Oak, Soquel, and UCSC!

Forty-five locations are circled on a map. On foot or bike, how many can you visit in 90 minutes? in 3 hours? or in 7 hours?? Score points by visiting checkpoints in any order, and answer a simple question to prove you were there. Those who score the most are the winners! Be competitive or casual; go team or solo. Fun for families, runners, cyclists, and anyone who likes to explore!! Awards and refreshments at the finish.

The Giant Dipper rollercoasterLocation and Schedule

On Saturday, 27 April 2013, three event durations will be offered: 7 hours, 3 hours, and 90 minutes. You can do either on foot or on bike. The headquarters will be at Louden Nelson Community Center.

This is the third annual Santa Cruz Street Scramble. Check out the description and our calendar of Street Scramble events!

This event is the eleventh in the 2012/2013 Urban Adventure Hunt series, and your next chance to collect points and win a trip to the series Final, the San Francisco Night & Day Challenge.

Event schedule:

09:30  Registration and check-in open,
       Louden Nelson Center
10:00  Maps are available for route
10:40  Briefing and instructions
11:00  Start, all divisions,
       foot and bike
12:30  Finish, 90-minute divisions
12:45  Light lunch service starts
13:00  Awards, 90-minute divisions
14:00  Finish, 3-hour divisions
14:30  Awards, 3-hour divisions
18:00  Finish, 7-hour divisions
18:10  Awards, 7-hour divisions
Google map
View Larger Map

Transit directions: VTA Highway 17 bus or Greyhound to Santa Cruz. Louden Nelson Community Center is a 4-minute walk from the Metro transit center on Pacific Avenue.

You will score checkpoint visits by texting us the answer to the question on your scorecard. Checkpoint visits will be instantly tabulated, and scores available upon the teams' return. If you'd rather not use the cellphone for any reason, you can instead circle answers on the paper scorecard. More details are here...

This is the map that was used for last year's Santa Cruz Street Scramble:

Santa Cruz Street Scramble 2012 map

Our Sponsors!!

This event has been made possible by the following businesses and organizations. We are delighted to offer a sampling of their products as prizes for this event. Please patronize their offerings and services, and contribute to their programs:

The mission of Road ID is twofold: One, to educate outdoor enthusiasts about the importance of wearing ID. Two, to provide these athletes with innovative identification products that they will want to include as part of their gear. The dream of Road ID is to see the day where wearing ID is as common among athletes as wearing a seatbelt is among motorists.

Road ID
RRS 3rd Thursday Adventure Run

Road Runner Sports' Fourth Thursday Adventure Runs, held at the San Carlos store, are a total blast!

Seattle's Meridian Geographics is an active outdoor lifestyle company. It produces the Street Scramble, Northwest Trail Runs, and BEAST Adventure Race series. Its showcase events are the annual Seattle and San Francisco Night & Day challenges, and the Rock Creek Ramble, Three15er, and Big Tahoma rogaines.


o21e makes a line of clothing for adventure running sports in Los Angeles, California.

Scarborough Orienteering, aka, is a leading vendor of equipment. They carry compasses, SPORTident cards, Inov-8™ shoes, and other gear and produce their own line of o21e suits, club uniforms, and gaiters. also offers map and compass instruction and group outings, including orienteering and team-building training, as corporate offsites.

The Street Scramble Experience

Street Scramble races can be enjoyed by anyone who (a) can travel under their own power for 90 minutes—walking, running, biking, or moving in a wheelchair; (b) can follow a street map; and (c) likes to explore.

(Strollers and power wheelchairs are OK for those who need them. If you can't read a map, you can be on a team with someone who can.)

When you arrive at a Street Scramble event, you will check in (some events don't sell out and allow onsite registration). Then, an hour before the start time, you will receive a map with thirty (or so) checkpoint locations circled. Each circle has a number between 10 and 99. The point value of the checkpoint is equal to its number rounded down to the tens; for example, Checkpoint 35 is worth 30 points; Checkpoint 12 is worth 10 points. The back of your map will have a description of a feature to be found at each checkpoint, such as "Statue" or "Pier". You will also receive a scorecard with the same information as on the back of your map; use this scorecard if you are not using electronic scoring.

You (together with your team, if you have a team) will then plan which checkpoints you will try to visit, and in what order. You can visit as many or as few checkpoints as you want, and in any order. Your team will need to stay together at all times. You can change your plan as you go along, but it's very helpful to at least start with some kind of plan.

About 20 minutes before the start there will be a pre-Scramble-race briefing, at which the event director will review rules and safety. There will be a countdown to the start, after which you will head out to visit checkpoints. Again, your team must stay together at all times. Checkpoints are found at the precise centers of the circles on the map. When you arrive at a checkpoint location, look for the feature described on the back of your map.

At most locations, you will need to answer a simple multiple-choice question, found on the back of your map and on your scorecard, to prove you were there. Example:

35   Statue, NE side: What is the last word on the plaque?
(a) Arts   (b) Commission   (c) Space

If you are not using the electronic scoring system, circle the correct answer on your scorecard and proceed to another checkpoint. Also write down the time of your checkpoint visit.

We offer two electronic ways to record your checkpoint visits. One option will only be available at select checkpoints that are at locations of participating businesses, and only to those entrants who have a smartphone capable of recognizing QR codes, and the necessary phone app. Simply snap a picture of the code and get on your way!
If you don't have the hardware or the app, just answer the multiple-choice question.

The other electronic option is available at all checkpoints, and involves sending us, the organizers, a text message with your answer to the question on the back of the map. For example, suppose you are Team 191 and the correct answer to the question at Checkpoint 35 is (a), "Arts". You will send, to the phone number we provide at registration, a message with the text

Street Scramble participants start the race in 2012
35 A

and you will get back a confirmation message that says

Team 191 Checkpoint 35 Answer A at 10:31:23.

To participate in the 90-minute division, you must return to the event center within 90 minutes. To participate in the 3-hour option, return within 3 hours; and within 7 hours, for the 7-hour option. You can decide which option you want while you're out there, with one exception: you cannot upgrade to the 7-hour option from a shorter course. Returning on time requires planning!

Our maps run the gamut from specially surveyed and produced city and wilderness maps to improved USGS topographic maps, and sometimes include off-the-shelf (off-the-screen?) maps. We use information from a variety of sources. Our maps only have a few street names on them, so it will be important for you to keep track of where you are on the map.

It is perfectly fine to utilize other maps you may bring, or to look at a map on your smartphone. You can also use the phone's GPS; any GPS units, altimeters, and pedometers are all fair game—but please don't get so distracted by the gadgets as to lose track of vehicle traffic!

When you return, you will turn in your scorecard; if you used electronic scoring, your score will be ready and waiting for you. (In case your phone turns out to be less sweat-resistant than you thought, we can handle answers that are partially submitted electronically and partially handwritten.) All team members must finish together at the same time; your official finish time is when the last team member arrives at the finish line. It is important to be on time because you will lose points for each minute you are late. We will keep your scorecard, but you get to take your map home with you. If your answers are handwritten, we will tally your score while you enjoy refreshments, included in your entry fee. After refreshments, awards will be given out for those with the highest scores in different divisions and categories.

As a minimum, we will award the best men, women, and mixed teams in the following categories: Juniors (each team member must be 20 years of age or younger on 31 December 2013), Masters (40 or older on 31 December 2013), and Open. Awards will also be given to the best family teams; a family team is one that has anyone 20 years of age or younger, and also someone 21 years of age or older.

If you have further questions, you may be able to find answers to them on the Equipment and Detailed Rules pages.

Entry and Registration

Santa Cruz Street Scramble 2012 shirt designThe first 50 teams to enter get technical-fabric T shirts with the Street Scramble design. That's right, a complimentary shirt for each and every team member! Please select the shirt size during the registration process. These shirts can be obtained at the event only if we do not sell out, or if there are cancellations. If you would rather not have another shirt—even as cool as this—we offer a discount.

The design shown is for the 2012 event. Designs for the 2013 series will be different enough that you won't regret obtaining a shirt if you already have a 2011 or 2012 Street Scramble T shirt.

Pre-registration is open. Team members may enter together (be entered by the same person), or separately. If you would like to go with a team, but don't know your teammates' names yet, you can enter yourself and other members can join the team at a later time.

As with all events by Get Lost!!, fees for teams, including families, are capped. Three, four, or five people enter at the team price; each team member gets a map. The fees are:
90-minute event Individual Team        Cal-ARA Team
Enter and pay on or before Monday 01 April $39.00 $74.00 $66.60
Enter and pay on or before Monday 22 April $44.00 $84.00 $75.60
Enter and pay on or after Tuesday 23 April $54.00 $104.00 $93.60
3-hour event Individual Team        Cal-ARA Team
Enter and pay on or before Monday 01 April $39.00 $74.00 $66.60
Enter and pay on or before Monday 22 April $44.00 $84.00 $75.60
Enter and pay on or after Tuesday 23 April $54.00 $104.00 $93.60
7-hour event Individual Team        Cal-ARA Team
Enter and pay on or before Monday 01 April $59.00 $114.00 $102.60
Enter and pay on or before Monday 22 April $64.00 $124.00 $111.60
Enter and pay on or after Tuesday 23 April $79.00 $154.00 $138.60

Fine print: Each team member of the first 50 teams that enter must be entered by the last entry deadline in order to be guaranteed a shirt in her/his size. Because of the lead time involved in printing the shirts, it is not possible for us to provide shirts to late-entering participants.

More fine print: Team member additions after the deadline increase the price, so as to account for the extra cost associated with providing supplies and insurance to the participants at the last moment. Team member substitutions are always free.


On top of these prices, we offer the following discounts:

Bay Area OC member registering her/himself $5.00
No shirt(s) $7.00 individual, $14.00 team
Family (at least one participant age 20 or under) $10.00 per team

The BAOC discount only applies to individuals, not teams. That is, a registration for two people who are both BAOC members will cost less than the team price. A three-person team is always best off taking the team deal.


  • California ARA team of 4, standard registration including shirts: $21.15 per person
  • BAOC member going solo, early registration, no shirt: $27.00
  • Family of 3, day-of-event registration, no shirts: $30.00 per person

These discounts are taken and combined automatically by the registration system. Make sure to indicate the team association, individual participant's club membership, and the correct (or at least approximately correct) ages for the team members.

We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and DiscoverWe accept credit cards online through Google Checkout, and cash, checks, and credit cards on site.

Go register!!

Event-Day Information

1. Parking

Free permits are available to Community Center patrons for nearby parking posted with signs saying "LNCC Permit Valid". These permits are valid only during Center operating hours and when attending activities at Louden Nelson. Please inquire at the front desk.

The registration will open at 9:30 am.

2. Safety

Safety is our first priority. All cyclists must wear a helmet and stop at all stop signs and red lights. The busiest street in Santa Cruz is Mission Street, aka Highway 1. A portion of Highway 1 is a freeway and is out of bounds, and shown so. Places where you can cross it are highlighted with red arrows.

In the eastern part of the area (Live Oak), several streets are cut in half by Highway 1; it may look on the map like they connect via tunnels, but they don't. If there are no red arrows, you cannot cross. Please don't even try; dashing across the freeway may well be lethal.

We strongly encourage you to wear a Street Scramble safety vest to enhance your visibility. You can borrow one from us at no charge.

A portion of Pogonip Park is known as Heroin Hill. Conditions may include syringes, hazardous chemicals, and armed men. Do not enter this area; the extent of it is shown on the map.

3. Urban Adventure Hunt series 2012/2013

This event is the eleventh one one in the series. Here is last year's announcement, but in brief, it works this way: Each Street Scramble event is worth a maximum of 1000 points, and Mill Valley and Santa Cruz Street Scramble events, with their 7-hour competition, are worth 1600 points. We will add together the points from the 12 events that are scheduled between late June of 2012 and late May of 2013. If your team participates in the 90-minute division, we will multiply its points by 1.5; if it is in the 7 hours, there is no penalty, enjoy all the extra points that a long run or ride in the city entails! In order for event scores to count for the series, your team should keep the same name, compete in the same age/gender category, and maintain at least one common member for the Street Scramble events it participates in.

Prizes: In each category (foot and bike; Open, Masters, and Juniors; Men, Women, and Mixed; and Family), there is a single first-place award to the best team, and it is a free entry to San Francisco Night & Day Challenge in 2013. A team has to participate in at least three Street Scramble events in order to be eligible for the award. But furthermore, we'll combine your points from the Street Scramble events and SFND, and a few very lucky—or fast—teams will win an expense-paid trip to the Seattle Night & Day, which occurs about a month after SFND!! We will showcase one or two categories for this award.

Series standings after the most recent (Millbrae) Street Scramble are available. Although they are subject to revisions, leaders are very clear in some categories, and others (such as the Family and the Mixed on bike) are wide open. If your team has just one result in a prior event in these series, and competes in one of the wide-open categories, it may well be able to earn enough points for a season's win by contesting the Santa Cruz and Excelsior events.

4. Event rules

Each team must stay together throughout the event. It is not allowed to split up to cover more ground.

Travel under your own power only. It is not allowed to take Metro or cabs.

It is not allowed to look up answers to checkpoint questions without actually going to the checkpoint; in particular, you cannot use Street View, Panoramio, or the likes. Using Street View would be just like driving past everyone in a car at a running race! You can, however, use the map on your smartphone, and GPS. You are welcome to use any and all maps of the area you may bring.

Please stay off private property.

5. Bikes

All checkpoints without exception are immediately reachable by bike. However, cycling-legal routes between checkpoints may be considerably longer than those for runners and walkers. Many trails in the western part of the area are foot-only; it is unclear to us if it is allowed to wheel a bike on them, and we suggest you ride instead on a trail that is fully bike-legal. You are also not allowed to bike in certain areas, for example the Boardwalk and sidewalks of the Municipal Wharf—but you can ride the bike on the streets through these areas, anywhere a car can go! Please watch out for, and obey, all posted signs; where these signs disagree with bike-legal/foot-only trail classification on your map, the signs take priority.

A mountain bike is strongly recommended for this event—there are some single-track trails.

6. Dogs, skateboards, and scooters

We regret it that dogs are not allowed on most trails or on USCS campus, which will put these areas out of reach for dog walkers. Skateboards and scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, but we believe it's legal to ride them on the streets.

Lighthouse Field

7. Map and course notes

The map for this event is at 1:25,000 scale, with 20-ft. (6.1 m) contours. It is essentially the same map as for the first two years of Santa Cruz Street Scramble. We have added more trails, reclassified some trails to bike-legal, made the buildings more legible, and emphasized some—but not all—hard-to-read streets (fainted USGS symbol). The map does not show most street names.

Important map notes:

  • Train tracks are a valid route choice. There are places that you can't get to in any reasonable way other than following the tracks. The tracks are mostly inactive. You can ride along the tracks on a mountain bike, and it is almost universally possible to cross to the tracks from adjacent streets (there is no fence in the way). However, going along the tracks in the Heroin Hill area exposes you to the dangers mentioned above.
  • The quality of the map is fairly good in Santa Cruz proper and in UCSC, but is considerably worse in Live Oak (the area east of Santa Cruz). Many secondary streets are missing. We added some, but only in the blocks that contain checkpoints. Don't be stupefied by the missing side streets!
  • In Live Oak, streets are interrupted by Highway 1; it looks like they should go under in tunnels, but they don't, they just come to the highway fence and end. Please don't attempt to run across the freeway if you find yourself trapped in this way.
  • Again, some of the streets are shown with a faded USGS symbol: purple side lines, white "fill". These may be hard to see. It helps to determine your route during the course planning phase, and to perhaps emphasize these a bit more on your map by drawing over them with a pen; this will help you on the course.

The course was planned by Vladimir and vetted by Misha Kreslavsky. There are 48 checkpoints worth 1600 total points. The course is considerably longer than last year; the optimum actual distance to travel on bike to collect all checkpoints is over 70 km (we may come up with a more precise estimate before the event, and will post it here). It is still possible to get to all checkpoints on bike under the 7-hour limit.

The late penalty is 10 points for each minute, or fraction thereof. Remember, you can switch from the 90-minute division to the 3-hour division at any time, even while you are on the course. Please check with us if you would like to switch to or from the 7-hour division.

In most places that the map shows green or white, it's safe to assume you (1) are legally allowed to pass, and (2) can physically get through. The exceptions are Neary Lagoon (legal but impassable), Pogonip Park (no off-trail travel), and several wooded areas between neighborhoods (passable but illegal). We showed the latter with crosses. In general it is fastest to stay on trails and streets; if in doubt whether a planned shortcut will work, ask us at the pre-start briefing.

The rule of thumb is that you can't pass through most blocks shown in purple and pink. Sometimes there are exceptions; we didn't show some large parking lots. Entrances and access points are shown with red arrows that point to where you can enter a block.

We are using different symbols to show multipurpose trails, on which bikes are allowed, and foot-only trails. In the original USGS map symbols, roads bounded by dashed lines are firetrails; bikes are not allowed on these. Conversely, bikes are OK on all roads shown with solid lines, as well as on trails shown with the special symbol. One trail on campus is a bike-only trail (pedestrians are not allowed). Notes to this extent are posted at the two ends of this trail, but we didn't make a special symbol for it.

8. Cellphone scoring

Cellphone scoring will be offered for this event, and here's a short tutorial.

T commandOur receiving phone number is +1 503 567 8924. (It spells out LOST X24. Hope you aren't.)

Start with registering your team's cell phone number. You can send us answers from more than one cell phone. We don't pull the phone number information from your registration, so this step must be done for at least one phone. From this phone, send us a text message that says T followed by your team number. You will find out your team number at check-in, or if you would like to complete this step early, e-mail us and we'll let you know your team number. For example, if your team number is 142, text

T 142

You will receive a short confirmatory message. It may take a few seconds for the system to issue a confirmation to each of your commands and answers, sometimes up to about half a minute, more if your phone moves in and out of coverage.

Q commandAfter you have registered your team number, you're clear to head out on the course! One of the neat features is the ability to retrieve checkpoint questions and answer choices as you go. Just say Q? followed by the checkpoint number, like this:

Q? 42

Checkpoint answerAnd now to the most important part—sending us answers to checkpoint questions! Just send us the checkpoint number and the answer choice, in this order or answer first, with or without a space; the answer (as all commands) is case-insensitive. For each answer, you get a short confirmatory message.

Please take care in answering the questions. Sometimes, teams give a literal answer, for example if the answer choices are (A) 1; (B) 2; (C) 3, a team can text 2. This answer will not count as a wrong answer and the system will simply ask you to try again. Only the first valid answer choice counts. If you send in a wrong answer choice, for example if the correct answer is B and you say A, the mistake cannot be corrected.

S commandYou can find out how many checkpoints you have visited, and how many points they are worth, by texting S?. This score is not graded; that is, the points are calculated without take into account whether your answers are correct or not.

The full command set is

Q?  R?  S?  T/T?  U  W?

We already went over most of those. The remaining commands are: R? tells you how long your team has been on the course; T? replies with your team number on record; U is used to unsubsribe the phone number; and W? lets you know which ones you got wrong.

The system is currently on Eastern time. We may or may not be able to fix that before the event. Finally, if you encounter an error message, please let us know after the event.

Please do not send praise, comments, blame, bug reports, missing checkpoint notes, or status updates to this number—they are all quite welcome, but use +1 971 998 0321 instead. They will all be read and acted upon.

We will not be using QR codes at this event.

9. Pen-and-paper scoring

When you mark your answer, please also make sure to write down the time you visited each checkpoint. Doing this is not mandatory, but allows for some entertaining post-event route analysis. Your finish time will be taken when you hand in your score sheet.

Event staff:
Lani and Vladimir

We maintain a discussion board for all our events on Attackpoint. Popular among adventure-sports athletes in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, the site is the one to go to for the latest adventure-running news, schedules, discussion, and gossip.

Forum for the Santa Cruz Street Scramble.

We also post updates to our Facebook pages:

Facebook event for the Santa Cruz Street Scramble.

Created: 20 August 2012
Last updated: 28 April 2013, ver. 003

© 2011–2013 Get Lost!! Running, Racing, Inc.
Street Scramble® is a registered trademark of Meridian Geographics.