Triathlon Race Report for Escape from Alcatraz: August 15, 2021 was the 40th Anniversary of this iconic “bucket list” triathlon race. I feel grateful to have been able to participate and finish it! Here’s my race report.
The day started at 3:45 AM because the transition area opened at 4am and you want to have plenty of time to set up and board the boat by 6am.
I catch a shuttle bus from my hotel at the Fishermans wharf to the transition area. I decided to leave my bike in transition overnight (although you had the option to bring it on race morning) but that was the only thing we were allowed to leave in transition the night before. Having a headlamp at that time in the morning was very helpful because it’s almost pitch black, making it quite difficult to set up your bike and run gear in transition. After setting up transition, we had to get on another shuttle bus to go to Pier 3 where we would be boarding the boat. It was a good idea to get there early because it is nice to be able to lean on something rather than sitting or standing for an hour or two before the boat departs. I did a stretch and mobility routine on the boat and had plenty of space because I got there early. If you want to see my mobility routine, you can find that here: https://youtu.be/NlZwVBDT1lk . Once you hear the engine roar, there’s a big cheering round of applause because then we know the race is on and we will be jumping pretty soon. We watch the pros jump and start swimming and it’s quite remarkable to watch them. I found out later that a former client of ours who’s a professional triathlete now was actually in first place in the Swim so that was pretty neat! You can read about his experience with our practice here.
In the athlete mandatory meeting the day before, they said that all 2000 participants would be jumping off within eight minutes (jump time was 7:30am). However, I did not jump till 7:44 AM and the boat was drifting and repositioning based on the winds and the current. Well this year‘s swim conditions were a little bit tougher than previous years and resulted in a much longer swim, 2.2 miles instead of 1.5. The trajectory was also quite different than previous years. Instead of an L shape, it was more of a straight line, see below pic from my StravaY