Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Date: Sunday, June 11, 2017
Every summer the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon (formerly the Escape from the Rock Triathlon) comes to San Francisco.
A cold springtime competition in 2013 was inspired by schedule conflicts with the America’s Cup. The change turned out to be a disaster when March water temperatures were over 10 degrees lower than June and air temperatures were 20 degrees lower. 150 athletes had to be pulled from the water by rescuers and one man died of a heart attack — the first death in the 33-year history of the event, which started in 1981.
Thankfully, this year we’re back to the normal June schedule for the race.
After riding a ferry to the island the competitors start on Alcatraz, swim to Aquatic Park and end the race at a finish line on the Marina Green in San Francisco. The video below shows the point of view of a competitor who wore a waterproof camera while completing the swim.
Only 2,000 superb athletes, chosen in a lottery the previous October each year, are allowed to brave freezing waters, twisting roads and rocky paths to brag that they were able to swim to safety where the U.S. Government’s Federal Prison system thought no one could ever survive… let alone doing so right before riding a bike on San Francisco’s hills and running a foot race.
The race draws over 20,000 spectators to see the 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz to shore, the hilly 18-mile bike race over the Great Highway and Golden Gate Park, and the 8-mile run on the uneven trails of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The elevation map of the course can be found here.
You can read more about the event on their website. The video below is complete coverage of the 2007 event.
Photo Credit: OurSausalito.com.