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Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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San Francisco, California
United States
68F / 20C
Total Time = 3h 32m 5s
Overall Rank = 1092/1694
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 56/101
Pre-race routine:

Got up very early, 04:30. Ate a banana, cup of coffee, bran muffin. We were staying at a hotel in the Fisherman's Wharf, so I just rode my bike to the race start. I put all my gear into two small nap sacks and wore it on my back. This worked great. Set up my transition area, used the port-a-potty, then dropped off my swim transition bag. Jumped on the bus. Forgot my flashlight.
Event warmup:

No real warm up. Lots of sitting and waiting. Waiting to get on the boat, then waiting once on the boat. I did not bring warm up clothes with me and I kind of wish I had. You have so much time sitting and waiting. They give you a bag to put all your stuff into which you leave on the boat before you jump off. The bag finds it's way back to the race start and you can pick it up after the race. People were dressed in warm clothes, shoes, had cameras, food, etc with them. Next time I would bring warm clothes with me. I put my wet suit on up to the waist early and was plenty warm though.
  • 50m 31s
  • 2640 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

The sighting techniques and tips worked great for me. I was overly concerned that I would be one of those who overshot and ended up having to get picked up by boat and repositioned. As it turned out, I nailed the beach dead on. Very pleased with that, but I felt I spent too much time stopping to sight.
What would you do differently?:

Practice and learn to sight while swimming.
Transition 1
  • 11m 30s

I was a bit groggy and confused coming out of the water. I had trouble taking off my wet suit at the beach transition location as well as putting on my shoes. I had problems getting the suit over my feet and ended up sitting down. Once sitting, I got cramps in my stomache muscles. I had heard of others experiencing this before, but this was a first time for me. Once I got to bike transition, I also spent more time than I had wished putting on my socks over wet feet. In my local sprint triathlons, I do not wear socks, but I am glad I did for this race, esp later once running though the sand. I think this race is too long to do without socks.
What would you do differently?:

I would have used Pam or other lube on my wetsuit. I normally do, but didn't bring any this trip. Should have borrowed, lots of people had it and I am sure would have loaned me some. I also would have used a different pair of socks. The ones I had were thin biking socks and were very difficult to put on over my wet feet. I did briefly dry my feet.
  • 1h 12m
  • 18 miles
  • 15.00 mile/hr

I rented a road bike from Blazing Saddles. It was an aluminum Marin. I did drop the chain once while shifting from the big to small ring up front. However, overall I was very pleased with the quality of the bike and would highly recommend them to anyone considering renting a bike for this race. It was far cheaper to rent a bike than to ship or fly my own bike out.
What would you do differently?:

Practice the course once or twice before the race if possible. I had my family with me and we were doing the Griswold family vacation and just didn't have time to ride the course beforehand. One guy I talked to rented one of those yellow banana cars and motored around the course a few days before the race. Great idea. Beautiful course!
Transition 2
  • 02m 9s

Not much to say here. Ran into T-2 with my bike shoes on. I don't do the flying mount/dismount thing. Took a little time to eat a GU pack and drink some water.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 15m
  • 8 miles
  • 09m 23s  min/mile

Loved it. Another beautiful view of parks, beach and ocean.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really except train more. Eight miles is a long way.
Post race
Warm down:

I did nothing for warm down except walk the 2 miles back to the hotel. I had relatives waiting for me, so I left fairly quickly. I would have liked to hang around the venue more.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not knowing what to expect. More training.

Event comments:

This race was one of the most exciting and fun events I have ever done in my entire life! I am so glad I did it and would highly recommend it to anyone else. All three aspects, the swim, bike and run were unique, beautiful and challenging. It was expensive when combining air travel, hotel, food, etc, but well worth it to do this race if even only once. If you've done this race before, you know what I am talking about. If you have never done this race before, try to get in it sometime, you won't regret it.

Last updated: 2009-06-17 12:00 AM
00:50:31 | 2640 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/101
Overall: 0/1694
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless with Neoprene Hood
Course: I was very concerned before the race to be swimming with just a sleeveless wet suit. It turned out to be just fine. I didn't think the water was as cold as I and others were hyping it up to be. So if you are worried about doing this race with just a sleeveless wetsuit, don't worry! I'd estimate that 1 of every 15-20 swimmers was also in a sleeveless. I saw two swimming with NO wetsuits. I did borrow a friend's neoprene hood which worked great. I did not see a need for ear plugs. The swim seemed long to me. I lost lots of time stopping to sight on the tower, then start swimming again.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Time: 11:30
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:12:00 | 18 miles | 15.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/101
Overall: 0/1694
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Wow! Hilly. Lots of ups and downs. Absolutely breath taking beautiful. The views were out of this world. I did o.k. on the climbs and had to get up out of the seat a few times to make it even in my lowest gear. I passed one guy on the steepest climb who kept getting slower and slower until he just slowly tipped over into a bush. He wasn't hurt, but I have no doubt he had to walk the bike up the rest of that hill. I also rode my brakes on all of the down hills. I am too old to bomb them like some of the younger guys. Lots of potholes and poor pavement.
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:15:00 | 08 miles | 09m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/101
Overall: 0/1694
Performance: Good
Course: Not as hilly as the bike course, but still lots of ups and downs. More off road type of running than I was expecting: dirt, gravel, sand, pavement, stairs, etc. Overall, a really cool running course. It was long. Many times it was impossible to pass anyone as you were forced to go single file behind others as you went up/down stairs, through tunnels, etc. Another drop dead gorgeous course. I alternated between taking water and citomax. Dumped water on my head several times which helped greatly. The run was hot. I ended up getting a good sum burn on my neck and shoulders.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-06-17 2:28 PM

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Subject: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

2009-06-17 2:40 PM
in reply to: #2224887

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Sin City
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Good job!  It was a great race on a beatiful day!
2009-06-17 3:12 PM
in reply to: #2224887

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Great job on the race!  Nice finish time!

I'd be careful telling people they would be OK in a sleeveless though...the water was unusually warm for San Francisco Bay this year.  It's typically MUCH colder.
2009-06-17 3:21 PM
in reply to: #2225046

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Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Full sleeve vs sleeveless is a personal decision. I only wanted people to know that it wasn't that big of a deal to do the swim in a sleeveless. All I own is a sleeveless and I did not want to rent or buy a full sleeved suit. I swam in aquatic park two days before the race and thought the water was much colder than race day, but still not so cold as to warrant a full suit as a must. I was pretty impressed with the two swimmers I saw on my floor with no wet suits at all! One was in a short speedo and the other was wearing board shorts! I wonder if they were doing just the swim as part of a relay team or the entire race?

Edited by Lukester1980 2009-06-17 3:22 PM
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