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Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon - TriathlonOther

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San Francisco, California
United States
Total Time = 3h 01m 58s
Overall Rank = 446/1600
Age Group = M 30-34
Age Group Rank = 86/220
Pre-race routine:

Woke up. Ate a Clif Bar and drank a bottle of Cytomax. Pumped up the bike tires and met up with two friends who were doing the race.
Event warmup:

  • 37m 9s
  • 2640 yards
  • 01m 24s / 100 yards

I love this swim. I can't explain why but it is just a ton of fun to jump off the boat in the middle of the bay and swim to shore. Water temp felt good. A little cold at first but than I warmed up. I'm really happy with my sleeveless suit it just feels a lot more comfortable on me than my full sleeve suit and if I can use it for this swim than I can use it for any other tri that I might do.

There was a lot less current flowing out of the bay this year than last so sighting was more straightforward (quite literally). I basically aimed just left of the swim exit the whole time and just kept swimming. The water was choppier than I remembered from last year (maybe a freighter had just gone through) but not too bad. Thanks to what I learned from last year I didn't cut into shore until I could see the steps so as to avoid the rocks just before the steps.
What would you do differently?:

Not have to pee so much. For some unknown reason I had to go 5 different times during the swim. Way too much! Also, I would make sure to hit the timing mat on my way off the boat. I'm pretty sure I missed it since my time does not reflect anything other than the 2 minutes until our wave was scheduled to jump off the boat rather than the actual chip time it should reflect. No matter that just means I must have been even faster on the swim than the time reflects. : )
Transition 1
  • 06m 35s

This is a two part transition area. The swim exit is half a mile from the transition area so there is a small transition area where you can take off your wetsuit and put on some running shoes for the run to the main transition are where the bikes are. Got out of my wetsuit and into my running shoes quickly. The change into bike attire also went well so overall a good transition.
What would you do differently?:

Put a bottle of water with my running shoes to clear my mouth of the taste of the bay during the run to the main transition area.
  • 1h 06m 24s
  • 18 miles
  • 16.27 mile/hr

Much better than last year! I still need to get a little more comfortable on this course. While this year was much better I'm just not quite as willing to bomb down these hills like some others are. In addition, most of them out climb and out cycle me so I still get passed by a significant number of people on the bike. This is all about improvement and as I said in the beginning I did much better than last year.
What would you do differently?:

Check my bike again. For some reason the front deraileur was acting up and would drop the chain into the granny gear when I was running in the middle chainring with the big cog in the back. I ended up working around it but it did impact my shifting decisions.
Transition 2
  • 01m 31s

Transition went well.
What would you do differently?:

Forgot to put on my race belt with my number on it. No one said anything about it so I guess it didn't matter probably because they had already bodymarked both hands, biceps, and thighs. I'm still trying to get all the marker off of me.
  • 1h 10m 19s
  • 8 miles
  • 08m 47s  min/mile

I was hurting at the beginning of the run. I had rubbed a blister the day before walking around the city. In addition, both of my hamstrings have been sore but the right hamstring more so than the left. In addition, I did not have my watch so I had no idea how I was doing. My general impression was that I was going extremely slow since I seemed to be getting passed by a lot of people. The uphills were painful but the downhills hurt even more because my hamstrings were just trashed.

The sand ladder kicked my butt but I knew it would so I just hunkered down and went up it as fast as I could while holding on to the guideline. Without the guideline I would have definitely gone down given my fatigue level, lack of balance and the instability of the ladder itself. Time 3:40 (overall rank: 961)

All that being said the final time was right around what I expected so I'm very pleased with the run overall. Go figure! You couldn't have convinced me that I was running sub 9 minute miles while I was running but I'll take it.
What would you do differently?:

Remember my watch. Train more on the run. Wear better socks leading up to the event to avoid rubbing the blister on my toe. Use a bush during the run rather than hoping to find a portajohn.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around and tried to find my friends who did the tri and my friends from SF that came to watch.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training. That being said the training is working and as long as I stick with it I should continue to improve. Next year sub 3:00.

Event comments:

Time last year was 3:21. My goal time for this year was a 3:05. Overall time was a 3:02 for a 19 minute improvement over last year and 3 minutes faster than my goal. I'm stoked! : )

Overall this is a great race and I will do it again if possible. However, if I could I would change two things. First, I would have more portapotties accessible to the athletes during the event so you didn't have to scamper off into the bushes. Second, it would be nice if some parts of the bike and run courses were a little wider since it can get very congested and quite scary especially on the bike.

Last updated: 2006-04-04 12:00 AM
00:37:09 | 2640 yards | 01m 24s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/220
Overall: 87/1600
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vengence Sleeveless
Course: Alcatraz to Marina Green Beach adjacent to the St. Francis Yacht Club.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 55F / 13C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 06:35
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:06:24 | 18 miles | 16.27 mile/hr
Age Group: 134/220
Overall: 713/1600
Course: Mounting their bikes at the Marina Green, triathletes will begin the out-and-back 18 mile ride heading west into Crissy Field via Marina Boulevard. They will climb onto Lincoln Blvd., traveling through the Presidio onto Camino del Mar. They will then climb up the hill to the Palace of the Legion of Honor. They will come down the hill and make a hard right turn onto Clement Street and ride west to Seal Rock Drive. They will make a sharp down hill left turn onto 48th street and then a right turn west on Point Lobos Drive; and ride South on The Great Highway to Golden Gate Park. Triathletes will enter Golden Gate Park from Lincoln Way onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. They will veer left on Middle Drive and go to about the center or the park. They will then turn left on Transverse Drive and make another left turn onto John F. Kennedy Drive; and ride back to the Great Highway on the north side of the park. After going north on The Great Highway, they will retrace their course back to the Marina Green for the transition to the run.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:31
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:10:19 | 08 miles | 08m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 118/220
Overall: 687/1600
Performance: Average
Forgot my watch.
Course: 8 mile run to Baker Beach Battery by leaving the Marina Green, running West into Crissy Field to Fort Point below the Golden Gate Bridge. From Fort Point they battle the Presidio Headlands up and under the Golden Gate Bridge through the tunnel and onto the Coast Trail. Runners will be next to the Coastal Defense Batteries (Gunnery Locations from the turn of the century) until they reach Lincoln Boulevard, just past Battery Dynamite. They parallel Lincoln Blvd. on the narrow trail above the Coastal Bluffs to Baker Beach, where they return to the shoreline below. They will encounter the deep sand of Baker Beach through the turn around point until they reach the dreaded Sand Ladder (400 steps up the cliff, shown right). After reaching the top of the Sand Ladder, runners will go left on the Coast Trail and back to the Finish line via Lincoln Blvd. They will then cross back under the Golden Gate Bridge and return to the finish line.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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] 4

2006-06-05 5:52 PM

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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

2006-06-05 6:52 PM
in reply to: #444044

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Sounds like a great time! Congratulations on the improvement over last year..that's excellent! I hope to be there next year, if the lottery cooperates.
2006-06-05 7:23 PM
in reply to: #444044

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Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

19 minutes????  awwesome job, Mike, and you crushed the swim (as expected).  sub 9 minute miles after all that isn't too bad either, huh? 

So you've done the swim sleeveless.  Ready for a skin swim?

2006-06-05 8:26 PM
in reply to: #444044

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Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Good job! I enjoyed your race report. I was surprised that you did that swim in a sleeveless and that you would do that again. At your pace, it probably doesn't make that much difference. Great split times all around!

2006-06-06 4:35 PM
in reply to: #444044

Extreme Veteran
Cary, NC
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Haha. I have this mental image of you "scampering to the bushes!" Great race man--and way to rock out the run. I felt the same way on my run this weekend... was totally surprised to find out how "fast" I was really going! GOOD JOB!

2006-06-07 7:53 AM
in reply to: #444044

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Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Great swim! I also didn't think the water temp was too shocking and was wishing I was sleeveless during the swim. I also had to wait in line for a port a pottie during the run. Overall fantastic race on your part, congrats on the improvement!

2006-06-10 9:38 PM
in reply to: #444044

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Bay Area, CA
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Hey, thanks for the comment on my swim!  That was nice.

As far as your race, so, so cool.  I've volunteered this race a couple of times (it didn't work out this year.)  It's such a rush. 

I'm impressed that you did it so fast, that's a hard, hard course. 

Good job!  And a 19 minute improvement!  Awesome.

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