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Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon - Triathlon

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San Francisco, California
United States
Total Time = 3h 10m 30s
Overall Rank = 855/1812
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 130/267
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 4 am, ate a bagel with Nutella and a banana, and headed to the event location. After finding a parking spot (took way longer than I'm used to), I headed to the transition area were I was happy to see the line to enter was considerably shorter than when I first drove by. I got racked/set up then got in line for the shuttle to the ferry - which also wasn't extremely long by the time I lined up.
Event warmup:

There's not much you can do on the ferry... a few minutes before my swim I I tried to loosen up my knees and shoulder joints.
  • 33m 23s
  • 2640 yards
  • 01m 16s / 100 yards

On the ferry I sat next to a guy that was on his 19th "Escape" and his advice was to swim south, don't cut the corner, and let the current do the work to take me west. I pretty much adhered to what he said and hit the exit perfectly. I kept the pace moderate and I came out of the water fresher than I have felt in a long time.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. If I had more training under my belt leading up to this race, I'd be inclined to push the pace a bit harder.
Transition 1
  • 07m 59s

I pulled my wet-suit down to my waist as I was running along the beach. I located my T1 bag fairly quickly thanks to the Dill Pickle Duck (yes, Duck - not Duct) Tape that my wife bought me and we plastered my bag with. At the bag I stripped my wet-suit off, stuffed it in the bag, put on my shoes, and started the run to the main transition area.

In the main transition, I put on my glasses, helmet, some socks (normally race w/o - but, I was concerned about my feet getting cold), my shoes, and headed towards the mount line.

For the most part, everything went as planned.
What would you do differently?:

I'd consider bypassing the beach-side T1 and heading straight to the main transition area - the running surface between them didn't look too bad for bare feet.
  • 1h 24m 57s
  • 18 miles
  • 12.71 mile/hr

It was a bit crowded - but all-in-all it was a good tough course - I really enjoyed it!

My plan was to go a little easier on the bike than I normally do for two reasons: 1) Due to life-constraints, my training volume up to this race was about 1/2 of what I'd like and 2) I wanted to see how my run (which I normally struggle with) would be benefited.

As it turns out, some of those hills you just can't spin up. So, I think you have to burn a few matches just to get through the course. I managed as best I could and was keeping a decent avg pace of just over 18 mph until 15.5 miles into the race. Coming down the last hill, before the flat section into transition I nailed a pot-hole doing 40 mph. It sounded like my wheels were coming apart so, I started to slow down. I made it down to 35 mph before both tires blew out. Luckily, I was able to stay upright and get the bike stopped. I wasn't carrying a spare (not that I would of helped with two flats) - so, I removed my shoes and started jogging my bike to transition. As surface dictated, I alternated between jogging w/o shoes and walking with shoes.

I was determined to make it back and finish the race... two DNFs in a row was not going to happen! I estimate I lost about 24 minutes in this race due to the flat tires (18 miles at 18 mph vs a 1 hr 24 min finish).
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 02m 9s

Since my shoes were already in my hand and I had dismounted nearly 2 miles earlier - this transition was pretty simple... rack the bike, remove my helmet, put on my shoes, grab my visor and race belt... go.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 02m 4s
  • 8 miles
  • 07m 46s  min/mile

This was probably the best I have felt running in a race. At no point, did I "want" to walk. I did walk parts of the stairs and sand ladder due to course congestion or simple return on investment decisions... I felt great the whole time.

I used the fist flat section to get settled in and then just manged my effort according to the terrain until I hit the last flat section. From there, I took off and had a good strong finish. I hoped to negative split the course and did... the back half, which I believe to be harder (sand ladder) was over a minute faster that the front half.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe push just a bit harder...
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, ate a banana, drank some water and Muscle Milk.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training volume and flat tires!

However, I really can't complain - I was very pleased with my effort, the results, and I finished the race with a big smile on my face in spite of the flat tires. After DNFing (coughing up blood) at my last race, I needed a race day like this to get me back on track.

Event comments:

Great race! I plan to do it again next year (with better training and no mechanical problems) if I can get in.

Last updated: 2015-06-11 12:00 AM
00:33:23 | 2640 yards | 01m 16s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/267
Overall: 146/1812
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU T:0
Course: From the ferry deck (near Alcatraz Island) to Marina Green Beach.
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 07:59
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:24:57 | 18 miles | 12.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 244/267
Overall: 1693/1812
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Generally, an 18 mile out and back with a small lollipop at the end. The first 2 miles and last two miles are flat - everything else is either up or down.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:02:04 | 08 miles | 07m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 66/267
Overall: 487/1812
Performance: Good
135 Avg HR
Course: Generally, an out and back with a small lollipop at the end. The first 2 miles, last two miles, and a section in the middle (on the beach) are flat - everything else is either up or down.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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] 5

2015-06-11 2:51 PM

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Albuquerque, NM
Subject: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

2015-06-12 12:49 PM
in reply to: #5121990

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Wow, Jay, that is an impressive finish even if you don't take in to account the fact that you had to walk so far! Nice job! Great finish, and I'm glad you had a smile on your face.  Alcatraz is on my bucket list... someday.

2015-06-13 7:53 AM
in reply to: rrrunner

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Wow, pothole + double flat at 40 mph must have been scary!  Congrats on getting through it after that.

Throw away your flats and you and I would have had very similar race times all around.  

2015-06-14 2:42 PM
in reply to: #5121990

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Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Great job Jay! Glad you got in this "bucket list" race. Too bad about the flats, but way to muscle through and complete the course.
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Alcatraz 2005 provided by crusevegas
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