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Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon - Triathlon

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San Francisco, California
United States
Total Time = 3h 55m 49s
Overall Rank = 1555/1812
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 55/66
Pre-race routine:

Normal routine was severely limited as we were sitting on the boat waiting for the start for about an hour. Not much room for stretching or arm circles. We went out onto the deck to look for landmarks as well as stretch but were quickly told that we needed to go back inside.
Event warmup:

While waiting to head to the boat, I ran into a teammate from back home. I hung out with him and his buddies up until we were on the boat. It was nice to chat and keep my mind off what was soon to come.

Once on the boat, I made my way to the ladies room (the line was non-existent while the men's line was getting longer by the minute...first time the the reverse wasn't true). After that, I left Sean and his buddies and made my way to the front door area. I watched the pros go off from the balcony above and then slid down the stairs and it was my turn.
  • 59m 13s
  • 2640 yards
  • 02m 14s / 100 yards

Jumping off of that boat is probably one of the hardest things that I've ever done, but I'm so glad that I did it. Once in the water, I tried to settle in, but never could get comfortable. Pretty soon I was out in the water by myself. I kept sighting frequently to make sure I was not heading back towards Alcatraz :) The fog was thick and we couldn't make out the Towers so I just sighted to the left of Fort Mason. After a while, I could see the Fort Mason piers and then the Dome. I could see boats in the distance on both sides of me but none even close so I kept going about my business. There were some dark thoughts for a brief time about quitting and why was I doing this to myself, but I tried to push those thoughts away and focus on the swimming. Soon, I could see a big orange buoy at the beach. I was even with it by the time I could see it, and ended up missing it by about 100 yards or so. Once my hands hit the bottom, I stood up and ran back up the beach to T 0.5.

What would you do differently?:

Try to relax. Sight less often. I was so nervous about getting off course that I was sighting on every other cycle. Otherwise, I'm proud that I didn't give up and wasn't picked up by a boat or kayak (either to reposition me during the swim or haul me out of the water due to missing the time cut off).
Transition 1
  • 09m 10s

At the beach, I pulled by swim and neoprene caps off with my goggles and pulled the top of my wetsuit down. I called out my number and the awesome volunteer grabbed my bag and helped me strip the bottom of my wetsuit. She jammed it into the bag while I rinsed my feet off and threw on the shoes that I bought yesterday (those were invaluable! thanks for the advice coach). Felt good heading towards T1, but glanced at my garmin and mr HR data field was blank. I tried to get it to reconnect to the HR sensor but no luck.

Coming into T1, we ran all the way around to the back side, down the entire length of T1 and I had to come all the way back to the front as I was the 6th rack from the other end. Good news was that I only had a short ways to go to Bike out and the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

maybe try to rush a bit more at T0.5 but otherwise happy with staying calm and not forgetting anything
  • 1h 24m 11s
  • 18 miles
  • 12.83 mile/hr

Once on the bike, I glanced at my Edge mounted on the bike and NO DATA! No HR, cadence...NOTHING, I quickly tried to reconnect sensors with no luck! This sucked as everything was working fine during my ride yesterday. I finally gave up and had nothing to go by but feel and speed. The speed was really fun to look at going downhill but depressing going up. There was one hill that got the better of me and I ran out of gears. I was out of the saddle just trying to keep moving and finally had to quickly unclip before I tipped over. Ended up walking up the remainder of the hill. Not sure which was faster.....walking the bike or grinding it out. Speedometer said it was the same. Depressing again. Finished the hills and hit the flats before T2. Really flew here. Felt good to get into the groove.
What would you do differently?:

If I had more time, I would train more hills but this probably the hilliest (grade of incline) courses that I have planned this year
Transition 2
  • 03m 9s

Came into T2 and was quickly at my rack since the Bike In was on my side. Threw the bike on the rack and changed shoes only to have to head to the far end of the transition area and then back around. I wasn't sure where the timing mat was so my data is a bit off (the run was well short of 8miles on my garmin because of this).
What would you do differently?:

maybe hustle a bit more but I think the time actually at my transition spot was ok, but the long run from my rack to the run out location added quite a bit of time. Everyone would have to deal with the distance either on the swim to bike or bike to run segment, so it was fair
  • 1h 20m 7s
  • 8 miles
  • 10m 01s  min/mile

Felt great for the first 2-3 miles on the gravel path. Hit the hills and followed coach's plan to run 1/3 to 1/2 up and then bomb the downhills (mostly to keep my HR fro spiking). Passed quite a few people doing this. Then after the big downhill, we made the turn onto the beach. Once we got out of the soft sand and into the hard packed area just at the water's edge, this was a really nice portion of the run. The morning fog that was so terrible on the swim had cleared and the views were breathtaking. The Golden Gate Bridge was still covered with fog though. And onto the sand ladder. I tried using the cables to pull myself up but this only worked about half the time as the other half, the cable was so low that a midget could use it. Made it to the top, goofed for the camera for a second...and hit the road. Really felt decent for the remainder and once I was back on the gravel path, I knew we were only about 2 miles out. Once I could see the marina, I knew it was time to get going. Gave what I had left until the finish line.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing...was pleased with this run. Overall time was slow but when considering the run in the sand and the Sand Ladder, pace otherwise was decent.
Post race
Warm down:

Made my way over to food and stood in line for massage. Overall feel pretty good. More sore than I was expecting (worse than after my last 70.3 actually). The course was a bit more demanding but significantly shorter. Finally found the hubby and we stood in line again for TriBikeTransport drop off. Stopped at the food truck Señor Sisig in town and grabbed the best Filipino food I've ever had.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Speed on swim (also probably lack of confidence with sighting as this was my first OWS with no sighting buoys) as well as climbing ability on bike.

Event comments:

Really enjoyed this race. Was fortunate to get a lottery slot on my first attempt and only my second year doing triathlons. Had to fight mentally during the race and it was a difficult race, but so excited to finish and am thrilled with my successful escape from Alcatraz :)

Last updated: 2015-06-11 12:00 AM
00:59:13 | 2640 yards | 02m 14s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/66
Overall: 0/1812
Performance: Average
Suit: full sleeves with neoprene cap
Course: Began from the jump off of the San Francisco Belle just off the point of Alcatraz Island. Finished on the beach at Marina Green.
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Average
Time: 09:10
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:24:11 | 18 miles | 12.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/66
Overall: 0/1812
Performance: Bad
No HR data. For a period of time, my Garmin read steady at 88 bpm....definitely not accurate, I guarantee that.
Wind: Little
Course: Essentially an out and back
Road: Potholes  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Bad
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
01:20:07 | 08 miles | 10m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/66
Overall: 0/1812
Performance: Good
Course: essentially an out and back with a short beach run and of course the infamous Sand Ladder
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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 4:56 PM

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Subject: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

2015-06-11 5:58 PM
in reply to: #5122019

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Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Great race report. Thanks for taking the time. Sounds like a tough race, hope to do it someday.

2015-06-13 8:14 AM
in reply to: zed707

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Great job on the race.  It's a really tough course!

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In addition to writing your race number on each upper arm, they also wrote your age on your calf. This allowed me to see who was passing me by in the bike section of this race.
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The boat was being tossed around. Someone noted that there were whitecaps on the waves. Another guy said, “This is going to be challenging.” I began to wonder what he meant by 'challenging'.
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Alcatraz 2005 provided by crusevegas
date : July 30, 2006
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comments : 0
I signed up for a Sprint in July, an Olympic distance in September, and the Alcatraz tri in October. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it all the way.
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Alcatraz 2005: Transition triathlon wallpaper provided by crusevegas.
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Alcatraz 2005: Swim triathlon wallpaper provided by crusevegas.