The first half of this week I spent recovering from back to back races last weekend and then the second I went back into prep mode for another race this sunday. This was my first time racing the Alcatraz Triathlon and from everything I heard and saw I just kept telling myself that it was going to be an adventure.
It was a crazy early morning as you have to get down there and set in time to make a 6:45 am buss to the boat launch. Then you climb on to a ferry with a thousand other people that all need to use the bathroom too. I am getting to know more people in the triathlon arena and so I had a good chat with a few of my fellow athletes to pass the time.
By far the coolest part of the event occurred while we were motoring out to the start and I was just kind or lazily starring about the cabin of the boat and all of a sudden there was David Duchovny! Just putting on a wetsuit like it was no big deal! We all had a little chuckle about it and I tried to stamp out the worries my mind conjured up about jumping into an unknown body of water with Fox Mulder.
The swim start was a little confusing and chaotic and the water was choppy...and with a last minute change due to permit complications the swim was LOOOOONG. I felt like it was taking forever and worried that I was way off course and/or was really being left behind and/or might not be able to finish. I really thought that at one point. Out of the water to see my parents and a good friend shouting encouragement got me going.
It was a long run back to transition because of the swim change then out onto the bike. There was a lot of up and down the steep San Francisco and a lot of burning in the lungs and legs. A tough course for sure with all the hills and curves and wind.
The downhill and flat back to transition was fun because you feel like you are absolutely screaming. The run starts out nice and flat and soft which was gerat to get my rhythm settled. Then you run up and trough a ton of stairs and windy trails and even a tunnel! There are spectacular views from the top of the run course by the way. Down to baker beach on a fire road and then maybe two hundred meters of beach running. Then you hit the sand ladder which is a sandy staircase that goes straight up. IT IS STEEP! I just kept my head down and shuffled my way up them easing off a little any time I felt my heart begin to pound in my head. From the top of the ladder it is basically flat or downhill and I just let my legs loosen up and pushed to the finish.
This is a TOUGH race and if you are looking for an adventure and a serious physical chalenge this one is for you. I feel like I did a 70.3 The result was good for me especially for my first time racing and first time on the new bike.
Swim 13,450 yds
Bike 8 hrs
Run 20.5 mi