Swimming and cycling hard race


Any pro racing triathlon The Circle is expected to test the outer limits of human tolerance, self-punishment, and dietary supplement care. But only one has a starting streak that would make Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly pee on Speedo. This honor belongs to Escape from the Alcatraz Triathlon (EFAT).

August 14-15, the annual Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon celebrates 40 years – fully afloat in the wake of the 2020 event that was canceled, due to the pandemic, and still remains the most terrifying three-part race named after a prison Previously guarded.

Trio Ben Canute finishes swimming
Ben Kanoute will be competing this year for his fourth consecutive record win. photo courtesy

“That first jump is a pretty shocking shock every time,” professional triathlete Ben Canute, three-time UEFA champion, said of the start of the race.

This infamous start made competitors jump into San Francisco Bay from a passenger ferry parked nearby بالقرب Alcatraz Island. It follows a breathless 1.5-mile swim to San Francisco’s treacherously remote Marina District beach through dark, choppy 55- to 60-degree waters with treacherous currents and a strange laughing sea lion. “You really have to mentally prepare yourself for this swim,” Canute says. “It’s kind of a free service for everyone at first. Then things start to settle down and you kind of go numb — your hands and your face included.”

During the famous “escape-resistant” naval prison years of operation (1934-1963), many Alcatraz inmates experienced this first leg of the triathlon route during more than a dozen attempts to get close to the rock. All were unsuccessful (many fatal), except for one attempt in 1962 by three prisoners who either made their way across the bay without a trace. or not.

“We are not recommending this be the participant’s first triathlon,” says Jennifer Lau, Action Sports vice president of event runner IMG, which will also launch the inaugural edition. Escape Aquathlon The race (August 14) is on the same weekend, and consists of a short 750m, 5km swim. “Open water swimming is unparalleled in the world, and it’s one of the hardest swimming in the sport,” says Lau. “It’s like crossing a fast-racing river as millions of gallons of water flow under the Golden Gate Bridge.”

A runner climbs a sand ladder with the San Francisco Bridge in the background.
Postcard views are but a little solace on the misery-inducing ladder of sand. photo courtesy

of the rock

The remaining two-thirds of the triathlon includes a tour of some of the most beautiful corners of the Presidio in San Francisco and Golden Gate National Recreation Area At full speed on an 18-mile bike path full of hills and brutal turns, he runs an eight-mile multi-track punishing trail on pavement, grass, dirt, beach, and a nasty set of cliff ladders called the Sand Ladder.

“At Sand Ladder, you’re basically going up a steep, giant sand dune,” Canute says of the more than 200 primitive plank steps that await identical athletes at Baker Beach. “It’s another part of this race where you just have to accept that it’s going to hurt.”

It was designed during the early years of the triathlon as a shorter, fiercer alternative to Hawaiiديل Iron Man slog, the first Escape race was held in 1981 without any fanfare. A small group of first-class neoprene swimmers rolled out Alcatraz, followed by an earlier version of the course that sent cyclists Cross the Golden Gate Bridge into the weary hills of Marin County and run on the infamous Double Dipsea Trail leads up and down Mount Tamalpais, the highest peak in the region.

Now entirely based in San Francisco, EFAT’s cycling and running courses have changed over the years. So is the number of participants, swelling from 200 mainly local competitors to 2,000 triathletes from more than 50 countries. A random drawing system has been set up to deal with 10,000+ triathlete applicants, who may have a chance as low as 30 percent of entry. This year’s inaugural Aquathlon is meant to quell some of the excess.

What hasn’t changed about the triathlon in its historic 40 seasons?

“I think it’s probably just the feeling of it – the amazing challenge, the unexpected conditions, the cool and lively atmosphere, and obviously swimming. It really is one of the last classics in the world of triathlon,” said Canute, a Rio Olympian who aims to achieve The men’s EFAT title for the fourth consecutive time is on the winner’s circuit that includes many of the sport’s biggest names over the past four decades.

And the top-ranked athlete in the triathlon adds, “Whether you want first place or fifth place, the race is still tough.”

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