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2008 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon



Week before the Race
Sliced my foot during a training swim over at Crown Beach in Alameda. The beach has nice sand and it's waist high about a 100ft out. A friend was kayaking for me and I swam out of the boat launch area and didn't make much headway swimming against the current to get back in so I climbed out on the broken concrete shore--big mistake. Put a 2.5" gash in my left foot and sliced up my finger tips coming out of the water on the sharp concrete edges.

Went to the doctor after a few days since the gash didn't look to be healing too fast on its own. My doctor said to keep putting New Skin on it and he gave me my 10-year tetatnus shot. My previous tetanus shot was back in March '98 a week before the Sea Otter Mountain Bike race. He said I shouldn't run for a week but I mentioned I signed up for a triathlon on Sunday so he said if it hurts, I should stop. I guess my foot didn't hurt enough...

Day of the Race 6/8/08
First timers are supposed to board the 5:15am bus from the transition area to the Ferry. Woke up at 3:15am and out the door by 3:45am. Arrived in S.F. at 4:45am. Biked over to transition, setup my area, and on the bus by 5:15a.m. Looked out over the glassy water at the pier. This swim didn't look so bad. Met Janet Wang and a few other members of the triathlon club. As the ferry went out, saw a few whiteheads and rollers. This might be a tough swim after all.

The Swim
The National Anthem played and the pros were off first. Then it went by age group. Lower decks were 39 and below and upper decks were 40 and above. Timing mat at the edge of each jump entrance. As soon as we jumped off the ferry, our time started. Had no fear of being jumped on since the current was pulling everyone out toward the Golden Gate fast.

The current seemed to pick up the closer I got to the swim finish. For a minute, I thought I was going to miss the swim exit and have to swim for the beach and run back to the swim timing mat. Even had a personal kayaker behind me asking me if I was alright. My left arm was still suffering from the tetanus shot but I said I was fine and going to finish. Eventually, I made it to land, pulled off my wetsuit, stuffed it in the plastic bag with my race number, cinched it tight, put my running shoes on and ran the 1/2 mile to my bike.

The Bike
Felt great on the bike and was passing people left and right. It's a hilly course over to Golden Gate Park and back and I enjoy hills.

The Run
On the run out, I heard my name being called. Looked over and saw my mom, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. On the dreaded sand ladder climb, caught up to Janet Wang. At this point, I couldn't wait for this 8-mile run to end. My left foot was starting to bother me. Saw my family on the run in and sprinted to the finish.


Notes for next time

  • Neatly fold wetsuit into plastic bag during swim transition. I put a crease in my wet suit in my rush to stuff it in the bag and run to the bike transition area.
  • Put number belt on during the bike so you don't forget during the run. I started the first minute of my run by returning to the transition area for my number belt.



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