Escape from Alcatraz swim cancelled

Home Page California Triathlon Discussion Escape from Alcatraz swim cancelled

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  • #2724
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    Anthony Grey
    • Total Posts: 58

      This past weekend, the swim portion of the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon was cancelled.

      Escape from Alcatraz scrubs swim portion of race

      I understand athlete safety must come first and sometimes it’s a tough call. At the same time, the iconic Alcatraz swim is really the only reason many would ever consider doing this race.

      My name got chosen via their “registration lottery” last year, which is also the year that they jacked the registration fee up to $750. For a race that’s basically a hybrid close to Olympic distance (.57 mi longer swim, 6.8 miles shorter on the bike, 1.8 miles longer on the run), I decided to pass. There are other organized opportunities to do the Alcatraz swim that don’t cost as much as Ironman races, which are so expensive that they now offer a payment plan(!). I will get up to the Bay Area sometime to do one of those.

      You take your chances & you can’t control the weather on race day. Race officials should not be criticized for making the call in favor of athlete safety (we would be destroying them right now had they gone ahead with the swim despite the warnings & someone had drowned out there). But I will absolutely call out the race for charging a ridiculous entry fee. And the athletes who are willing to pay that fee must bear some responsibility for reinforcing that bad behavior and setting back the cause of making triathlon anything other than a niche activity for rich guys with fancy toys.

      Of course I feel bad for the disappointed athletes who wanted to make their escape with that iconic swim, and instead got to race in the world’s most expensive duathlon. Another media outlet reported “Race officials said competitors in this year’s race are guaranteed a spot in next year’s event if they wish to participate.” I assume that just means they get to skip the lottery but would still have to pay the $750 or whatever they charge next year. Would you do it?

    • #2730
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      Sara Clifford Randolph
      • Total Posts: 79

        I talked to a couple guys who were swimming at my local pool this morning who came in for the race from New Jersey. They were pretty disappointed about the swim being cancelled yesterday. But said they were going to make the best of the rest of their time here in the Bay Area.

      • #2732
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        Billy Baughman
        • Total Posts: 3

          I grew up in Alameda, which is why the swim from Alcatraz is on my list. I’d definitely think twice (make that 750 times) about doing EFA, especially since there are other opportunities to do the swim that don’t carry the same cost. And it certainly doesn’t help with the perception of this being a rich guys sport. Despite there being less expensive races, perception can often supersede reality. Like you, Anthony, someday I’ll make it up to the Bay Area to do the swim, just maybe not with an event that carries the cost of an Ironman.

        • #2854
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          • Total Posts: 235

   was looking to arrange a swim only event. You are completely right. The swim is the key part and if you can knock it out for $125 – $150 why not.

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