On Sunday I did a pretty cool event – The Alcatraz Challenge in San Francisco (1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz and 7 mile run across a famous bridge). I did not do the swim. When I agreed to this, my entire motive was to visit a high school friend living in the city and run across the Golden Gate Bridge. I am not yet a strong or brave enough swimmer to jump off a ferry and swim from Alcatraz to shore. But my friend (whose idea this was) hooked me up with a super awesome swimmer and new besty Karlene (aka Aqua Girl) so how could I say no.
Two of the four of us did the entire event (1.5 mile swim and 7 mile run). I think I got off pretty easy.
Saturday AM we did a quick pre-race run through the city.
Then we met up with my high school friend at the Farmer’s Market. He also has a blog so you must check it out because it’s about art in San Francisco and we all need to appreciate art in that city.
The market was amazing. I forgot that fruit comes from California and that it isn’t weird to see apricots and cherries in May. I do need to get out more.
After the market we hit the race package pick-up and listened in on the swim presentation – what you need to know to survive the swim. The package pick-up was at this place called the Sports Basement. I could have spent days and thousands of dollars there.
Sunday AM I saw my friends off to the ferry while I headed to Crissy Field to await their arrival. It was terribly windy and likely the worst swimming conditions the event has seen in years. The first swimmer showed up in 33 minutes and then my swimmer showed up at 43 minutes.
The first thing my new besty said to me (recall she’s an amazing swimmer) when we found each other at the transition, “those were the worst conditions I’ve ever swam in!” I gave her a hug, took her chip and off I ran. Of course the fog had rolled in over the bridge so I didn’t see much for views. It was less foggy on the way back.
It felt like I was running fast as my legs felt weird and I felt like throwing up a few times (who needs a watch when you can determine speed by how badly you want to throw up). I ran the 7 miles in 49:27 so I was pretty happy.
Funny story – they had computers out so you could check your times – the other women’s teams were much younger and one team had randomly commented to my swimmer how some “40 year olds had beat them”. Aqua Girl laughed and said that she was one of those 40 year olds. Feels good to beat young-uns. We came in first for the women’s open division.
The best part was that my other two friends also placed! One was first in her age group and the other was third. Way to go Canada!
Ever done the Alcatraz Challenge? Would you ever be compelled to do such an event? How good are you at taking “fast photos” while running?