Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi

Aqua Girl and Flash (Sort of)


Alcatraz Challenge

The ferry in the top right en route to the “jump-off” point

Golden Gate Bridge

The view was pretty sweet a few hours after the race









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.

San Francisco

I was practicing my fast photography while on a pre-race run Saturday AM through the city

San Francisco

More views on my Saturday AM, this is across from the Farmer’s Market










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.


My new pre-race fuel – pecan macaroon from Miette Patisserie.

breakfast in San Francisco

More eating at the market. That’s Aqua Girl front left, my home town buddy back left, and my high school friend and blogger David front right



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.


Alcatraz Challenge

This was the first batch of swimmers coming in around 37 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.


Golden Gate Bridge

This would have been a good view had it not been so foggy at the start

Alacatraz Challenge runner

I let this dude pace me to the turn-around on the bridge and then passed him










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.

Alcatraz Challenge

Me and Aqua Girl on the podium with the 20 year olds

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!

Alcatraz Challenge

My home town buddy took first place in her age group – she did the entire event

Alcatraz Challenge

Go Canada! Friend in orange posing with her medal. The first placer wasn’t there to claim her medal










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? 











Author: Angie

I live in northern British Columbia, Canada. I found my dog Kobi in 2011 when she was only 5 weeks old and we've been having running adventures ever since.

21 thoughts on “Aqua Girl and Flash (Sort of)

  1. Congratulations!!!!!!! You guys were amazing. I’m in awe of your friend. I can’t imagine swimming in those conditions.

    Funny coincidence, but I’m in SF right now.

    • Thanks! I’m in awe of everyone who did that swim, there was even a 13 year old! Enjoy SF – go to the Farmer’s Market and have a macaroon for me please! Their caramels are so good too.

  2. Nice going!!! I love this event!!! I do aquathlons (run-swim-runs), so this event sounds extra incredible to me!! You guys rocked it!! Woohoo!!!

  3. How exciting! Your run time is awesome, good job!

    • It was very exciting, I was nervous for the swimmers. I was really surprised with my time, but I’ll thank the random guy in front of me who ran just fast enough to pace me along.

  4. Congrats! I can’t imagine how awesome it would feel to run over the golden gate bridge.

  5. Congratulations! How exciting to be first! This sounds like a fun challenge.

  6. You are way more brave than me! Congrats!

  7. Niiiiice job! But I must say, the few times I’ve been to San Fran, the fog has rolled in every single day. They told me it just happens.

    • It felt pretty awesome to beat the 20 year olds. I’m probably going to tell that story for a long time!! I heard that about the fog there as well. I also heard that July has worse weather than May. Go figure.

  8. That’s awesome, Angie! I miss San Francisco. You ladies did so well – that’s a cracking time for 7 miles; I’m officially in awe of you! Incidentally, when I try to take pictures while running, I end up getting pictures of the sky or ground if I’m lucky, because more often they are covered up with my own fingers. Yes, it’s that bad.

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