Monday, June 05, 2006

I ESCAPED!! (mini race report - long one to follow)

*Photos courtesy of the SF Chronicle (

The 2006 Accenture Escape From Alcatraz - DONE!

Yes, that's right. I swam my way from the San Francisco Belle in 44 minutes (though I had 42 minutes by my watch...), ran 1/2 a mile down to the transition zone to grab my bike and go on a very technical, very hilly, very NARROW course that traversed the Presidio, Great Highway, GG Park and back for 18 miles in a time of 1:04, traded the bike shoes for running shoes and ran for 8 miles along Crissy Field, under the GG Gate bridge, down to Baker Beach, back up the Sand Ladder (for anybody who's curious about what the Sand Ladder is, there's a great video of people climbing up its 400 steps here:, and back down to the finish line in a time of 1:13, for a grand total finish time of 3:11 and placing 16th in my age group of 73 women. Phew!!

Did I love it? It was fun, fast, and a great race to be a part of. I was really happy to be one of the competitors and I will say that the overall level of fitness of the athletes who participated was far higher than what I've experienced at other tris. I'm normally used to passing tons of people on the bike and even a fair amount on the run, and that was definitely not happening to the degree it normally does.

Personally, I think I found it more grueling than anything. The swim was really neat, but about 20 minutes into it the fog rolled in and the Palace of Fine Arts (what I was sighting off of) disappeared!! So, that kind of sucked and it was a little scary. The bike lane was SO narrow, it made it difficult to pass people especially since everybody was vying to pass everybody else - I'd try to make a pass but inevitably ended up cutting more than a couple of people off by accident. I felt bad about it. Then it was just like "up and down, up and down...enough with the climbing already!" As much as I feel weird saying this...the run was my favorite. It was a cool run and I really got energized at the 4 mile mark. Unfortunately, those first 3.5 were really difficult and it took a lot longer than usual for my body to kind of 'click-in' to the run. Usually only takes about a mile or so.

Would I do it again? Probably at some point, and it's a really neat race to be in, but it's not going down in my book as something to do every year. Maybe every few years.

My friend Sherreme took this picture of me at the beginning of the run. Thanks, Sherreme! Go Lombardi Sports!!!

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