Jarrod and I flew straight from LA to San Francisco after racing LA Tri last weekend. We had an awesome week hanging out with our friends Jordan and Rich Blanco.
The weather for race day was completely atypical for Escape from Alcatraz. It was so warm; I believe the high ended up being over 90 degrees. There was almost no wind, no fog, and the ocean was flat!
Before I knew it we were swinging a leg over the railing of the boat and preparing to dive in. It doesn’t matter whether your a pro or not, that dive off the horn blower is high and a little nerve wracking. We dove in and the group splintered pretty fast. The water was moving really fast near Alcatraz but it seemed to slow dramatically as we approached shore. In fact it seemed like we were swimming against a pretty strong current as we tried to get into shore- they kayakers were amazing and helped guide the way as we moved through these different currents. I came out of the water in 4th and I felt like I was in no mans land but Ashleigh Gentle came by me on the long run to T2.
I was just off Ashleigh’s pace as we climbed the first big hill and as she caught Lauren Goss I just wasn’t able to lift my pace; I could see them just ahead of me for a long time but then it was like an elastic snapped and I lost sight of them. Because the weather was so nice there were a lot of people out. You had to pay very close attention for people crossing the road, running or biking on course, people walking their dogs or pushing a stroller. It was a little nerve wracking and stopped me from really being able to push the envelope on the technical sections. I came off the bike in 5th place.
I started the run and felt great. The first few miles are flat and were pretty uneventful. The second we approached the Golden Gate Bridge it got crazy. People were all over the course and they did not care or they didn't understand there was a race going on. The narrow stair cases were full of tourists. All the beautiful vistas that were on the run course were stuffed with people taking selfies. It was really frustrating. After I ascended the sand ladder and got to the top of the run course which is around the 5 mile mark, it was as if the course stopped being marked. After going up and down a metal stair case there was simply nothing, I feared I had taken a wrong turn. I looked around the open space and couldn’t see where to go. Luckily a nice couple having breakfast at a picnic table pointed me in the right direction which was through the low tunnel. There were a couple times I worried if I was going the right way. Finally someone came by me just as we rejoined the stair case which was now stuff with hundreds of agegroupers trying to go up as we were trying to go down. No one knew which side to run on; finally as we approached the bottom we were instructed to run on the left. I ran the final 2 mile stretch to the finish line with no incidents. I ran as hard as I could and crossed the line in 5th.
My big goal was to place top 3. I knew that this would be difficult, but goals are meant to be difficult! I fell short of that goal, but I'm still proud of the race. All you can ever ask of yourself is your best and I did that yesterday. Next up will be a 70.3, I'm unsure which one but will decide by the end of the week. Until then, thanks for reading.