He did it!  Simon Gronow successfully completed his escape from Alcatraz in the early hours of Monday morning (our time), in what was one of his biggest events to date.  Congratulations Simon on all you hard work; getting to the start line, being well prepared and executing it on race day.  We’re all thrilled for you!


“Well this happened today.  Yes, I’m quoting baseball coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) from “A League of Their Own,” who famously said,  “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.” Feeling like you’ve done something vfew would try gives you an enormous sense of accomplishment.  Prison ID #826 (me) – Successfully Escaped Alcatraz Tri today. Some people say I should be locked up. LOL

To me this was a bucket list race for those who know me I have spent 5 or so years trying to get into this race and while sitting in an apartment back in Busso with PamFikriye and Sam last (2017) December I got an email saying that my Ballot slot had been accepted. Escape from Alcatraz is an icon event in the USA like Noosa is to us in Australia.

You need to be at Transition early buses leave to take you down the Belle as the boat leaves 6:30am on the dot. So I was up at 4am left for the event from the Hotel by 4:30 – about 5-10min ride down. Something weird here in the US you can leave your bag in Transition.

2500 Athletes jumping into the bay from the San Francisco Belle swimming towards shore. You are giving 7 mins to get overboard, it’s crazy you walk over the Timing line through one of three doors pin drop (or dive) into the ice waters of San Francisco Bay around 15c water temp. When I came up for air I started to swimming towards Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts. The currents are strong like you feel if your swimming Portsea or Sorrento. The swim is a 1.5 mile or 2.4KM

Once you get out of the water there is a half mile run (800m) To Transition 1 same as we see at St Kilda. The other big thing is the rows are not number you have to go by the houses opposite or Nationals Flags around the Transition area.  You get your wetsuit, etc off, Helmet on, grab your Bike and head out. Leaving and Racing in Australia you need to keep in mind you ride on the wrong side of the road. I rented a bike here for $180US for 4 days, considering that the airline would charge me $50+ one way from Australia plus I’m holidaying afterwards I didn’t luge my bike around. God help if me the Airlines drop my bike and break it.

The roads are bad, lots and lots of potholes. The Course is hilly, not really a TT bike more suited to Roadies, with that said lots of people did use TT’s. The course heads out under the Golden Gate down towards Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park. The back towards the Marine Park for the Run.

The Run is 8 Miles or 12.3km’s of mix of Trail, Concrete, Sand. The Sand Steps is 400 uneven steps in sand. it just after the half way mark. Once you get past this it’s more or less a downhill run towards the finish line.

Thanks to Elicia for keeping my body moving, Luke for the training sets, Ollie for the Logo for the Custom Trisuit I had make for the race and the programs, the GregAshleyMario and the Long course  crew thanks. Thanks to Peter for the those cold open water swims at Half Moon well worth it. Thanks to the TA Crew and Friends who sent me messages of support special thanks goes to Fikriye and Pam for long hilly crazy rides we did.”


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