2013 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon | March 3, 2013 | San Francisco, CA
February 21, 2013

You are receiving this email because you have registered as a participant or have expressed interest in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. This newsletter will continue to be delivered to you regularly until the start of the event. Each newsletter will contain very important information to help make this event successful and safe for everyone involved. Please read each one carefully.

In this newsletter, we discuss MUST KNOW INFORMATION for the race weekend (March 2-3) at the 2013 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.

Participant List
A Participant List is now available on our website. Please review your information to make sure it is correct. Note: Per USAT Rules, your age is shown during calendar year, NOT on race day.


Event Schedule

Thursday, February 28

6:00 PM              Escape Academy Presentation     Sports Basement at Presidio

                          Featuring Pete Jacobs and Josh Amberger                                                   

Friday, March 1

6:00 PM              Escape Academy Presentation     Sports Basement at Presidio

    Featuring Andy Potts, Andrew Bauer and Jesse Thomas   


Saturday, March 2

11:00 AM            Festival Village Open                   Marina Green

                          Packet Pick-up Begins *              Marina Green

1:00 PM              Athlete Meeting**                        Marina Green

4:00 PM              Pro Athlete Meeting                     Marina Green

5:00 PM              Athlete Meeting**                        Marina Green

6:00 PM              Packet Pick-up Ends                   Marina Green

                          Festival Village Closed                 Marina Green

*All participants MUST pick up their OWN packet. Friends or family may NOT pick it up for you.

**All participants MUST attend at least one athlete meeting 


Sunday, March 3

4:00 - 6:00 AM     Transition Area Open                    Marina Green

4:30 - 6:00 AM     Shuttles Depart for Pier 3             Marina Green

6:30 AM              Festival Village Open                   Marina Green

                          Start Boat Departs for Alcatraz     Pier 3

7:30 AM              Swim Start                                   Alcatraz Island (adjacent)

9:30 AM              First Professional Finisher            Marina Green

11:45 AM            Awards Presentation                    Marina Green

2:30 PM              Fitness Festival Closed                Marina Green 

Must Know: Pre-Weekend

Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1
The Escape Academy in conjunction with the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon will host two pre-race information sessions at Sports Basement on Thursday and Friday before race weekend.
Thursday, February 28 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (Featuring Pete Jacobs and Josh Amberger)
Thursday Meeting: RSVP Here 


Friday, March 1 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (Featuring Andy Potts, Andrew Bauer and Jesse Thomas)

Friday Meeting: RSVP Here 


Sports Basement 
610 Old Mason Street, The Presidio 
San Francisco, CA 94129

Escape Academy Coach and 24-year veteran of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, Eric Gilsenan will lead an intimate discussion on everything you want to know about the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about course tips, conditions, and details about the swim start, the swim course, swim exit transition run, transition, the bike course, aid stations, the run course, the Sand Ladder, and the Finish. Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn about the race and meet the pros before they enter the water!
Please note, these sessions DO NOT replace the mandatory Athlete Meeting all participants will attend at Marina Green on Saturday.


Must Know: Saturday, March 2

Packet Pick-up
Packet Pick-up will take place within the Fitness Festival at Marina Green on Saturday, March 2 from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Packet pick-up is MANDATORY for all participants including each individual relay participant. Friends, family, or teammates may NOT pick up your packet for you. You must pick up your packet on Saturday during scheduled hours.

What to bring: All participants must bring valid photo ID. Annual USAT members must bring their current USAT card. If you registered as an Annual USAT member and do not have your valid card or a printed temporary card with you, be prepared to pay $12.00 (cash/check) for the USAT one-day fee.


!!! You will also bring your items for the Swim Exit Transition Bag (this is new from previous years). Items in the bag will be limited to a small towel, small bottle of water, pair of shoes, and any critical items such as an asthma inhaler or glasses.!!!


Step 1: You will enter the packet pick up area and proceed to the Waiver and ID Check tent. Here you will present the proper identification, sign the appropriate waivers and be issued a Yellow Card with your assigned Bib Number.


Step 2: You will proceed with your Yellow Card to the Wristband and Race Packet tent. Here you will present your Yellow Card to receive your race packet and race wristband. The wristband will be placed on your wrist at this time by a volunteer. This wristband must be worn throughout the duration of the event. It will serve as your event ID and allow you access to the start boat, your timing chip, transition, and other restricted athlete-only areas of the course.


What's in the Race Packet?
Swim Cap

Timing Chip

Bib Number
Bike Number
Helmet Sticker
Two Labeled Personal Gear Bags
Safety Pins
Course Maps
Most Commonly Violated USAT Rules
Number Positioning Guide


Why the two Gear Bags?

You will receive two white personal gear bags to be labeled with your bib number. One bag is for the items you have on Sunday morning but will not use/wear during the swim. You will leave this bag at Pier 3 and it will be collected and returned to the bag corral at Marina Green for pick-up after the race. The other bag is for any items you wish to have at the swim exit transition and prior to the short run from swim exit to the main transition area. This bag will be dropped off following packet pick-up on Saturday. It will be transported to the swim exit and placed in order by Bib number. Following the end of the swim, these bags will be collected and returned to the bag corral at Marina Green for pick-up after the race.    


Do NOT place anything in the bags you cannot live without. Items are subject to falling out of the bags during transport. This includes iPods, wedding rings, lucky t-shirts, favorite hats, etc. PLEASE put your name and phone number in your wetsuit. While we will not worry about old shoes and sweaty t-shirts that are lost and found... we will return any lost and found wetsuits but ONLY if they are labeled with a name and phone number.   




Step 3: You will next proceed to the T-shirt and Athlete Bag tent to pick up your official participant shirt and athlete gift bag. Limit one per participant.


Step 4: You will proceed to the body marking area to be marked for the race on Sunday.


Step 5: Finally, you will drop off your swim exit bag with event staff for transport to the swim exit on Sunday morning by event staff.


Athlete Meetings
Athlete Meetings will take place within the Fitness Festival at Marina Green on the Festival Stage. All participants including each individual relay team member MUST ATTTEND AT LEAST ONE athlete meeting. They will take place at 1:00 PM, and 5:00 PM on Saturday. (This is new from previous years). A special Athlete Meeting for Professional Athletes will take place at 4:00 PM on Saturday.


Special Note
There is one important procedure that WILL NOT occur on Saturday: Bike Racking
This event will take place race morning - SUNDAY.

Must Know: Sunday, March 3 (RACE DAY!)

Transition Area 

The transition area will be located at Marina Green adjacent to the Finish Line and Fitness Festival. Access to the transition area will be limited to athletes only as designated by your participant wristband issued during Saturday's packet pick-up. The transition area will be open from 4:00 AM - 6:30 AM.

Drop Off
If you are going to be dropped off at Marina Green, please use one of the many side streets south of Marina Blvd and east of Scott Street, because Marina Boulevard is a no-stop zone area that is patrolled. Parking in the Marina Green parking lot is limited to vehicles with an Official permit only. There is also no parking in the St. Francis Yacht Club parking lot by the swim finish. Please do not park in these areas. These areas are on the bike course and it is an extreme safety hazard. Also, on Race Day, parking on Marina Boulevard or in the Marina Green parking lot will result in your vehicle being towed.

Bike Rack
All participants will rack their bike on Sunday morning. Only participants with a wristband will be allowed in the transition area to rack their bike. Bikes will be racked by race number. Please rack your bike by the seat and arrange your race items within the immediate area around your bike. All racers are entitled to a clear race course. Balloons, stuffed animals, signs or other similar items will not be allowed in the transition area to mark bike racks. Such items can hinder the progress of other participants and will be removed by race personnel. Bar end plugs are required on your handlebars. Wind trainers are not allowed in the transition area.

Gear Bags
Your swim exit bags that were dropped off on Saturday, will be transported to the swim exit by event staff and ready for you when you exit the water. You will take your BOAT BAG with you on the shuttle to Pier 3. This is the bag you will leave at Pier 3 and will contain any items you have in the morning but do not wish to use during the swim portion of the race. Both bags will be collected and brought back to the bag corral at Marina Green for pick up following the event. DO NOT OVERSTUFF THESE BAGS and DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN THE BAGS. (i.e. iPods, Heart Rate monitors, wedding rings, etc)

Shuttle to Pier 3 / Start Boat
Buses leave for Pier 3 beginning at 4:00 AM with the last bus departing at 5:50 AM. Please see the schedule below for boarding times based on your age group or division. Please do not deviate from the boarding times or you run the risk of not getting on a bus and making it to Pier 3. There are no refunds for those missing the bus or the boat!

Shuttle Loading Schedule
4:00 AM - 4:20 AM First Timers and Relay
4:30 AM - 4:50 AM Age Divisions 29 and Under
5:00 AM - 5:20 AM Age Divisions 30-39
5:30 AM - 5:50 AM Age Divisions 40+


Start Boat Departure
All athletes must be on board by 6:15 AM SHARP! Any athlete not boarded by 6:15 AM is in danger of missing the boat and will not be permitted to race. There are no refunds for participants who miss the boat. The start boat will depart promptly at 6:30 AM.

Start Boat Position
All athletes will be positioned on the start boat according to age group or division. Athletes will not be permitted to leave their designated position and roam around the boat.

The Swim
All athletes will start in order of age group or division as dictated by race staff and position on boat. The start will last approximately six minutes for all 1800+ participants to jump from the start boat and begin the race. This is a very hectic swim start with all athletes going off the Hornblower Boat in rapid succession. Athletes will be jumping from three open doors on the side of the boat once you have crossed the timing mats at each opening. Athletes have approximately three seconds to cross the timing mats and jump in to make room for the hundreds of other competitors that still have to start the event. Water temperatures at this event will be in the mid-to-lower 50's so it is highly suggested that you wear a full body wetsuit at this event. Neoprene caps or "squid lids" and neoprene socks or booties are allowed. The swim cap given to you by the event must be worn on the outermost layer. Gloves are not allowed.

Important Swim Course Rules: Should any athlete get pulled from the water because they cannot continue, they will be taken to the swim exit area where race officials will be waiting to document your race number and discuss the opportunity for you to continue to do the bike and run portions of the event. Please note that athletes pulled from the water will NOT be eligible for age group awards. If an athlete voluntarily abandons the swim, it is that competitor's responsibility to find a race official to notify them that they will NOT be completing the swim but that they are out of the water and that they are safe. Failure to notify race officials will result in an automatic disqualification from this event and could result in a three year ban from future USA Triathlon events.


IMPORTANT: If a water safety boat or kayak asks you to swim in a different direction or physically repositions you on the swim course, you MUST adhere to his/her request.  There is no penalty for being repositioned.  There WILL be a penalty and likely removal from the race if you ignore safety or race officials' requests.

Swim Exit, Mini-Transition, and Run to Marina Green
Upon exiting the water, participants will come to the swim exit mini-transition that will contain the swim exit bag (dropped off on Saturday) arranged in order of bib number. If you choose to discard any items into the bag at this point (wetsuit, goggles, etc.), they must be fully contained within the bag. Any items left outside the bag will be considered "litter on course" and you will be penalized accordingly. ONLY YOU will be responsible for placing items back in your bag. Do NOT ask a volunteer or fellow participant to do it for you.


Following this mini-transition area, you will complete a short run to the main transition area at Marina Green where you will retrieve your bike and begin the bike portion of the race. The short run to Marina Green is approximately 3/4-mile. We suggest wearing shoes (although not required) as this portion of the race takes place on asphalt that could contain small rocks, glass, or other debris. Swimmers of relay teams are responsible for this short run to transition.

Swim-to-Bike Transition
Make sure your discarded swim items remain within your personal space in the main transition area. Items haphazardly removed may impede the progress of other racers. After securing your cycling helmet, walk/run your bike to the bike exit end of the transition area. Upon exiting the transition area, you may mount your bicycle after passing the mount line. Volunteers will be on hand to indicate the location of the mount line.

For Relays: The swimmer will run/walk into the transition area and find his/her team cyclist by the bike. The swimmer and cyclist will transfer the ChampionChip from the ankle of the swimmer to the ankle of the cyclist. The ChampionChip is the 'baton'. The cyclist may then unrack his/her bike and proceed to bike exit.

Bike Course (18 miles)
The 18-mile bike course for this event is very challenging with many turns, uphill sections and descents along the entire route. Please make sure that you ride to the right side of the roadway at all times so faster athletes can pass on the left. This will ensure a safe flow of bike traffic during this portion of the event. Overall the road conditions on the bike course are excellent but athletes are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to this course because parts of this bike course travel through residential neighborhoods. Helmets are required at all times while on the bike course.

Race Management will have a mobile bike unit roving the bike course to assist athletes that have mechanical problems. Race Management will also have a SAG vehicle in place following the last bike to pick up any cyclist that cannot continue because of fatigue or serious mechanical problems to his or her bike. (Note: Athletes must be patient while waiting for this vehicle to maneuver through cyclist still racing on the course.) Should an athlete need medical assistance please report to the nearest police officer, fellow participant, or volunteer along to route so assistance can be called to your location.


There are NO aid stations on the bike course this year so prepare accordingly for nutrition and hydration.  

Bike-to-Run Transition
Upon returning to the transition area, dismount your bicycle before the dismount line. Again, volunteers will be present to indicate the location of the dismount line. Run/walk your bicycle to your numbered bike rack. Your cycling helmet must be secured until after you rack your bike. Rack your bicycle by the seat. Prepare for the run and proceed to the run exit end of transition. Your bib number should be clearly visible when you cross the finish line.

Relays:The team cyclist will walk/run the bicycle to the team bike rack, rack the bike and then transfer the ChampionChip from the ankle of the cyclist to the ankle of the runner. The runner may then proceed to the run out end of the transition area.

Run Course (8 Miles)
The run course of this event can challenge even the most seasoned athletes as you run from road surface to sand to the famous Sand Ladder on your way to the finish line at Marina Green. The road surfaces will be asphalt, chip trail, sand and sand steps so please pay attention to your pace and the runners near you as some of this course is narrow with athletes running in two directions. Race Management will offer water and Cytomax every mile along this course so please drink early and often throughout the 8-mile run.

The Sand Ladder
The Sand Ladder is a 400-step stair case made of sand and wooden beams. It is located at approximately the 5-mile point of the run course. We suggest walking up the Sand Ladder as even the pro's take it slow to avoid burn-out at the top. There is a wire railing that you can use to help pull yourself up the steps. We also suggest stepping on the wooden beams for extra support as you climb the steps.

The Finish
The finish chute and finish line are located at Marina Green next to Transition and the Fitness Festival. Friends and family will have the opportunity to sit in the grand stands on either side of the finish chute to cheer on their favorite participant as he/she finishes.

As you cross the finish line, you will enter the finish corral and then move on into the athlete pavilion where you will receive your finisher's medal, water, return your timing chip, and receive medical assistance if needed. As you enter the finish corral, be aware of other participants crossing the finish line as well as television crew, media and photographers. We want to make sure everyone can cross the finish line cleanly and that all cameras are not blocked from the finish line view.

After the Finish
Medical: A medical tent will be located adjacent to the finish line should you need medical attention following the race.

Massage: National Holistic Institute will be providing complimentary massage in the massage tent located across from the Medical Tent within the athlete-only area.

Athlete Pavilion: All participants will be treated to a hearty meal in the Athlete Pavilion following the race.
Muscle Milk Rejuvenation Room: All participants are invited into the Muscle Milk Rejuvenation Room as you exit the Athlete Pavilion. Plenty of Muscle Milk will be available to aid in recovery after your ESCAPE!

Gear Bag and Bike Retrieval
Your Boat Bag and Swim Exit Bag will be available for pick up in the Bag Corral located next to the Fitness Festival at Marina Green. Volunteers will be available to retrieve your bags for you by bib number. You will need your athlete wristband as proof of your bib number.

Anyone who forgets or fails to pick up their transition bag by 4 PM on Sunday will have their transition bag and all items inside kindly donated to a local charity.  

Access to the Transition area will be extremely limited. Only athletes wearing their official race wristband will be allowed in transition to retrieve their bicycles. Friends and family will NOT be allowed access to the transition area at any time. You will have to show your athlete wristband to prove that it matches your bib number and/or bike number to take your bike out of the transition area once the event is completed. You will not be able to retrieve your bicycle from the transition area until all athletes have completed the bike portion of the race. It is at the discretion of the Transition Director to allow a limited number of athletes at a time to retrieve their bikes if there are still athletes on the bike course.

Results will be available in the Digital Results Zone located in the center of the Fitness Festival. Results will be searchable via tablets and can be accessed by participants, friends, family, or fans. We will also have a mobile app and facebook app for viewing and posting results.  Information in our next newsletter on how to download these new apps. Any questions or issues regarding timing or results will be handled in the timing tent located on the North side of the Finish Corral.



Photos will be available following the race through MarathonFoto. Here you will be able to view and purchase race photos. SIGN UP TODAY for a notification when the race photos are ready!

Awards will take place at the Fitness Festival Stage beginning at approximately 11:45 AM. Awards will be presented to first, second, and third place finishers in each division as well as to the top 10 finishing professional athletes. Additionally, those placing first in their division are automatically qualified for the 2014 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. 

Must Know: Cold Weather Tips
  • Be ready physically and mentally for the coldest swim of your life.
  • Wear two latex swim caps, the one you are issued on Saturday and another you bring with you.
  • Wear booties on the swim this year.
  • Wear a warm beanie on the short run to the main transition area.
  • Arm warmers or a jacket on the bike will save you.
  • Wear full finger bike gloves
  • Drink a warm beverage.
  • Encourage other athletes as you pass them or as they pass you.
  • Keep your energy stores up, your body will be burning extra calories just to stay warm.
  • Wear light running gloves on the run.
  • If you are in town make sure you come by Sports Basement Presidio Thursday and Friday at 6pm for more updates and great sales on cold weather sports gear.
We Need Volunteers!
Volunteers This race would not be possible without hundreds of amazing volunteers!
There are many opportunities and roles as a Volunteer within this great race.  Some of the "best seats in the house" belong to our amazing and helpful volunteers.  And did you know that volunteering can INCREASE your chances of being selected in next year's lottery! 


We Want Your Story!
Do you have an interesting or heartwarming story about your participation in or your relationship with the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon? have you overcome impossible odds to join us on race day? Are you celebrating a milestone during the event? We want to hear your story!

Please email shelbi@spinpr.com with details!

What's Next? | What Did You Miss?
2013 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon e-Newsletter Schedule
  • January 10 - "Welcome"  
  • January 17 - "The Swim"
  • January 24 - "Nutrition"
  • January 31 - "The Bike"
  • February 7 - "The Run"
  • February 14 - "Race Weekend: Friends & Family"
  • February 21 - "Race Weekend: Must Know"
  • February 28 - "Last Minute Reminders"
  • March 21 - "Race Recap"

If you missed any of the newsletters, please visit our NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE 


IMGFor the past 19 years, IMG Worldwide has proudly owned, produced, and managed the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. This event is a marquee event within IMG's established portfolio of global endurance events, which includes the London Triathlon, Triathlon Alpe d'Huez, the Barcelona Triathlon, the Beijing International Triathlon, and more.
For the fourth year, IMG welcomes Bill Burke and his race team as the official Race Director of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.
IMG Worldwide | 12400 Wilshire Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90025