Thursday, October 5, 2017

Escape From Alcatraz - Finally the Swim!

Back on June 11, 2017, our son Riley flew to San Francisco to be a participant in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. It consists of a swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco, a bike ride, and a run. The part he was most excited about was the swim. For the first time in 37 years, the swim was cancelled due to weather conditions. You can read all about it in Riley's own words on a previous blog I posted back in June.

Well, Riley found out he could do just the swim this past weekend so he signed up right away. This time we went along...

...and his brother Steve flew in from a job he was on in Nevada.

On Friday there was a small craft warning and we were keeping our fingers crossed (and praying!) that Saturday's swim would not be cancelled. Here Riley is doing some laps in the harbor before swim day.

A couple pics of Alcatraz the day before. You can see the white caps - eek. At least I didn't see any shark fins - double eek.

Saturday morning the swimmers boarding the boat.

And NO whitecaps! Though Riley said there were some pretty good swells out there, and quite a current. San Francisco is one of three natural made harbors in the world. We saw many ships pass by while we were there. Well, the swim goes smack dab through the shipping lanes so the ships had to anchor up and wait until a certain time to pass Alcatraz. If you were a swimmer and weren't back to the mainland by that time you would be picked up so the freighters could resume their passage.

Part of Alcatraz is a bird sanctuary between February and September. Birds make their nests on Alcatraz and also breed there. So because of that no one is allowed within 100 meters of Alcatraz's shoreline. That is why the boat is letting the swimmers off close to Alcatraz but not in the restricted space.

Here is the finish line. The swim is 1.25 miles long.

It was quite hard to pick out Riley! My son and I were at the end of the pier on the left. Steve walked back to the finish line to get pics of Riley coming out of the water.

Here he comes! 

Checking his swim time.

Medal time! He finished in 21st place in his category for male 15 and older, and finished 30th overall out of 295 swimmers.

There's Alcatraz in the distance and a very happy Riley on the mainland! You did it! Yaaay!

It was such a fun weekend. I have more pics to share with you in the near future and they include lots of sea lions. I'll bet you can't wait! :)

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