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Race News from Alcatraz Challenge

Race Week Reminders to Put You at Ease

Your Shuttle Assignment

Shuttle assignments were emailed earlier this week. If you were a registered participant as of Monday, July 28th, you received an email detailing your shuttle time. If you registered after Monday, please email for your assignment.

Shuttles begin running from Crissy Field at 5:30 AM on Race Morning. You are always welcome to take an earlier shuttle, when available, but if you miss your assigned shuttle time, you are not guaranteed a space on a later shuttle. Please plan accordingly.

Parking for the Venue

Here are a few parking recommendations for race morning:
  1. Along Old Mason in front of the low white buildings.
  2. If you continue east on Old Mason, immediately after the low white buildings, there is a great parking lot!
  3. Little Marina Green is always a great option.
  4. The absolute last resort is parking at East Beach. Last resort. Please help us maintain our relationship with the Parks Dept. by keeping the parking within Crissy Field for weekend guests that would like to walk their dogs or enjoy a morning sunrise jog. Thank you for respecting their wishes so the event can continue in the years to come. 

Parking at Sports Basement is available (and free), so don't worry about parking for Packet Pick Up or the Training Talks. Last but not least, this is a friendly reminder to check and review all parking guidelines to avoid citations and towings.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, August 2, 2014
  • Noon - 7:00 PM          Packet Pick Up / Registration at Sports Basement
  • 2:00 PM                       FREE Training Talk on the Alcatraz Swim at Sports Basement
  • 6:00 PM                       FREE Training Talk on the Alcatraz Swim at Sports Basement

Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • 5:00 AM - 6:15 AM      Packet Pick Up / Registration at East Beach Crissy Field
  • 5:30 AM - 6:15 AM      Shuttle Departure from East Beach at Assigned Time
  • 6:00 AM - 6:55 AM      Mandatory Orientation at Pier 3
    • If you are on one of the shuttles from East Beach, you will arrive in time to hear one of the Orientations
  • 7:00 AM                       Hornblower departs Pier 3 for Alcatraz Island
  • 8:00 AM                       Swim Start
  • 9:30 AM                       Awards Ceremony for Swim Only Participants at East Beach Crissy Field
  • 11:00 AM                     Awards Ceremony for Aquathlon Participants at East Beach Crissy Field

Please note, the free Training Talk at the Sports Basement is hosted twice - once at 2:00 PM and again at 6:00 PM. You only need attend one of them. The talk is also not mandatory, but gives you good tips on how to choose a site line based on your swim speed and calms the nerves a bit by giving you the chance to talk to a seasoned veteran in open-water swimming.

Last Minute Preparations

Yacht ClubWe have some wise words from Gary Emich and Joe Oakes to leave you with in these days preceding the race. Gary and Joe have made the crossing from Alcatraz hundreds of hundreds of times. (You'll get to hear from Gary if you attend an Athlete Talk on Saturday.) They both speak to the fact that this swim is so much a mental challenge - "The addiction of Alcatraz is it's a thinking swim that's never the same twice - EVER."

Don't discredit the power of the mind in these coming days. Attend the Athlete Talks, ask the questions to put your mind at ease. Also, one of the toughest mental battles to overcome is within the first couple minutes of the swim when you are around lots of individuals jumping off the boat. To help yourself prepare for this feeling, and to just have a little fun during your last swim workout, partner up with someone and race across the pool trying a) to keep away from the other and b) trying to swim as close to, on top, pulling and slapping the feet of the other. This will help you begin to experience swimming around others and make that one less mind battle for race day. 

Race Weather

Here's your race day weather report. Looks like it may be a bit chilly but warm up nicely. Air temp though doesn't have a large effect on water temperature. Average water temperature for the beginning of August is reported to be 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Other swim events hosted by Tri-California have landed closer to 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The final water temp will be measured Saturday morning and discussed at the Saturday Athlete Talks. 

Fuel Up. Coffee and Food.

The possibilities of Saturday dinner restaurants or Sunday lunch restaurants are endless, but if you are staying close to the venue, you're probably pretty close to a few of these gems. (Mileage is from venue.)
  • Blue Barn Gourmet - Sandwiches and Yummy Salads! (Our staff gives this place 5 Stars) - 1.2 Miles - Open from 11 AM till 8 PM
  • Tacolicious - The name says it all - 1 Mile - Open for Lunch and Dinner
  • The Tipsy Pig - "Home Cooking" including a Brunch - 1 Mile - Opens at 11 AM
Coffee is most important on race morning. If your family or friends are looking, here are a few options.
  • Starbucks on Buchanan - 1.1 Miles - Opens at 5:30 AM
  • The Warming Hut - 1.5 Miles from Venue - Opens at 9 AM

Gear to Brag About

Headsweats VisorIf you pre-ordered a sweatshirt through registration or our Tri-Calfornia Store website and it has not been shipped to you at this time, it will be waiting for you at a table adjacent to Packet Pick Up. The staff there will ensure that you receive the size that you ordered.

If you didn't purchase one of the commemorative Alcatraz Challenge sweatshirts there are still some available for purchase on-site, but sizes and quantities are limited so get to Packet Pick Up early. Also, there are Alcatraz Challenge Headsweats running visors available too.

We Love Our Partners

Sports BasementWe love our partners because they're so gosh darn good to all of you. Sports Basement is helping us host our Packet Pick Up and Athlete Talks on Saturday, which is totally their style. Yes, they have the best, high-quality brands at basement prices, but they also pride themselves on fostering great community. They are here to welcome you to their community center, their hangout, their hub...come experience what Sports Basement is all about and pick up some great merchandise too.

Every individual that picks up their Race Packet from Sports Basement on Saturday between Noon - 7:00 PM will receive a coupon to use in the store on Saturday, so give yourself a little extra time to shop!

Take a Tour

Enjoy the sites! After your swim across the Bay, you'll tell everyone you know, "I swam from Alcatraz," and now you can add to the story by learning all about the history of Alcatraz Island. Take a tour of the Island before coming to Packet Pick Up. You're in one of the most amazing cities, so take advantage of it and plan a Saturday full of adventure!
Tickets to Alcatraz

Just for Fun: Life on 'The Rock'

Al CaponeAl Capone spent some time on Alcatraz Island as some of you might know, but did you know that while Al Capone was held at Alcatraz, he gave regular Sunday concerts with the inmate band. He played the banjo! 
"H20: Two Parts Heart, One Part Obsession."

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