Escape from Alactraz

Just got accepted through the lottery for Escape from Alcatraz next June (figured it would be a good warm up for Outlaw!).  Was just wondering if anyone has done it in previous years and can give any insights or tips?


  • I haven't but I know a man who has. He said it's tough, the water is very cold and has a strong current; and the bike and run are pretty lumpy. Other than that, no idea. image
  • i haven't but I've seen it on TV a few times, does that count?  They kept going on about the being cold, and having to aim for a point way to the right of the swim finish point to account for the current.  Oh, and those steps climbing up off the beach on the run looked like fun.

    Course wise it's probably about as far removed from Outlaw as it's possible to get.  Good practice for IM Wales, I would imagine.

  • No but if I swam the distance in the pool and did the rest in the gym, does that count? image
  • Cheerful Dave wrote (see)
    Course wise it's probably about as far removed from Outlaw as it's possible to get.  Good practice for IM Wales, I would imagine.
    Yeah I realised that Dave - just always fancied doing the swim and happened to be a bit flukey with lotteries this year (got into Brighton and London marathon lotteries as well...) - wasn't really expecting to get in this year!  image  May go and enter EuroMillions now actually...
  • Oh, it looks like a great event - I wouldn't ditch it just because it might not be ideal prep for Outlaw

    There's always the Kona lottery...

  • Well done for getting in.  I'm very jealous image

    I think the run is really tough.  Part of it is on sand and you also have a 400 step staircase to climb.

  • I did it in 2010. Fantastic race and overall experience. In summary, the swim, and the trip out on the boat, is a blast and nowhere near as cold as made out. maybe if you do all your swimming in Florida. The bike is hilly but pretty short. Road surface isn't great in some places. The climbs tend to be short and steep and there's some fun descents. The run is fantastic and tough, on multi-terrain including the beach, and the Sand Ladder hurts.

    I'd go back and do it again like a shot. Happy to answer any questions or give you more details. Get paid and enter.
  • Cheers Kid,

    Paid up last night so no going back now.  My friend has emigrated to SF last week (reason I entered as we would hopefully do it together) but unfortunately she didn't get into round 1 of the lottery so have to keep fingers crossed she gets into round 2. Although she's said she'll come and support with Mrs Mandel if she doesn't get in.  Think we're going to take 2 weeks and go travelling down the coast too afterwards as I've got a bit of family in LA and San Diego (plus it will keep the wife happy...)

    Quick question, on the swim, did you use a neoprene hat as well? Saw it was recommended but are they just being OTT about the cold?

    CD - may have to enter the Kona lottery now too although I've probably used up my luck for now...

  • I did wear a neoprene hat but wish I hadn't. There really was no need. If you swim open water in the uk then this is no colder. The hardest thing about the swim is the current and staying on the right line, but you do get a fair bit of guidance in the briefings. I didn't pay for the practice swim with Pedro beforehand (IIRC) but it comes highly recommended.
  • I am entered into the second round ballot, along with a mate.  Albeit rather pricey, visiting Alcatraz in this manner could only be bettered by Snake Plissken!


  • Awesome stuff Robbie.  Hopefully see you there!
  • I'm in the second round as well. Having got into London at the first attempt I was confident on the first ballot but you are luckier than me mandel

    Good luck and enjoy.
  • Would be awesome to tri with you again Pugsley! Fingers crossed for you.
  • Pugsley, did you get in through the second ballot mate?

    Robbie what about you too? 

    Names are up on website if you're not sure yet.

  • check out the legend that is Mark Kleanthous has done this a few times and has loads of great tipson most IM races
  • Not this year Iron.M - (Other than Ben) It seems like you're the only shark bait from this forum ... good luck!

  • Sorry mate - hope you get in next time.  Will give you all a full report though afterwards!
  • Sorry, not been about so much.  I am in, I will be there and I will be in yeller and black.  Howsabout you Mandel - will you stand out from the crowd??!

    If you are there and in need of a beer it would be a pleasure to join you.

  • I'd love to have made the cut but being the b*stard I am, having searched for "great white San Fran" and come up with the below, I'm not too disappointed that come midnight on 10 June 2012, I'll still weigh the same as when I started out the day ...

    No need to thank me.


  • Whhhooooaaa.  Never mind the sharks - i need to bleach my eyes after seeing the fat guy in the speedoes.

    Apparently the water is so cold right now even the sharks are fecking freezing.

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