San Francisco is known for its fun races, but nobody gets naked or sneaks a beer during the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. Its one of those bragging-rights courses that draws ringers from around the world, meaning the fun part for locals is watching, such as when the 100-plus swimmers storm the beach like SEALS trainees or, if the wind is up, disaster victims. Then after a unique one-mile warmup run to stave off hypothermia, theyre off to an 18-mile bike ride through the hilly Presidio, out to Golden Gate Park, and back. The eight-mile run then kicks in with more insults, namely the thick sand of Baker Beach and the 400-step Sand Ladder, which forces many runners to stop with the running, hang their heads, and drag themselves along using the cable, one painful step at a time just like you after a hard day lying on the beach.
Sun., June 8, 8 a.m., 2008