Escape from Alcatraz: My First Triathlon

My Escape from Alcatraz triathlon experience was amazing, and I’d like to first thank my friends, family, and LIVESTRONG because they gave me the opportunity to raise the money I needed to secure my spot in the race. 

If you aren’t familiar with Escape from Alcatraz, it’s a triathlon race held in San Francisco every year and is made up of 1.5 miles of swimming, 18 miles of biking, and 8 miles of running. 

I had wanted to participate since 2014, and on June 9, 2019, I was one of the lucky 2,000 individuals who did! It was a little difficult for me to qualify since I’m not a full-time athlete, which is why I was part of the team LIVESTRONG.

The weekend race began on Friday with a shake run sponsored by Science in Sport (SIS) with Ben Kanute, who won in 2017, 2018, and 2019.


The race expo was on Saturday, June 8, at the Marina Green in San Francisco. I attended a meeting with the other athletes about all of the necessary information about the race, like transition areas, setting up stations, and tips for the race.

On Sunday, June 9, I woke up at 4:00 am, ate a banana, grabbed a bottle of water, and headed to the race. I remember seeing many people ready to cheer and some others ready to race! The first wave of participants started jumping into the cold water, and about two minutes later, I jumped in too. And before I knew it, the swim was over, and my finishing time was 1:15:29. 

The time it took me to complete the biking portion was 1:29:23; the hills made the course very difficult, and I had to stop to stretch every now and then. When I finished biking and started running, I started to think about the day when I started raising money last November: I was training, running, biking, and eventually swimming, and when I was just 8 miles away from accomplishing one of my buckets lists items, I heard someone talking to me, and when I turned around, I saw it was one of the runners that I met on Friday before the race. We started chatting while we were running, exchanging anecdotes, and talking about the race.

At the last water station, someone called out my name, and when I looked up, I saw it was Mathias Hansen, a friend and atlasGO ambassador. It turns out he was volunteering at the race, and when I reached him, I was very tired because the weather was too hot but happy at the same time to see a familiar face and to complete the race. When I crossed the finish line, I had so many emotions, but all of them were positive! 

Carlos Marin

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