It was close to two years ago that I just for fun registered for the Escape from Alcatraz. I didn’t think that I would get through the random draw but did, and it became my focal point for the season.
Fast forward to last summer, Amalie and I decided to travel to San Francisco to combine a vacation and my race. I was very much looking forward to the entire spectacle and was in an okay shape.
I don’t know about you guys, but the sole reason for me to even participate in the Escape from Alcatraz was the allure of the swim. Would I be able to do it? Was I a good enough swimmer? This race is and will always be a swim first race, everything else is just a bonus.
The day came, and little did I know that this would be one of the more sad days of my sports career. The walk from our hotel, the morning of the race, was short, but still full of anticipation. I finished my transition area in a short amount of time and boarded the bus towards the San Francisco Belle, the ship that would take us out in the bay.
This is where the day started to go south. Too much water from the Rocky’s and a lot of wind created dangerous currents that made it impossible for the small security crafts to keep us safe. The swim was canceled! My triathlon-world crumbled in minutes, and I was unsure if I wanted to go through with the race at all, many people didn’t.
I finished the race as a duathlon, but the wound still feels fresh in my mind. I have never been this let down by any sport event ever before.
In the year that has passed since then, I almost haven’t touched a bike. I’ve had at best 10 swimming sessions and have generally not been motivated to join in on another triathlon event. My TT bike has been in storage and hasn’t been used the last 18 months. I was close to just renaming my entire Instagram/Youtube/Blog to something that wasn’t triathlon related.
Big things need to happen in my life if I ever am going to consider doing the Escape from Alcatraz again. I have an irrational anger towards the event. Mostly because I was robbed of the experience of my lifetime, but also because there was no thought towards the athletes after the decision was made.
Yes, we got a chance to join the race next year circumventing the random draw. But if you consider how big a chance it is for you to get through (33%) this isn’t as big of a gesture that it sounds like. Disappointed athletes wanted to leave, but they were not allowed out of the transition zone. Some of them waited for hours to be able to get their bike out only to go home empty-handed. The race has become a money machine that costs twice, or thrice, as much as it did a few years ago and to the participants that I talked to it was clear that the highest priority was to keep a firm grip on the moneybag.
I am finally getting over this letdown. I had never looked forward to a race of this caliber before and became discouraged in my quest to see the world through triathlons. Now though it seems this is about to change. I have finally, with the help of my brothers, gotten my bike down to Denmark again. Big things seem to be in the making!
Look below for a video rendition of the entire experience.