Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I register?
A: Official registration links will be sent out October 26th, 2023.

Q: Who can participate in the Aquathlon?

A: The race is open to amateur athletes. All participants must be 18 years of age or older.

Q: How many entry spots are available to participants?

A: The race is capped at 400 entries. This is due to the capacity on the start boat.

Q: Is the Aquathlon a USAT-sanctioned event?

A: Yes. As such, Aquathlon participants must purchase a 1-day USAT license if they are not already a USAT member. Triathlon participants who have already purchased a 1-day license do not need to purchase a 2nd license.

Q: Can I exchange my Triathlon slot for an Aquathlon slot?

A: No exchanges or refunds.

Q: Registration Policies:

A: View Refund; Deferral; Transfer; and Event Cancellation Policies HERE.

Q: How much swim experience do I need to compete in the Aquathlon?

A: Even at the shorter distance, swimming in the bay is a challenging experience. Depending on the current, temperature, and winds, it can be particularly tough, even for the most experienced swimmers. Only you know how well you can swim. If you have swim questions or concerns specific to your situation, please email us at

Q: What if I just want to do the swim?

A: For safety reasons, we cannot allow any Aquathlon competitor to skip either portion of the race. All competitors must complete both the swim and run.

Q: When do I receive my timing chip?

A: You will receive it in your packet, along with your bib and swim cap, on Friday when you check-in at Sports Basement.

Q: If I’m doing both races, can I pick up both of my race packets together?

A: No, you must pick up your Aquathlon race packet on Friday evening at Sports Basement, and your Triathlon race packet on Saturday at Marina Green after the Aquathlon. You are the only person who can pick up your registration packet.

We will have a fast-track line on Saturday for athletes doing both races.

Q: Where is the Swim Start and how do I get there?

A: On Saturday morning, after setting up your transition area at Little Marina Green, you will get on one of the provided shuttles to Pier 3. You will ordered according to Age Group and boarded onto The San Francisco Spirit. This boat will depart Pier 3, pass Alcatraz Island, and stop approximately 750 meters out from sthe swim exit. All participants will jump from this boat to start the race.

Q: What happens if I need help during the swim?

A: There will be many boats, kayaks, lifeguards, and water safety teams out on the water during the swim. They are available if you need to grab onto a boat or kayak for a minute to rest or re-orient yourself. This action will not incur a penalty. They are there for rescue as well if you determine you cannot finish the swim and wish to drop out of the race.

Q: What is the cut-off time for the swim and what happens if I don't make it in the time allotted?

A: The cut-off time for the swim is one hour. Those still in the water after one hour will be picked up by boat, brought to shore, and allowed to finish without penalty.

Q: When is the awards ceremony?

A: The awards ceremony will take place on the Awards Stage at Marina Green at approximately 9:00am on Saturday.

Q: Who receives awards?

A: The top finisher (male and female) in each age group will receive an award.

Q: Where can I find race photos?

A: Race photos will be available for viewing and purchase from FinisherPix following the event weekend.

Q: What’re EFAT’s plans to implement COVID safety measures at the event in 2024?

A: According to the current guidelines provided by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, no proof of vaccination will be required, and masks are optional for competitors, spectators, and staff in the 2024 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and Escape Aquathlon. The health and safety of our participants, spectators and staff remains our top priority.

Q: Does participation in the ESCAPE Aquathlon qualify me for the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon?

A: The top (3) Male and Female participant swim times in the Aquathlon will be automatically granted “The Luck of the Draw”. The 6 Participants will have the opportunity to skip the Random Drawing process for the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon and will receive an invitation to register for a race entry into the following year’s Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.

**This is a paid entry into the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, NOT a complimentary race entry.**

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