Frequently Asked Questions


GENERAL

This is a modified International Distance Triathlon consisting of a 1.5-mile swim (2.4km), followed by an 18-mile bike (29km), and followed by an 8-mile run (13km).

2022 will mark the 41st time that the race takes place!

The race is open to professional triathletes, age group amateurs, and relay teams. All participants must be 18 years of age or older.

The race is capped at 2,000 entries. This is primarily due to the capacity on the boat and the time constraints on the race course.

This race is extremely challenging and is not recommended for first-time triathletes unless you have experience in similar disciplines, are in excellent physical condition, or have been working out with an experienced trainer or coach.

The race is held in and around San Francisco Bay. The swim starts off Alcatraz Island and the swim exit is located adjacent to St. Francis Yacht Club off Marina Blvd. The transition area, finish line, and festival expo are located at Marina Green near the intersection of Marina Blvd and Scott Street. The bike course travels through the Presidio, out the Great Highway, through Golden Gate Park and back to Marina Green. The run course travels through the Presidio, under the Golden Gate Bridge, along Baker Beach, and back to Marina Green. For more information on the course, CLICK HERE.

The race will take place on June 4 - 5, 2022. The Escape Aquathlon will take place on June 4 and the Triathlon will take place on June 5.

The weather can vary greatly at this time of year even minute by minute. Generally, the weather is mild in the upper 50's to upper 70's, however some years have seen low 40's and some have seen upper 80's. The water temperature in the Bay is generally around 60 degrees.

We will continue to work with local government and public health officials to operate the event under local and state safety guidelines. We will implement additional safety measures in compliance with the latest guidelines during the race.

RACE REGISTRATION

This race does not have an open entry process. However, there are several ways to gain access:

1. Selection in the Random Drawing. Check here to see if you have been selected.

2. Qualify by placing first in your age group in the previous year's Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

3. Enter as a Professional Triathlete

4. On behalf of a Partner Charity

5. Receive a Sponsor Guest Slot

Yes, you must be at least 18 years of age before the race day.

Individuals: $750

Open Relay Teams: $425 per team member

We accept VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover Card.

2022 Random Drawing Winners are announced HERE.

Random Drawing Procedure can be viewed HERE

No, entry is completely free. If you are one of the lucky entrants selected to register for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, there will be a fee at this time.

The number of people entering the drawing varies from year to year. Additionally, there are some advantages based on prior participation in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and based on where you live. Generally speaking, you will have between a 30% and 50% chance of being selected.

There is no minimum qualifying time or required experience to enter. However, we may ask you for your estimated finish time and a list of three relevant races you have participated in previously. This will not affect your chances of being selected in the drawing but does allow us the opportunity to better understand our competitors and set expectations.

Selectees will receive an email with a link to accept and complete registration. Winning a slot does not guarantee registration, as all winning slots will have a deadline to be accepted. If you do not accept and register in time, you have forfeited your spot. No exceptions.

Selectees will receive an email with a link to accept and complete registration. All winning slots will have a deadline to be accepted. If you do not accept in time, you have forfeited your spot. No exceptions. Please note that the registration window might close early if capacity is reached due to high demand.

First, you must have official status as a professional and be able to provide your USAT Pro License number or a similar license from your national governing body. All Professional Triathletes wishing to compete should CONTACT US first.

The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon offers a limited number of spots to charities. These charities may distribute their entry slots as they choose. Interested parties must contact each charity directly regarding their race entries. To view a list of participating charities, CLICK HERE.

Some sponsorship packages include race entries. If you or your company is interested in becoming a sponsor of this event, please contact us at info@escapealcatraztri.com.

You will have a priority registration window to confirm your team slot for the 2022 race. Email info@escapealcatraztri.com with details requested HERE.

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

TRAVEL

Hotels located in the Marina or Fisherman's Wharf are best. For more information, visit our LODGING page.

TriBike Transport is the Official Bike Transportation Partner. Click here for more info.

Ride your bike – San Francisco is a bike friendly town! Learn more
Public Transportation – Learn more
San Francisco Cable Cars – Learn More

There is no parking allowed at Marina Green or on Marina Blvd. All vehicles parked in restricted areas will be towed prior to the start of the race. Parking is very limited in and around Marina Green. We strongly suggest taking public transportation, a taxi, a bicycle, or have a friend drop you off at Marina Green.

PRE-RACE

Winning a slot in the Random Drawing does not guarantee entry. You must register and receive your event confirmation email from Haku. Once bib numbers are assigned closer to the race day, a participant list will be available on the Official Event Website. If the list is not posted yet, feel free to email the Event at info@escapealcatraztri.com to check your registration status.

The race takes place Sunday morning with the swim beginning at 7:30am. Packet pick-up takes place on Saturday. The Fitness Festival and Expo take place Saturday and Sunday. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Every participant including individual members of relay teams MUST sign in and pick up their own packet on Saturday. Every participant must also attend at least one athlete meeting on Saturday. For details on the entire event schedule, CLICK HERE.

Each participant MUST bring a valid ID. All annual USAT members must bring their membership card.

Saturday during packet pick-up.

You'll have the opportunity to rack your bike on Saturday, but it's not mandatory. While you are able to rack your bike early, you will NOT set up your transition area early (on Saturday).

You will still be able to rack your bike on Sunday morning too.

You will receive it in your packet on Saturday.

You will receive two race bags during packet pick-up. One bag is for the items you will take with you to Pier 3 but not on the swim. This bag will be collected by race staff Sunday morning at Pier 3 and will be available in the bag corral following the race. The second bag is for any items you would like to have available at the swim exit prior to the short warm-up run to the main transition area. This bag will be collected by race staff ON SATURDAY and available in the bag corral following the race. Make sure each bag is clearly marked with your bib number.

Keep items to an absolute minimum for each bag. DO NOT place valuables including iPods, heart rate monitors, wedding bands, wallets, “lucky shirts" or similar items you can't bear to lose as there is always a chance of these items being lost in transit. The boat bag should contain a light sweatshirt, sweatpants, and flip flops at most. The swim exit bag should contain a small bottle of water, small towel, and secondary pair of running shoes. (These should NOT be your main shoes you will use for the run portion of the event as they will be wet.) PLEASE: Put your name in your wetsuit with permanent marker and remember these bags are easily torn open during transport. Do NOT put anything in the bag you cannot live without.

Yes. On Friday before the race, Sports Basement will host an Escape from Alcatraz Pro Panel and pre-race talk, question & answer session. This will take place at the Sports Basement Presidio near the event site. Information will be available on the website as the event approaches. Please note, this does not replace the requirement to attend the athlete meeting on Saturday.

SWIM

On Sunday morning, after setting up your transition area you will get on a bus to Pier 3. You will be ordered according to age group and boarded onto a large passenger ferry, The San Francisco Belle. The boat will stop near Alcatraz Island approx. 1.5 miles from the swim exit. All participants will jump from the ferry to start the race.

Wetsuits, goggles, neoprene caps, and neoprene socks ARE allowed. You will be provided with a colored swim cap that you must wear to denote your age group. Gloves are NOT allowed.

Yes, there is marine life in San Francisco Bay including sharks, seals, and sea lions. The sharks that live in the Bay are small and hang out at the bottom of the Bay. These sharks have no interest in triathletes. The larger sharks live outside the Bay where the water is nice and salty. These larger sharks do not like nor can they survive in the brackish waters of San Francisco Bay. Seals and Sea Lions may be curious about triathletes but pose no danger.

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.

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.

It is about a half-mile from swim exit to transition. You will have the option of taking off your wetsuit and putting on shoes prior to this short transition run but neither is required.

Our friends at Water World Swim offer test swims and clinics. More info here: https://waterworldswim.com/cal...

BIKE

If an athlete has not entered Golden Gate Park before 9:30 AM, they will be routed along another path through the park.

All athletes still must complete the bike course by 10:30 AM. Those still on the course at this time will be picked up by our sweep/sag vehicle. The sweep/sag vehicle will drop you off on the last mile of the bike course where you can finish and continue to the run. You will NOT be disqualified.

No, only participants are allowed in transition.

NO decorations are allowed including signage, balloons, stuffed animals, etc.

For this race, there is no advantage to having a triathlon/time-trial bicycle. Aero bars are not necessary as you will have little opportunity to use them throughout the curving, technical, hilly bike course. A traditional road bike configuration is best.

An elevation map can be found on our website: CLICK HERE

Sports Basement is located in the Presidio approximately a mile from the transition area, finish line, and race expo at Marina Green. 610 Old Mason Street. They have plenty of experts on hand in their bicycle department who can assist you. Sports Basement staff will also be on hand in transition and on the course to assist with bike support. However, be patient as they make their way to you in transition or on course.

RUN & FINISH

The run course is made up of asphalt, chip trail, dirt trail, stairs, a tunnel, sand, sand steps, and grass.

No, you will not only encounter participants running in the opposite direction as you but you will also encounter Sunday morning joggers, walkers, and dogs. Be careful and stay focused. Some parts of the course are narrow with participants running in two directions. Be kind and courteous to other participants.

The Sand Ladder is a series of steps that will take you from the beach below to the road above. It is made up of wooden slats under sand. Try to place your foot on the wooden slats as much as possible as you take your steps. There is also a wire hand rail that you may use to help pull yourself up to the top. The Sand Ladder is located near mile 5 of the run course. WALK, do not run up the Sand Ladder, otherwise you will burn yourself out before the finish. Even the Pro's walk or lightly jog up the Sand Ladder.

The finish line is located at Marina Green next to transition and the race expo. Grandstands line the finish chute so family and friends may cheer on participants as they finish.

No, only participants may cross the finish line.

You will receive water and a finisher's medal when you cross the finish line. Medical and massage assistance will also be available. In addition, each participant will be treated to a catered meal upon finishing.

NUTRITION & AID STATIONS

Transition, Swim Exit, and at each mile along the run course.

Water and isotonic. Water will be available at the race start and finish.

Each participant will enjoy a catered meal consisting of fruit, carbohydrates (breads & pastas), protein, salad, and dessert.

RELAY TEAMS

A relay team is made up of two to three participants who each participate in one leg of the triathlon. The timing chip acts as the “baton" and is handed off to the next relay team member during transition.

No, open relay teams and corporate escape teams may enter on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for these slots will be open in November 2020. Details to be announced.

An Open Relay Team is made up of two or three participants who are friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, teammates, strangers or any other combination. Open relay teams participate on behalf of their individual teams and are divided in the competition categories of All Male, All Female, and Mixed. The top 3 finishing teams in each competition category will be recognized during the awards.

A Corporate ESCAPE Team is made up of three participants from the same company, corporation, or organization who compete alongside other teams from their same company, all on behalf of their company or organization. Each company or organization must register at least TWO teams in order to compete. The company or organization with the best combined finish time of their top two teams will win the coveted Keys to the Rock Corporate ESCAPE Cup, a perpetual trophy awarded and defended each year. The Corporate ESCAPE relay is limited to about 50 relay teams. Honorary mention is also given to the top finishing all male, all female, and mixed Corporate ESCAPE Team. MORE

The cyclist and the runner must wait in transition in the relay corral. The swimmer passes the timing chip (the “baton") off to the cyclist. The cyclist passes the timing chip off to the runner.

FRIENDS & FAMILY

We need and accept many volunteers for this race. Please email us at info@escapealcatraztri.com.

Marina Green is a great place to watch the swim start and swim. Marina Green Beach just west of St. Francis Yacht Club is a great place to watch the swim and swim exit. Marina Green is the best place to watch transition. Marina Blvd is a great place to watch a portion of the bike and run portion of the race. There will be grandstands along both sides of the finish chute to watch participants finish the race.

There is a Fitness Festival and Expo located at Marina Green with many vendors, activities, concessions, and beer garden. The expo is family-friendly and free to the public.

Results will be posted online and updated in real time throughout the race. There will be a Digital Results Zone within the Fitness Festival and Expo located at Marina Green. Friends, family, and triathletes will be able to access computer terminals to view individual and overall results. Results will be available HERE

AFTER THE RACE

The awards ceremony will take place at Marina Green at approximately 12:00pm on Sunday.

Top professional finishers and the top three finishers in each age group or competitor division.

Race photos will be available for viewing and purchase following the event weekend.

MISCELLANEOUS

Your previous purchases, such as the VIP Packages, FinisherPix photo package, and USAT 1-day membership will be rollered over to your 2022 race experience or the year you selected to race. You will be able to view the previous purchases a few days after completing the race registration, by logging in to your participant account. (Please note: The previous purchases will NOT be available to view immediately after your registration.)

Your pre-selected Build Your Own Race Bag selections will not be rolled over. You will need to re-select the items once they become available. We will notify you via email once the Build Your Own Race Bag program is launched.

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