Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Athletes from Across Nation to Compete in Inaugural San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz

One of the world’s most difficult triathlons boasts 400 foot sand ladder and strong currents

This summer, athletes from across the U.S. and as young as 12 years old will attempt what was once thought to be impossible: a treacherous swim from the nation’s former high-security federal prison, Alcatraz, to the San Francisco mainland as they kick off the inaugural San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz.

Athletes hailing from as far away as New York, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and Illinois will gather in San Francisco for the event, managed by Tri-California Events. Elite participants racing this year include Melanie McQuaid, three-time X-Terra Mountain Bike Champion from Canada; Ben Collins of Washington, who just won the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island; and Brian Fleischmann, the 2008 Tri-California Elite Series Champion from Colorado.

In addition, more than 100 athletes from the triathlon’s designated beneficiary organizations, The Challenged Athletes Foundation and Team In Training will also participate.

Furthermore, with a growing number of women participating in triathlons, Tri-California Events and San Francisco sporting-goods retailer, Sports Basement, are partnering together to host a series of pre-racing events exclusive to Bay Area women. The events will include a training session and live Q&A, designed for women already participating in the triathlon or those who would like to still sign up. Together, Sports Basement and Tri-California hope to take the away the intimidation factor and train women for a memorable event.

“While swimming from Alcatraz is one of the most challenging feats an athlete can attempt, the many groups participating in the inaugural San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz speak to the sense of community a triathlon creates,” said Terry Davis, Tri-California Events, President. “Between the grueling swim, hills and sand run, our athletes will truly push themselves, demonstrating the physical and mental preparation and endurance needed to compete.”

The International Distance Triathlon is set to begin Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 7:00 a.m. PST, where athletes will jump from a boat in the San Francisco Bay, stationed just off the shores of the island of Alcatraz (1.2 miles). And, unlike the prisoners who once tried unsuccessfully to escape from Alcatraz, there will be boats and kayaks standing by for assistance.

Following the chilly, 55 degree swim made up of strong currents and under-water life, athletes will jump on their bikes to navigate the hills of San Francisco with sharp turns, fast descents and tiring climbs through the streets of the Presidio, Lincoln Park and out to the Great Highway and JFK Drive. The bike portion will last 25 miles, the longest triathlon in San Francisco.

With two-thirds of the race completed, triathletes will take in the beautiful scenery of the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, etc. as they run west for seven miles to Baker Beach. Here, they’ll encounter the famous 400 step “AVIA Sand Ladder.” They’ll compete for new running shoes in this AVIA Sand Ladder Challenge, where they will be timed from the base to the top of the ladder.

A lifestyle festival will be held with “Breakout demonstrations” and “Ball and Chain Clinics,” and will showcase San Francisco businesses that will feature nutrition, green living, parent resources, fitness studios, gear, triathlon clubs, endurance sports and more. Get out of solitary confinement and join the festival on Saturday, August 28, 2010 between 12:00 and 5:00 p.m. PST, and Sunday until 3:00 p.m., at the Marina Green in San Francisco, Calif.

To register for the triathlon or for more information, please visit Once online registration closes, on-site registration will be available.

For information on the women’s Sports Basement events, please call 1-805-239-8225.

About Tri-California Events

Tri-California Events is an event management company that produces triathlon, swim and running races throughout California including the Avia Wildflower Triathlons, San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, Alcatraz Challenge, San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz, Triathlon at Pacific Grove, and Scott Tinley Adventures. In addition, Tri-California serves as the race production company for the Nike Women’s Marathon.

At Tri-California, our goal is to motivate individuals of all ages and fitness levels to lead a healthier lifestyle by “exercising with purpose” and participating in training and racing opportunities in the sport of triathlon and running races. For more information on Tri-California Events and upcoming events, please visit

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