Monday, August 30, 2010

Alcatraz Tri Race Report

The day before the race we went down to scope out the swim. Alcatraz island is in the background. Those ships that look like this /  /  are angled like that because it was about 35+mph winds. Thankfully on race day the wind died down.


The boat I'm on is on the right of the island.

Photo courtesy and (c) Timothy Carlson.
This is what the start looks like from the athlete's view. There is no other triathlon swim start that compares. Standing on a 6" rail on the edge of ship in the San Francisco bay facing the Goldgen Gate bridge before a race start is nothing short of breath-taking. And if that doesn't take your breath away, jumping into the frigid water will.

I got to test out Zoot's new Prophet wetsuit for this race. I was toasty warm during the swim and the wetsuit was awesome. The bay was full of swells and waves and often when sighting all I saw was the wave in front of me.

So I most likely led this small pack of pro women in zig-zag lines across the bay. But it was still nice to have some company out there. Once I jumped off the boat, except for the girls tapping my feet occasionally, I saw very few other athletes during the swim. This isn't to say I swam exceptionally fast, this is just the nature of the swim and how spread out everyone gets. My swim time for the 1.5 miles was 34:12.

Out onto the bike and my only goal was to work hard. The QR CD0.1 and Zipp 808s were awesome on the technical, hilly course. I pulled my heartrate up and felt horrible. My watts were good, my heartrate was good. I just felt awful. I think that's what happens when you go from massive mileage for Ironman training to a short hard race. Around mile 23 (it was a 25 mile race) I started to feel good. Bike split was 1:20.

I came into T2 excited to get onto the run. I headed out hard and immediately got a side stitch. I spent the next three miles at what felt like a jogging pace trying to get rid of it.

I recovered from my side stitch and was able to push the last few miles enough to run into 7th place less than 200 meters from the finish. My 7 mile run split was 51:38. I went to San Francisco for a great weekend, a hard training race, and some fun. I accomplished all those goals and came home with a paycheck in my pocket, so it exceeded my expectations.


The views of this race, the hard swim, technical bike and tough run make for a great race. A huge thanks to Tri-California for putting on an exceptional race, to Steven for awesome race photos and being the best race supporter I could imagine. To my sponsors who make all this swim-bike-run-race-repeat possible. And to Kathleen and Kiet to came out to cheer me on. Kiet was out in the Presidio on the hardest climbs cheering and video-taping every moment when I was feeling awful. (gotta love that!) He put together an awesome video of my race - check it out!

Charisa @ Alcatraz Triathlon 2010 from KTT on Vimeo.

Next up is Ironman Wisconsin in two weeks, I am very excited for this trip. Thanks for following my adventures!

26 comments:

Snakebite said...

Way to go! Excellent job! Good luck in the land of beer (WI).

D said...

All your smiling in that video really pisses me off.

IAN said...

Great work. to you and Keit. looked COLD!!!!

Kiet said...

Glad D caught that, I noticed you were smiling a lot as well. It was awesome to spend some time and be a specathlete. Sorry I couldn't stay longer, I had to squeeze a run and swim in but I'm sure you understand.

Nicole said...

Great job! I can't imagine a swim in SF Bay...brrr! And seriously, I've never seen anyone so happy in a race!

Hone said...

Awesome job out there! Cool video as well. I love that there are some climbs during the run portion on that course. That would almost make me consider doing a triathlon sometime...almost. HA!

Libby said...

congrats! love the huge smiles! way to pull off a nice race on fatigued ironman training legs! awesome!

Beth said...

Congrats Charisa!!! The entire race looks uphill - UGH!!! LOVE the video! Not sure if you are smiling or grimacing but I like it either way. ;) Great job!

t-odd said...

You're buying coffee in Mad-town. Way to bring home the bacon. You look great out there.

Lisa G said...

Awesome race! Way to go on the short course race! IM Wisconsin - yay!

Damie said...

this has always been one of those races on my "to do" list. Very cool video- congrats on your race!

Michelle Simmons said...

Congrats! Sounds like an awesome race! :))

Mike Russell said...

Out in Wisconsin this week for business. Do you want me to write any motivation on the bike course for you?

-Don't Drown
-Don't Crash
-Don't Walk

Kathy said...

AWESOME!!! Cannot wait to see you in IM WI !!!

Tawnee said...

wow wow wow. i'd be smiling too after conquering a swim like that. you're amazing! congrats!!!

rocketpants said...

That is an awesome video! Have fun getting ready for WI.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Wish I had been there..... vs. Louisville that is.

Running and living said...

Great job! And feeling good on the bike after mile 24 is always a good thing! Good luck with your next adventure

FLATOUT JIM said...

I've been waiting for this report, and almost missed it.

Great job. Sounds like a blast. But only you would do Alkstraz as a "TRAINING RACE"

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

NIce job! I knew you'd do well!

Was thinking of doing the race too, but it's really expensive for us amateur folks;-) (~$350).

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

Yay!! That swim would have freaked me out!! Then again, all of my swims freak me out. ;) It does look beautiful though! Good job, lady.

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

You ran the sand ladder! What a rockstar!! Cheering you on was super fun. YOU ARE FAST! Seeing you do that 1:30 T1 gives me something to work toward :-) And you finished so strong. Congrats Charisa! I had a blast hanging with Steven and Kiet too! Too bad Ian missed the fun.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats

Bob Almighty said...

Congrats and good luck in Wisconsin!

Matt said...

congrats on a great race and finding that speed in the middle of IM training! Cant wait to see ya rock IM Moo!

Uli said...

Congrats on a great race! A paycheck is always an added bonus! :) Best of luck in Wisconsin, woohoo!