Friday, June 08, 2007

Accenture Escape from Alcatraz

San Francisco, CA
June 3, 2007

This year's race started an hour earlier, 7am, due to the projected fast currents. It was an early morning, but I was wide awake at 3:30am (or as wide awake as one can be at that hour!)
Once again I decided to drop off a pair of shoes for the long run from the swim exit to the transition area.

Jay in our hotel room

After getting my transition together I got a ride over to Pier 3 where after body marking I boarded the San Francisco Belle...our ride out to "The Rock." This will be my 7th time "Escaping" and every year I have placed higher and had an overall time that was faster than the previous year. I am always excited for this race as there is really nothing like. If you have any inkling of completing or competing this race I highly suggest it!
Linda & Dan at dinner

With about 15 minutes to race start the pros were escorted outside and were lined up according to numerical bib order. The horn blew signaling for us to jump off the small ledge where we were standing about 5 -6 feet from the water. I began swimming as soon as I hit the water. Now most people think that the water is cold here, but I always find it to be just right!
It took a bit of navigation to finally keep my eye on the lead boat, but it wasn't very long until the chop of the water started. I felt jostled and tumbled for most of the swim and was having trouble getting into a real rhythme. You could only see the lead boat if you were on top of the wave and nothing when you were in the trough. It definitely made sighting a bit of a challenge. I ended up swimming by myself for a short period, but then some of the age group men came by me and I tried to stay with a pack. With about 5 yards to go to the swim exit the water temperature got drastically colder and I was glad that it hadn't been that cold for the duration of the swim. The swim took me 28:38 and only 2:10 back from first place.

Jay & Me at awards

I ran the 800m from the swim exit to transition, got my bike and headed out onto the course with the second fastest T1...I was on a mission to catch the women ahead of me. I was able to pass at least one girl on the way into T1. I headed onto the first part on the course...a straight road that paralled the ocean and quickly found out that I could not shift my big chain ring; it was stuck! I saw my dad on the side of the road cheering and I yelled out "I can't shift to my big chain ring!" Luckily he heard, but there was nothing he could do. For the next 4 miles or so I tried with all my might to get the darn thing to shift but eventually made the decision that I'd have to spin like Lance Armstrong and do the "super tuck" on the down hills. That would be my only chance to catch a few more girls on the ride. Just prior to the Legion of Honor I was able to pass Gina Kehr while Joanna Lawn and I where playing leap frog. If there was any chance at all for me on the bike, I had to ride as quickly as I could on every up hill; if I was not to have the use of my big chain ring, then I'm glad that this was the course I was on because there are more up hills than flats or down hills. My bike split was 54:52 only 1:06 behind Becky Lavelle's split (which was the fastest of the women).

Sprocket, Jay, Mike, Erin, Lauren & Mike at Awards

I rolled into T2 and now with the quickest transition I headed out onto the run to see if I could catch any more women. I had an idea of where I was but wasn't sure until I got to Baker Beach and the turn around. There I could see Leanda, Pip and Becky just ahead of me. I quickly formulated a new immediate catch Becky before the top of the sand ladder. I pushed harder and tried to run up the majority of the sand ladder. For the second year in a row, I had the fastest sand ladder time...this year it was 2:08 and :08 seconds faster than the second woman!
Once I ran past Becky, I didn't look back, I just kept on going in hopes of maybe catching Pip. I got to the top of the sand ladder and made the left hand turn onto the single track trail that continued to climb. Running on the road in the opposite direction I caught a glimpse of Erin Reed who yelled "Go!" But quickly realizing that Becky was behind me and not knowing (most likely that I had caught her) yelled again and this time it was long, loud and drawn out, "Gooooooooo!" I knew exactly what she was refering too and it make me laugh a little; not too much though, or I wouldn't have been able to run!!
After the trails and steps leading towards the Golden Gate and back on flat ground again I briefly saw Pip ahead of me and tried to pick it up even more. The crowd was yelling and cheering and so I kept on running. I had the fastest run split for the women in 51:34. I made the turn into the finish chute and gave the crowd a few waves before crossing the line in 2:20:29; less than 2 minutes from first place. I finished in 3rd place, the best finish so far for me at this race!
My next race is sunday June 10 at the Tri One O One in Clearlake, CA.


Anonymous said...

Atta Girl!!!

The Hackney's

Cousin Robert said...

Way to go Alexis! I can remember crewing for your dad on that race back in the 80's. Wow!! You are a chip off the old block. Nice pictures and a well written summary,(the teacher in me coming out). I am so glad to see that Erin is competing. She looks like she is in the best shape I have seen her in as an adult. Your great to involve her. Tell Jay Hi. We are dying in the heat above Fresno! :(