Almost since I have known him, Luke has wanted to see if he had what it took to make the swim from Alcatraz to the mainland. This Father's Day weekend, we got to find out! For the past 6 or 7 months Luke has been training for the Escape from the Rock Triathlon in San Francisco. (the top image is a view of the island from our condo. the boat is dropping off the swimmers next to the island).
Luke's training was pretty extensive. He started seeing a personal trainer, swimming 3 times and week, running almost every day and biking when there wasn't snow on the ground. Rufus and Daisy went on the morning runs and for those beautiful months, they were relatively calm! Sam also got to benefit from Luke's training. Almost everyday after work, they would hook up the burley and go for a bike ride before dinner. He also worked out with his fellow competitors, Chad and Seth.
As the race drew near, you could almost sense the anticipation (dare I say panic) in the air. All of the guys had a strength and all of them had a weakness, and all of them were pretty darn scared of the swim (and the currents and the sharks, etc).
Six of us made the journey to California for the race. There were three couples and all of us were fortunate enough to have grandparents come out and watch our kids while we were gone. We rented a three bedroom (ONE bathroom) condo right across the street from Ghirardelli Square. They just GIVE chocolate away there. Seriously. No purchase necessary. Have a caramel square and be on your way. It also over looked Aquatic Park where the swim ended and had a great view of Alcatraz!
We got there early so the guys could pick up their bikes and check in all of their gear before the race on Sunday. Saturday night we all carbo-loaded at Tomasino's in Little Italy. It was worth it! What a great meal at a neat little dive!
It was early to bed because the guys were up at around 5am Sunday morning. They went down to Aquatic Park and waited to get started:
The first step was to walk down to Pier 39 and board the boat out to Alcatraz. Once they got there, everyone jumped into the water and waited for the boat horn to signal "go." They didn't have to wait long and they were off!
About 20 minutes after they started, we headed down to the beach to cheer on our husbands! It was so exciting to watch all of the athletes come in. I thought it would be boring, but it was actually really exciting!
Now for those of you who don't know, Luke had a cervical fusion about 7 years ago and it has limited his range of motion. In order for him to do the swim, he wore a special snorkel. So we were all very excited when we saw it sticking up out of the water! Closely followed by Chad and Seth!
From here the guys ran 4 miles after stopping at their first check point to dry off and change.
During the run, Lisa (Chad's wife) and I took a cab to the next check point. Long story, but our cab driver didn't know where he was going, so we missed the transition from the first run to the bike. By the time the guys were done with the bike, they were feeling spent and not necessarily looking forward to the last 5K.
But Luke muscled it out and finished the triathlon in 3 hours, 39 minutes!!
It was a great trip that went on for 3 more days after the race, but I fear this post is getting lengthy. Real quick: lots of seafood, sourdough, Marin, Muir Woods, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, The Haight, Beach, lots of walking, Farmer's Market, not warm weather, chocolate, etc. I think that about covers most of our trip. There were many adventures, funny stories and naps as well. It was a great trip and I'm so proud of Luke for checking a big one off his life time "to do" list.