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Triathletes unwilling or unable to pay the $750 entry fee to participate in the 2016 Escape From Alcatraz triathlon have another option to race in the San Francisco Bay. West Coast triathlon company Tri-California, known for organizing the iconic Wildflower Triathlon Festival every year, announced this week they would re-launch the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz on Aug. 21, 2016.
“We have a close relationship with the many triathlon clubs in our tight-knit community of endurance sports and a 33-year history of top-notch triathlon production,” says Terry Davis, CEO of Tri-California. “After hundreds of emails asking us to reopen our San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz we couldn’t deny that there is a place and need for the race we launched in 2010.”
In recent years, Tri-California struggled to obtain event permits. Davis says the tides and currents around Alcatraz Island limit the time frame in which swimming events can be held; competing events in the bay, such as the America’s Cup sailing race, made it even more challenging to secure permits for a date that would be safe and fun for racers. This year, Tri-California redoubled efforts for the San Francisco race to give local athletes and clubs the chance to show off their hometown pride.
“Tri-California is and always will be about good races throughout the West coast, with a great triathlon community, at what we feel is a fair and reasonable price in this expensive sport,” says Tri-California President Colleen Bousman.
The San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz will feature a boat jump and 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island, followed by a hilly 20-mile bike leg and challenging 7-mile run. The first 500 entries will sell for $395, while the remaining 400 entries will sell for $450.
After raising their fees from $450 in 2015 to $750 in 2016, Escape from Alcatraz organizers IMG Worldwide stated the increased cost was necessary “to support the event’s evolution and provide the best possible competitive environment.”
“We are not denying this is an expensive race to put on with the boat, water safety, San Francisco permits and police and so many more elements,” says Bousman of Tri-California. “However, we feel there is a reasonable price that covers our costs and allows athletes to not only race this event once but for many years to come.”
“Producing events, especially triathlons, is a very difficult business,” says Davis. “If we had to charge the participant the full cost of producing the event, including sponsor-provided services and supplies, equipment, promotion, publicity, insurance, agency facility and permit fees, and liability costs, we probably would not be able to produce any events. Luckily there are people willing to volunteer enormous amounts of time, sponsors willing to absorb hard costs, and expo vendors to produce income to reduce the cost of the event to the participant.”
For more information on the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz, visit the Tri-California website.