In its 40th running, the iconic Escape from Alcatraz triathlon didn’t disappoint. After getting canceled last year and then pushed from its usual date in June to August this year, the event was finally able to go off with 1,600 athletes from around the world.
Ben Kanute and Emma Pallant-Browne came out on top of a small but mighty pro field that faced some of the toughest swim conditions race officials said they’d seen in the event’s four decades.
Of course, it was just one of a number of big races this weekend. For the full race recap and results from the weekend, check out: Last Weekend Now: Finally A Big Weekend of Big Races Again.
The pros dive from the boat for the start of the 40th anniversary race—which would have taken place last year if not for COVID.
1,600 athletes made the choppy and tough swim to shore.
Holly Lawrence was the first woman to exit the cold water, almost two minutes ahead of Emma Pallant-Browne. With tough conditions and high winds, it took Lawrence 34:42 to make the 1.5-mile swim—just two minutes slower than the first man.
Lawrence, a 70.3 world champion, tried to hold off Pallant-Browne with a strong bike through the hills of San Francisco.
Pallant-Browne, of South Africa, tried to minimize her losses into T2—giving herself enough room to run the previous Alcatraz champ down.
Athletes followed the 1.5-mile swim, with an 18-mile bike around the city, and then an equally hilly and tough 8-mile run.
American Ben Kanute was on a mission to make it a fourth title—a record for a men’s winner.
Kanute took the lead on the bike and never looked back, charging up the sand ladder from the beach and all the way to the finish.
Kanute celebrates his fourth victory in San Francisco. Jason West took second, two minutes back, and Bradley Weiss was a close third.
With hundreds of stairs, rocky trails, sandy sections on the beach, and even a stone tunnel they have to duck under, the run course can break even the most seasoned of athletes.
Pallant-Browne was able to catch a flying Lawrence in the last mile and hold her off for the victory. Lawrence finished 45 seconds back, and was followed by Jackie Hering, another 4:40 behind.
Athletes from all over the world celebrate a successful and challenging day.