ANY RACE on the pro triathlon circuit can be expected to test the outer limits of human endurance, self-induced punishment, and nutritional supplement sponsorship. But only one has a starting line that would’ve made Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly pee their Speedos.
On Aug. 14–15, the annual Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon (EFAT) turns 40 fully afloat in the wake of 2020’s canceled event, due to the pandemic, and still the scariest three-part race named after a former maximum-security prison.
“That first jump is a pretty shocking jolt every time,” says professional triathlete Ben Kanute, EFAT’s reigning three-time champion, about the start of the race.
That infamous start has competitors leap into San Francisco Bay from a passenger ferry parked near Alcatraz Island. That’s followed by a breathless 1.5-mile swim to the deceivingly distant Marina District shore of San Francisco through dark, choppy, 55- to 60-degree water with treacherous currents and the odd laughing sea lion. “You really have to mentally prepare yourself for that swim,” says Kanute. “It’s sort of a free-for-all out there at first. Then things start to settle down and just go kind of numb—including your hands and face.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The End of California?
The American Dream never gleamed any brighter than in the Golden State. But these days, that warm glow might just be a dumpster fire.
Samurai Of Yosemite
To be the first to ski down Half Dome’s most dangerous line, it helps to be a warrior—and a little bit nuts.
After a brush with death, the hottest comic in the world is finding happiness on new stages and new boardrooms. But will he ever return to the stadium?
Kumail Nanjiani – Becoming Immortal
Kumail Nanjiani broke the internet when he posted this shirtless pic of his Eternals transformation. Here’s his Marvel metamorphosis.
WE'RE WITH HER HEIDI GARDNER
SNL’s ‘middle child’ and Kansas City kid is a rabid Chiefs fan who lets kids watch R-rated movies. While rolling out more hot-mess characters this season, she’s sharper than ever.
DOWN WITH FEAR
The baddest new mountain biking trail in the country, Colorado’s Palisade Plunge gives you plenty of opportunities to walk and ride. Don’t be afraid.
WHAT WORKS FOR ME: WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella functions in a daily pressure cooker of high stakes. Here’s how he finds balance amid the ever-evolving environment of big tech. as told to CHARLES THORP
GRASSROOTS RACING TAKES HOLD
After a victorious first season,Superstar Racing Experience refuels for another lap.
PORSCHE'S TOP SECRET SUPERCAR
The GT3 Touring is an absolute monster—in 911 clothing.
Hellcat's High-Power Heaven
Cashing in another of its lives, Dodge’s smash hit returns for a red-eyed victory lap.