Thursday, May 24, 2007

San Francisco swimmers are the toughest in the United States!

I will be doing the Alcatraz Sharkfest in 17 days with Anthony. It's an open water race to commemorate the successful escape by the Anglin Brothers from Alcatraz some 45 years ago. It's not an easy race. It's formidable, intimidating and though I finish in the top 10%, I get a little nervous during the swim. It's nothing like Pier-to-Pier or the 2.4 Open water swim at Kona. The water is cold, the currents overwhelmingly powerful and you MUST know the tide schedules or a 3-5 knot ebb tide can carry you out of the bay and as far as the Farallon Islands. If you have seen Shark Week on the Discovery channel you know the geographic significance of that.)

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article about a foot race called the Bay to Breakers race whereas you run from the San Francisco Bay all the way to the beach but these athletes decided to swim it instead. Of course like a true San Franciscan they wore no wet-suits and the water had to be at most 55 degrees. Snippet from the article:

  • Boldest was Jessica Sullivan, 30, a high school biology teacher from San Mateo. Sullivan planned to swim about 21 miles, circling around the city from Candlestick to Fort Funston -- hoping to complete this route for the first time. She did her "jump" into the chilly bay waters off Candlestick Point at 3:26 a.m., so she could start at slack tide and later score a boost from a potent, 5-knot ebb. [Link]

*Disclaimer: Don't try this at home or at your local beach break or bay. These guys are from San Francisco and innately contain the "personality disorders" necessary to do stuff like like this. ;-)


Rose said...

I can't believe you referrenced Bay to Breakers! I did that this weekend...but not quite as an athlete. There's the other 85% percent that do the race pushing a keg of beer in a shopping cart.
...the author of the article references our group as "scrabble pieces".

Tony Austin said...

All my life I always wanted to do "Bay To Breakers" and then, I guess, I came to my senses. ;-)

No, seriously. That race is probably most fun, the most outrageous, and the biggest spectacle this side of the solar system. I hope you had a lot of fun.

They should put that race on a list of things a Californian has to do before they die.

Jessica Sullivan said...

thanks for the shout out to us SF bay swimmers...we are some of the craziest!
Jessica Sullivan