July 11, 2004


I swam from Alcatraz to SF today in an event called "Sharkfest". It's my second time doing it, though this was a slightly different route.

The big factor in swimming from Alcatraz to SF is the currents. The races are all setup around which way the current is flowing. The race I did last year was from Alcatraz to Crissy Field -- done on an Ebb tide (you're "blown" west). Today's was from Alcatraz to Acquatic Park -- starts just before the end of the flood tide (start out being blown east) and ends just at the start of the ebb tide (you finish being blown west).

In either case your normal component that you actually swim is about 1.5 miles, though the one that goes with the tide carries you about 2x the distance. The fast guys are faster on this, more direct course, as they're so fast that they have to swim with the current on the longer course and don't have to on the shorter course. For the rest of us schmucks we just swim the normal component and it pretty much works out.

Anyway, I shaved 7+ minutes off my time today (from 55min to ~48). At this rate I'll win the race in ~4 years ... though I doubt, even with my (imagined) super-hero powers that the improvement is sustainable. I mean, if I shaved off 7 minutes every year, then in 7 years I'd have to start moving faster than the speed of light, which I'm pretty sure would be hard.

Anyway, it was a blast and I'm looking forward to the next one. I've got a lot more time to shave just to catch up with some of my friends.

Posted by rick at July 11, 2004 06:40 PM