After decades on his bucket list, Eric Lagerstrom (USA) finally took part in iconic race Escape from Alcatraz off the coast of San Francisco yesterday (Sunday 7 June) – and won.
The women’s pro race was also won by a debutante – Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle, more often seen racing the ITU World Triathlon Series, who won silver at WTS Yokohama last month behind Gwen Jorgensen (USA) in one of her career-best performances.
More than 2,000 athletes took part in this year’s race, starting with a 2.4km open-water swim from the infamous penitentiary of Alcatraz Island to the shoreline of Marina Green, followed by a 29km hilly bike ride through the Presidio, and finishing with a 12.8km trail run out to Baker Beach and up the infamous Sand Ladder.
Both winners were pushed hard right to the end though: Lagerstrom managed to pull ahead of 2013 winner Andy Potts (USA) just before the finish line and winning by just two seconds, while Gentle crossed the line just 15secs ahead of second-placed Lauren Goss (USA).
“I have been racing since I was 12 years old and this race has always been a bucket list race for me,” said Lagerstrom, 25. “This is a dream come true to win the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon my first time competing.
“This course with the swim from Alcatraz Island and the deep sand run with sand steps was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Running down the finish line neck and neck with six-time champion Andy Potts and the thousands of spectators cheering was so cool.”
1. Eric Lagerstrom (USA) 2:02:06
2. Andy Potts (USA) 2:02:08
3. Kevin Collington (USA) 2:02:40
1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 2:13:43
2. Lauren Goss (USA) 2:13:58
3. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 2:15:32
For the full results head here.
Did you race this year’s Escape from Alcatraz? Let us know in the comments below!