International Distance Triathlon
Course Description & Map
Click Here for Course Map (PDF)
Swim - 1.9 K (1.2 Miles)
The Tri-California San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz begins with a 7:00 AM plunge into the San Francisco Bay between the pier and Alcatraz Island. Triathletes will leave the boat in swim waves with a one-minute time differential between Elites, under-29, 30-39, 40+. The 1.2-mile swim begins just off the shores of Alcatraz and heads toward the GGNRA Yacht Harbor area to an exit ramp location east of the Marina Green between Fillmore Street and Scott Street. Wetsuits and hoods are strongly recommended as water temperatures are a chilly 55 degrees. Every year, several triathletes are unable to withstand the strong currents and chilly temperatures and are forced to forfeit at this stage of the race.
Bike - 40.2 K (25 Miles- out & back)
Mounting their bikes at Marina Green, triathletes will begin the out-and-back 25-mile ride heading west to Crissy Field via Marina Boulevard. They will climb onto Lincoln, traveling through the Presidio onto El Camino Del Mar; they will then climb up the hill to the Palace of the Legion of Honor (there will be an aid station at this point). They will come down the hill and make a hard right turn onto Clement Street and west to Seal Rock Drive. They will make a downhill left turn onto 48th Avenue and then west on Point Lobos Avenue and South on The Great Highway to Skyline Blvd.
They will then turn-around and proceed north on the Great Highway to Lincoln Way and then go east into Golden Gate Park. Cyclist will enter Golden Gate Park from Martin Luther King Drive. They will proceed east on MLK Drive turn left on Transverse Drive (there will be a bike aid station at half way between MLK and JFK on Transverse) and make a right turn onto John F. Kennedy Drive to the turn around point at 8th ave. They will ride west on JFK Drive back to Transverse making left, and right to MLK and then back to the Great Highway and retrace their course northbound back to Marina Greens for the transition to the run.. While in Golden Gate Park cyclist will be riding against normal traffic in the closed lane. Triathletes risk disqualification for drafting and forward motion to the left of demarcation cones.
Run - 11.3 K (7 miles)
The triathletes will begin the 7 mile run to Baker Beach Battery by leaving the Marina Green running west into the Presidio. Runners will immediately turn right on angle trail and along the shoreline on the Golden Gate Promenade (Aid Station #1). They will continue to the Fort Point (Aid Station #2). They will proceed up the stairs to the mesa. From Fort Point they battle the Presidio Headlands up and under the Golden Gate Bridge through the tunnel and onto the Coast Trail, by the Coastal Defense Batteries (Gunnery Locations from the turn of the century) until they reach Lincoln Boulevard just past Battery Dynamite. They parallel Lincoln Blvd. (Aid Station #3) on the southbound bike lane, which will be coned and signed runners keep right, above the Coastal Bluffs to Baker Beach where they return to the waters edge. Runners will encounter the deep sand of Baker Beach through the turn around point (Aid Station #4) until they reach the dreaded over 400 steps up the Sand Ladder.
This experience will drain the legs of even the best professionals, as there is nothing like it anywhere in triathlon. More than one triathlete has used the hand cable to help them walk up the stairs. The stairs are to the run what the currents and waves are to the swim. After getting to the top of the Sand Ladder runners will go left on the Coast Trail dirt path on the water side of the guard rail of the southbound lane of Lincoln Ave to the Golden Gate Bridge tunnel and back to the Finish line. When they cross back under the Golden Gate Bridge and get to sea level on the Promenade, it is just a matter of endurance to get to the Finish Line and the Fitness Festival.