7 Key Questions to Answer Before Racing the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

The Escape from Alcatraz triathlon is one of the most famous triathlons in the world. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful city of San Francisco, this 1.5 mile swim, 18 mile bike and 8 mile run endurance challenge is favorite triathlon of many! While training for Alcatraz requires special focus and dedication, choosing the proper equipment and understanding how to safely and effectively take on the course are all keys to a successful escape.

If you are signed up and committed to ‘escape’, here are 7 quick (but very important questions) you’ll want to be prepared to answer to be ready to ‘escape’ on race day:

1. What equipment will use choose for the bike? Road vs Tri/TT bike? Gearing? Wheel Selection?

2. What gear will you use for the swim? Full wet-suit, sleeveless? Neoprene cap, double swim cap? Goggle choice?

3. Given the varied run surfaces what is the best shoe selection to best navigate the 8 mile run course?

4. What are the key landmarks to sight off of during the swim? If you know the names of those landmarks, will you recognize them from water level while swimming in the San Francisco Bay?

5. What is the best way to prepare for the cold temperatures of the San Francisco Bay waters?

6. How can you train effectively for the technical aspects of the bike course?

7. What are effective training methods to be ready for the infamous sand ladder?

For over fifteen years I have been coaching athletes to successfully escape on race day.  I have coached hundreds of athletes from all over the world to their best possible race day experience. For 2016 I have updated our 12 and 16 week training programs to get you ready for race day. Unlike many training plans, our Alcatraz triathlon program includes coaching support via Q&A throughout the program. Athletes also receive 16 weeks of newsletter full of tips and guidance to most optimally prepare for racing in San Francisco on this most famous triathlon course.

Take the guesswork (and worry) out of your preparations.

Updated for 2016:

Sign up today for the 16 week (starts 2/22/16) or the 12 week (starts 3/21/16) training program.

You will ESCAPE!
-Coach Rachel Casanta

-Rachel Sears Casanta is a full time endurance sport performance coach and former professional triathlete. She has competed in 10 Escape from Alcatraz triathlons, including an age group win, three podium finishes and seven professional starts. Known for her blistering bike splits and runs, Rachel works with self-motivated athletes who are committed to giving their own personal best effort in life and on the race course.

Turkey Tri & Pumpkin Pie Kids Duathlon

Turkey Tri and Pumpkin Pie Kids Duathlon

Recover from Training Faster with Recovery Pump Recovery Boots – Promo Code: HYPERCAT

Recovery Pump logo

Training intelligently with a properly organized training strategy is key to the advancement of your fitness in endurance sport. Your ability to rebound, recover and be ready for the next day of training is a key separator among competitive athletes. Strategies to accelerate recovery include optimized nutrition (pre-during-post), adequate sleep, regular body work and equipment that is sized and fit properly to you (ie bike fitting). A great way to bridge deep tissue therapy appointments is to do self-myofascial release work using implements like a foam roller, TP massage ball, the Stick or Tiger Tail. Another method of accelerating your recovery in through the use of gradient compression as conducted through a unit like Recovery Pump. Here is how the Recovery Pump works.


I’ve used my Recovery Boots over the past few years both as part of my triathlon training recovery regimen but also during pregnancy to ward off swelling in my legs and ankles. I never had issues with edema and my legs felt great even through my third trimester!

Save some serious money on your purchase of Recovery Boots by Recovery Pump, use promo code: HYPERCAT.

Go Faster – Aero Testing with Alphamantis Technologies & Hypercat Racing


For more information and to schedule your aero testing session at the Velo Sports Center Velodrome in Los Angeles, Calif. with Hypercat Racing. Please call 805.477.0353 or contact Philip Casanta via email.

Bike Tune-up Specials – Orange County Triathlon & Duathlon



The Orange County Triathlon and Duathlon is June 1, 2014 in Mission Viejo, CA. Hyperact Racing is proud to be the bike tech sponsor of the event and will be offering the following specials on bike related services to help ensure your race day is safe, smooth and speedy!

  • Safety Check / Inspection

Not sure if your bike is race ready and safe? Bring your bike to Hypercat Racing between now and May 29th and ask for a safety check for the OC Triathlon/Duathlon. You can also stop by the Hypercat Racing tent at the race expo on 5/31.  Hypercat’s Phil Casanta will check your bike’s brakes, bolts, drive train and wheels/tires to ensure your bike is safe to ride. The safety check and inspection is free!

Hypercat Bike Tech

  • Race Tune-up Special

Avoid preventable mechanical issues and “DNF”! Bring your bike to Hypercat Racing for our Orange County Triathlon and Duathlon Race Tune-up Special. The complete tune-up service includes drive train adjustments, a thorough cleaning, tire inspection, inflation and wheel true.

Event Special Price: $65.00 (regularly $100)

  • Complete Overhaul Special

Ensure your hard work and sacrifice in training isn’t compromised by a bike that isn’t ready to race! Bring your bike in for a complete overhaul which includes: a full strip and rebuild of your bike, new cables and housing ($40 value), new handlebar tape or grips, installation of new parts, deep cleaning and wheel true. Make your bike better than new!

Event Special Price: $200 (regularly $350) – plus a 10% discount off any parts. *Note* – “Super Bikes” +$50 (eg. Trek Speed Concept, Cervelo P5)


Schedule your race tune-up or complete overhaul with Philip Casanta. Contact Philip via email   bikefit AT hypercat DOT com or call 805.477.0353 to schedule drop-off and pick-up times.

Hypercat Racing is located at 4160 Market Street, Suite 13 in Ventura, CA. Nearest cross street is Donlon. Just minutes off the 101. 805.477.0353. www.hypercat.com

Tower 2 Tower Stair Climb presented by Oxnard Fire Explorers Post 9244


Tower2TowerOn June 1, 2014, the Oxnard Fire Department Explorer Post 9244 will host the second annual Tower 2 Tower Stair Climb. The Stair Climb is a fundraising event held in partnership with the Oxnard Kiwanis Club.  The Oxnard Fire Explorers is a youth program open to young men and women ages 15 to 21 who are interested in the fire service. 

Participants will start by climbing the 14 story tower both up and down the stair wells. Then will race across the parking lot and ascend the stairs and finish on the roof of the larger 22 story for the finish.

The Tower 2 Tower stair climb raises funds for the equipment and training needed to continue providing this opportunity for the youth. participants 10 years and older are invited to sign up and participate in the stair climb. 

In addition to the stair climb, there will be a public safety day with demos from the Fire Department, Police Departments, K9’s and other Public Safety teams through the county.

For more information please contact Engineer Chad Carroll or call 805.701.2731.

Sign up at: www.active.com. Entry: $30.00


Renegade Dirty Series


Complete the XTERRA Renegade Off-Road Triathlon, Du or 3 Mile Trail Run Challenge and the Renegade Summer Trail Run Series at Peter Canyon and get a special Dirty Series finisher medal. Details at: RenegadeDirtySeries.com