The Alcatraz Challenge is one of the most famous and challenging athletic events in California. It officially began in 1983 as a triathlon, but now it has evolved into an aquathon, which has swimming and running. For the Alcatraz Challenge, athletes start out at Alcatraz Island where they dive into the water and swim 1.5 miles until they reach the shore. From there, the swimmers become runners. After they transition, the runners start their 7-mile run that hugs the bay and takes them over the Golden Gate Bridge.
There are many swimming challenges in the Alcatraz Challenge from the chilly, choppy water to the strong currents. Also, while running, there is a change of 400 feet in elevation in less than a half of a mile.
With the amazing San Francisco scenery, it's no wonder that the Alcatraz Challenge has been voted "Best San Francisco Swim of 2007" by Competitor Magazine and "#2 Top Open Water Swim" by 10KSwimmer.com in 2008. The Alcatraz Challenge is great for triathletes, runners and swimmers who think that not trying would be criminal.