Here’s a swim report from the comments section that I received from Luke – a fellow Illinoisan I met on the ferry boat during the Alcatraz Challenge:
So I’m sitting in my PJ bottoms, fleece top and bright orange and yellow skimpy tri suit waiting to be dropped off near Alcatraz a few weeks ago. A boat load of us are a bit nervous and striking up conversations to keep our nerves in check. Met all kinds of people from California, and felt oh so special because I came all the way from Illinois. Wouldn’t you know it, 2 people away from me on the boat is Steve from Open Water Chicago. Small world.
To prep for Alcatraz I swam (sans wet suit) in Lake Michigan in Highland Park. The water was 56-64 degrees in the 6-7 times I swam from late June until early July. The water at Alcatraz Challenge was 60 on 7/12. So temps aren’t the issue. I jumped off the pier in HP to simulate the jump from the ferry at the start of the Alcatraz race. What I underestimated where the currents, waves, and foggy conditions. Oh and how can I forget all the salt water I snorted.
So if a flabby old guy can make the swim (and follow up with the 7-mile run), surely you young whipper snappers in wet suits and neoprene caps can do it.
You gotta swim Alcatraz–at least once.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks Luke!