Napa triathlete Eric Gilsenan is plotting his 25th consecutive Escape from Alcatraz for this coming Sunday March 3. In prison terms, Eric would be considered a “trusty” as many triathletes depend on his expertise during Q & A sessions.
A lot of people are probably thinking that because the race is in March this year as opposed to June, the water will be colder.
“I recently swam for 40 minutes in Aquatic Park and halfway out to Alcatraz and back. The first five minutes were bad, but after that it was bearable. The year we had to have Alcatraz on May 2, we had a temperature of 56 on race day. A month later in June with the Sierra snow melt, it was 52. So, it’s a big difference.”
What is the most offbeat question you were ever asked about this race?
“How salty is the water?”
Eric’s answer (take with a grain of salt):
“The closer we get to the equator the higher the salt content and as we go to the polar areas of the earth we find less salt in the water. Combine that with the average of 35 grams of salt per kilo of sea water and then factor in Sierra Nevada snow melt emptying into the SF Bay daily, it is hard to say. It’s not as salty as normal beach water but it by no means is fresh water.”
Stay tuned for more…