Unlike the pattern of most modern triathlons, both Andy Potts and Sarah Haskins earned their winning margins at the 2014 Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon on the swim.
Potts won his sixth Escape From Alcatraz title after a tough race-long duel with two-time Olympic medalist and 2004 ITU World Champion Bevan Docherty. The key leg was the swim where Potts, on a tough currents day in San Francisco Bay, posted a race-best 27:54 swim that was 28 seconds better than Josh Amberger. But most important, Potts swift swim gave him 59 seconds advantage on Docherty.
On the 18-mile bike that swoops up and down around a multitude of San Francisco landmarks, Potts and Docherty sped away from the field and came to a draw with one another, posting 46:57 and 46:55 splits respectively. Potts thus defended his minute lead and Amberger, who rode a 48:21 split, trailed Docherty by just over a minute.
Docherty, whose ITU short course run resume tops Potts, unleashed a race-fastest 44:14 run split that carved 30 seconds back from Potts. As swift as it was, it could not topple the men’s King of Alcatraz – two wins better than four-time champs Chris McCormack and Mike Pigg -- as Potts finished in 2:04:21 with a 38 seconds margin of victory over Docherty. Amberger pushed hard to record a 3rd-best 46:44 run to hold 3rd place, 3:38 behind Docherty.
Potts’ win makes him second on the all-time Escape From Alcatraz winner’s list to Michellie Jones, who has won eight times at this classic. Potts now stands alone atop the men’s win list, two ahead of the four won by Chris McCormack and Mike Pigg.
Sarah Haskins, who has five career wins at St. Anthony’s and four at Minneapolis Life Time Fitness and Chicago, was new to Escape but she came to Baghdad by the Bay with a secret weapon – a perfect 5-0 winning streak in her return to racing after the birth of her daughter Caroline last year. The confidence she has attained during this streak was more than enough to make her fearless against two-time Ironman champion Rinny Carfrae, whose 2nd place finish at the big bucks, non-drafting, Olympic distance 2011 Hy-Vee race gives her plenty of street cred at short course. Still, Haskins had to remember that she went into that Hy-Vee race undefeated, led into the run but was run down near the end by Carfrae and Lisa Norden.
Haskins won round one with a race-best 28:51 swim that gave her a 3:02 cushion over Carfrae and 1:30 over Ricarda Lisk of Germany. Haskins then added 18 seconds to her lead over Carfrae and 58 seconds over Lisk with her race-fastest 52:50 bike split. With that cushion in the bank, Haskins weathered the 2:46 she lost to Carfrae’s sizzling-fast 47:28 run -- 8th fastest including the men. Haskins thus crossed the line on 2:17:42 with a 23 seconds advantage over Carfrae and 1:10 over 3rd-place finisher Lisk, who closed with a 49:14 run.
Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon
San Francisco, California
June 1, 2014
S 1.5 mi. / B 18 mi. R 8 mi.
1. Andy Potts (USA) 2:04:21
2. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 2:04:59
3. Josh Amberger (AUS) 2:08:37
4. Graham O’Grady (NZL) 2:10:21
5. Steve Mantell (USA) 2:11:28 * M20-24
6. Brian Fleischmann (USA) 2:11:36
7. Matthew Organista (USA) 2:12:39 * M25-29
8. Jon Bird (CAN) 2:13:14
9. Matty Reed (USA) 2:13:43
10. Eric Clarkson (USA) 2:14:20
1. Sarah Haskins (USA) 2:17:42
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 2:18:05
3. Ricarda Lisk (GER) 2:18:52
4. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 2:20:07
5. Leanda Cave (GBR) 2:23:39
6. Laura Bennett (USA) 2:25:05
7. Emily Cocks (USA) 2:25:52
8. Sara McLarty (USA) 2:27:25
9. Charisa Wernick (USA) 2:27:34