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On Race Day

Photo ID & USA Triathlon Membership

All race participants MUST bring a photo ID.  No Photo ID, no race, no exceptions, no whining!  (This is a USA Triathlon event sanctioning requirement and insurance stipulation.)

If you are not a member of USA Triathlon, you will be required to purchase a one-day membership for $10.  If you are a member of USA Triathlon, you must bring your USAT membership card or purchase a one-day membership (no whining, no exceptions)!

New & Important USA Triathlon Changes for 2007 -

  1. The age group of a participant will be determined by age on Dec. 31 of the event year, not by age on race day.  For example, if you turn 25 years old in September of 2007, you will race and be ranked in the 25-29 age group for the entire 2007 season (including our August 5th 2007 Alcatraz Challenge).
  2. All youth ages 17 and under are required to be annual USAT members to compete in sanctioned events in 2007.  The cost of an annual youth membership is $5 per year.   For more information on the Youth Annual Membership, please visit the USAT membership section of USAT’s web site.

Ferry to start - waiver

The company that operates the ferry that will transport you to Alcatraz for the swim requires that every athlete complete an additional waiver.  Please print out this waiver (click here to download waiver as pdf file), and bring the signed waiver with you to check in.  You will not be able to check in without a signed waiver.


Race day check-in takes place at the East Beach of Crissy Field in the Presidio

Because we shuttle everyone from Crissy Field to the Blue & Gold Ferry, you will receive an assigned and specific time to arrive at check-in (assignments will be made starting July 1st - refer to the Cable Car Shuttle section below for further information).

Plan on physically being in line at check-in at least 30-35 minutes before your scheduled Cable Car departure.  Factoring in parking and the 3 block walk to East Beach, plan on arriving by car in the Presidio one hour – 60 minutes – before your scheduled departure time.

This allows you sufficient time to park, walk, check-in, get body marked, set your gear up in the transition area, use the restroom facilities, put on your wetsuit, affix your electronic timing chip, and get in line for the Shuttle.

If you miss your assigned Cable Car shuttle departure time, we can not guarantee you a spot on a later shuttle meaning you find your own way to Pier 41.  Plan accordingly!

Cable car to Pier 41 Assignments – Will be posted beginning July 1st.


You can park along Mason St. immediately south of Crissy Field OR at the corner of Mason & Halleck (one block east of the Sports Basement) or at any of the many parking lots in the Presidio 

There is NO parking at the East Beach parking lot where check-in occurs.  This is a BIG no-no & forbidden by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (they don’t want us hogging up all the parking spots).   

We have volunteers at the entrance to East Beach blocking your way (we’ve selected the biggest, meanest & toughest volunteers we could find to keep you from driving into East Beach – don’t tempt them)!

Seriously, please cooperate with this parking requirement - park officials have warned that if we tie up all the parking spaces at East Beach & leave none for other park users, they will not approve future Challenge permits for us.

alcaswimmerraceday2Bags & Personal Gear

Wetsuit racers board the Cable Car shuttle to Pier 41 "race-ready," i.e. nothing brought onto the ferry is returned to Crissy Field.

If you are a “naked” swimmer (not wearing a wetsuit), we provide a bag for the “stuff” you wear on the Blue & Gold Ferry & want brought back to Crissy Field.  Keep this “stuff” to a minimum since someone needs to lug it back to the transition area. 

Mandatory Orientations

Continuous: 6:20 am – 7:10 am

Continuous & mandatory race orientations begin at 6:20 a.m. in front of the Blue & Gold Ferry.  If you miss the orientations, you are not allowed to swim since we cover information that is absolutely essential to safely complete the swim.  For those on the last 2 shuttles, we provide one last orientation on board the ferry.

At 7:15 a.m., we load the ferry (all racers first then passengers space permitting).


Unlike other races, our time table is set in concrete to take maximum advantage of the tidal currents.  We do not jeopardize the race start for 599 others because YOU are late.

Believe us!  There is always one of YOU.  If YOU are not in the check-in line 35 minutes before your assigned shuttle departure time, YOUR race is over before it starts.   Will you be the YOU?  Enough said; you’re a responsible adult.