Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

2013 Escape from Alcatraz Preview

Hellooooo crazy ass swimming in the San Francisco bay when it’s 45 degrees out is no big deal fans!

The time is upon us…the first race of 2013.

Friday 6-8:30pm: Pre Race Q&A w/Andy Potts…& Me at Sports Basement Presidio (Event Details HERE)

If you want tips on the course, or have triathlon questions in general, this is a great opportunity to have them answered by 5-Time Escape winner Andy Potts. If you have questions about Microsoft Excel and the maximum load of almond butter and jelly a rice cake can withstand, I will also be answering questions. AND Lauren & I will be there with Picky Bar samples. Goodness me, that’s a good deal.

If you’re not excited to see me & Andy Potts, come to watch Lauren dance at the Picky Bars booth.

Sunday 7:30-9:30am – RACE IS ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.

How to follow:

  • Twitter: Most likely, Lauren will be tweeting updates from my twitter account.
  • Escape website has Live Results, not sure what that means, but sounds promising.
  • If you’re in SF. Best place to watch is around transition & swim exit. Here’s a link to the course if you’re interested. If you see me go by and want to say something, I prefer funny, motivational, and/or informational (place, how far back) screamings. Booyah!

The Field:

Long story short, the field is ridonkulous. As mentioned, Andy Potts has won the last 5 in a row, and reigning Ironman World Champ Pete Jacobs will be there as well. But on paper the biggest threat comes from Javi Gomez Noya, who’s the 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist, HyVee Winner & a former World Champion. There’s also Josh Amberger, Paul Matthews, Matty Reed and many others. But what all the paparazzi is buzzing about is that this will be the first rematch since Graham O’Grady, Matt Lieto and I raced the 2011 Man Van Vineman World (& US) Championships. We’ll see who’s improved the most on each “category” over the last two years.


A lot of things have changed since the 2011 Man Van Championships. My haircut is not one of them.

2010 Jesse had no aviators, a beard, & running tights. Same ugly pain face, though.

How I Feel:

This event means a TON to me. It’s where I first proved to myself that I could compete at the pro level after “putting life on hold” post business school. That finish is one of my all time favorite athletic moments. I remember scream/crying with my mom & friends when I finished 7th and out-split Hunter Kemper on the run. It was like a dream. It’s crazy to look back and read my first ever race report on this website. Wow, we’ve come a long way in three years.

Two years ago, I was fourth here, my first race after the surprise Wildflower craziness. I remember feeling a huge amount of pressure (from myself) to legitimize my Wildflower win with a strong finish. Two years later, I don’t feel near that same pressure. Triathlon, for better and for worse (mostly a lot better) has become my job. Yes, it takes some of the crazy “oh my god, what is happening?” highs away, but it also levels out the expectations I put on myself. Of course, I want to start the season off strong, and winning this race is one of my career goals, but I know I’ve got lots more races this year and beyond, so the immediacy/intensity of that feeling has lessened. It’s more of a workman’s approach. I’m going to go out, push myself as hard as I can, see what I get out of my body, and let the chips fall where they may. But I’m not going to over evaluate the outcome. I know I’m a MUCH stronger triathlete than I was two years ago, and even though it’s much earlier in the season, I hope/expect to be faster on this course. It will be fun to see how it all shakes out.

Tips for Racers:

I’ll leave you with a link to my 2011 Tips for Alcatraz for anyone that’s racing. Good luck to anyone that’s doing it. Stay warm and have fun!

That’s it homies! See you out there!

8 comments to 2013 Escape from Alcatraz Preview

  • James Bedard

    Good Luck out there Jesse. I’ll be rootin for ya from the frigid waste land of North Dakota. Keep up the awesome work you do for keeping smiles and hopes in our eyes.

  • Roo

    Good luck Jesse! I’ll be volunteering at the swim exit on race day so I’ll make sure to cheer you on when you get out of the frigid waters. Oh, and I’ll make sure to *cough* “help” Graham and Matt out of their wetsuit so that you can at least win the Man Van competition.

    Have fun!

  • R smith

    Awesome my man. Have fun and give em hell!

  • Best of luck in the race, sounds like it’s going to be a daunting field. You’ve got this!

  • Leslie

    Good luck. I did this race last year and it is sooooo much fun. Best part is jumping off the boat into the SF Bay.

  • JJ

    So glad you’re doing this race! You’ll have a lot of fans cheering you on – I’ve told my wife and kids to look out for you and be ready with some Jesse Biebers. Then they can take a nap, eat lunch, and tour SF while waiting for me to finish.

  • Cameron

    Almond butter and jelly on a rice cake! Don’t think I’ve gone a day without it since you first gave me the idea. You’re gonna crush it this weekend, go get ’em

  • Emilia Mejia

    Hiiiiii! your blog is great, I’d love you to join my websites, and you put my link on your site, and so we benefit both.

    I await your response to munekitacate@gmail.com


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