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World Class Athletes Brave SF's Elements for Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon

Early Sunday morning, in the pea-soup thick fog that shrouded SF Bay, more than 2,000 athletes took the plunge from the paddle wheel SF Belle off the Alcatraz shoreline into the 58-degree open water of the Pacific. 

The 34th Annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon features a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the Crissy Field shore, an 18-mile bike ride, and an 8-mile trail run through San Francisco including the infamous Baker Beach Sand Ladder.

Although this race is considered one of the most difficult triathlons in the world, Andy Potts from Colorado Springs, Colorado won the race for the sixth time, setting a new record. Taking first in the women's division was Sarah Haskins from Clermont, Florida.

Enjoy the photos, and tell us about your favorite part in the comments.