While most students manage to fit plenty of new experiences into their placements year, most don’t go as far as planning an escape from an infamous prison island. However, that’s exactly what Computer Science MSc student Elizabeth Bowen will be doing on Sunday 1 June when she takes part in an Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on the streets and bay waters of San Francisco, California.
Elizabeth is currently living and working in California as part of her Master’s programme. She is one of 15 students from the School of Computing on a paid industrial placement at Cisco.
Elizabeth is fitting training for the triathlon around a busy work schedule. The grueling 34th annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon sends triathletes on a 1.5 mile swim from the infamous Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shoreline, an 18 mile bike ride through the Presidio peninsula and an 8 mile trail run through Golden Gate Park. Only 2,000 triathletes and relay teams can participate and the event sells out within hours of the registration opening every year.
Elizabeth explained why she was so keen to take part “I competed in my first triathlon in 2005 and have been hooked ever since! Training for three sports is much more interesting than just training for one. Escape From Alcatraz is THE race to compete in for triathletes, the challenging course offers spectacular views with San Francisco on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. The internship has been stressful at times, however training has provided me with the perfect way to take a break and de-stress. With a week to go I am nervous, but can’t wait to jump into San Francisco Bay, I just need to out swim the sharks …”