Challenged Athlete To Race Escape From Alcatraz Tri

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  • Published May 27, 2011
  • Updated May 27, 2011 at 12:03 PM UTC

Born without most of his right leg and missing digits on both hands, Creighton Wong will compete in the  Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 5.

Creighton Wong had not ridden a bike, or even really run, well into his adult years.

Wong, a 37-year-old Oakland native now living in Danville, Calif., was born with a congenital defect. His right leg ends mid-thigh and he is missing digits on both hands, making it hard to participate in such activities.

But on June 5, he will swim 1.5 miles in the frigid San Francisco Bay, bike 18 miles and then run eight miles through the city as part of the 31st annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.

“I learned how to ride a bike literally for the first time (in recent years),” said Wong, an insurance broker who learned the skill after setting his goal to become a triathlete. “The idea of running a mile continuously — I’d never come close.”

Five of the 2,000 expected participants have physical disabilities, including one who is blind, according to race organizers. The course starts with a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the Marina Green. Participants will then run a half-mile warm-up before an 18-mile bike ride that weaves through Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach before returning to the Marina. Triathletes will then run an eight-mile course crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, taking on the sand of Baker Beach and returning to the Marina.

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