St Andrews ironman takes Alcatraz plunge

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Next month a St Andrews ironman will take the plunge by taking part in his most daring fundraising feat yet - an escape from Alcatraz.

Chris Nicoll, known as Sketch, will take part in the international triathlon in San Francisco on Sunday, June 7.

He will be joined by triathletes from around the globe who all want the chance to attempt the impossible – Escape from the infamous island of Alcatraz.

The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon attracts World Champions, Olympic Medalists and the best amateur triathletes from 50 states and over 40 countries.

They will put their endurance to the ultimate test as they take on San Francisco’s legendary Bay, steep hills, and rugged terrain.

Consistently ranked as a favourite event among triathletes, this event draws thousands each summer to find out who has what it takes to escape.

The triathlon features a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the shores of the St. Francis Yacht Club, a gruelling 18-mile bike ride, and a demanding eight-mile run through the trails of the Golden Gate Recreational Area.

Set against the natural beauty of San Francisco, this thrilling triathlon is a virtual postcard of the City by the Bay.

Chris, whose wife Claire runs the Keys Bar in Market Street, said the event will be in aid of Motor Neurone Disease (MND Scotland), a charity which he began fundraising for lat year following the death of Claire’s mum and former Keys landlady Carol Gordon.

Chris said: “ I’m hoping to raise £2000 for MND Scotland.

“I felt that everyone knows the story regarding how it is meant to be impossible to swim from Alcatraz so what better way to raise awareness and funds by doing this.

“Despite doing a couple of ironman events I’m very apprehensive about this as it’s so unique in it’s course.

“Every part has a bit that makes you worry including the current during the swim, the hills on the cycle and the sand ladder up the side of the cliff with over 400 steps... In fact the only bit I’m looking forward to is the end!”

Chris added: “ I understand that people ask for money every week for worthy causes but even if this makes them aware of the horrible disease that MND is then it’s a cause worth fighting for.

“It won’t bring my mother in law Carol back but it will hopefully help towards less families having to deal with the anguish.”

To donate visit the just giving page at or get in touch via facebook.