Garland to attempt Alcatraz swim

Derek Garland says swimming in the Alcatraz Classic is "something I'll look back on when I'm old and be proud of." Courtesy of Derek Garland

On Aug. 26 Metal Mulisha rider Derek Garland will once again take on something no other rider in FMX has ever attempted to conquer. Far from the comforts of his running shoes [used for cross training] and his dirt bike boots, Garland will attempt the famous 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz island to the shores of the San Francisco at the 10th annual Alcatraz Classic: Swim with the Centurians. He is definitely the first rider to attempt to conquer such a feat.

Garland, known for his hard-working ethic on the bike, has recently wrapped up a busy season including the Nuclear Cowboyz Tour, Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour and the Rockstar Metal Mayhem Festival. Staying true to his work ethics is the driving force behind Derek Garland's success.

Garland who is an avid runner and has competed in multiple half and full marathons decided it was time to step up his cross training game one more level by adding in an open water swimming race. Being busy traveling the country doing FMX shows can be difficult to maintain a consistent training schedule but Garland's dedication drives him to keep up on his fitness no matter where he is or whatever the weather.

"I decided to swim Alcatraz because it's not something many people do. I think it'll be a good experience, something I'll look back on when I'm old and be proud of," Garland said.

Alcatraz also known as "The Rock" opened its federal prison doors in 1933 and was closed down in 1963. It was known as one of the most security tight prisons of its kind. There were multiple escape attempts and many bodies lost to the sea but only one man by the name of John Paul Scott in 1962 officially made it across the bay to the shores of San Francisco. He was so tired from the swim that authorities quickly apprehended him without a fight and sent him back to the island.

In 2001, Pedro Ordenes and Gary Emich were the first swimmers to do the "Escape from Alcatraz" swim 100 times. Now many open water swimmers aspire to become members of the elite "Alcatraz 100 Club," according to Water World Swim.

With this being Garland's first swimming race he doesn't know what to expect exactly but his goals are to make it across the bay safely without any incidents. He'll be wearing a wetsuit and said "I'm going to just show up and hope for the best." Water temperatures are going to be around 55 degrees and it should take him about 90 minutes to complete.