Hillview School 8th grader Malik Osman completes Escape from Alcatraz swim
Hillview School 8th grader Malik Osman loves sports and plays competitive/club basketball and soccer. During the pandemic, he took up tennis (which is more Covid safe) and swimming.
Atherton resident Janet Renner (pictured top with Malik) began training him and his entire family at their home pool in Menlo Park. Malik improved and began swimming a mile or more regularly at home.
This past summer, he saw a sign for the Escape from Alcatraz swim. He thought it would be cool to try to do that but had not yet experienced open water swimming beyond beach vacations. He indicated that he’d be willing to wake up early and train with Ms. Janet and set a goal to make the swim.
He continued to practice in the home pool using an endurance regimen provided by Ms. Janet. He purchased his first wetsuit and embarked on inaugural open water swims at Coyote Point and Redwood Shores. He completed four of these ~1.5 mile practice swims and learned to adjust to cold water.
Ms. Janet felt he was ready and he embarked on his swim from Alcatraz (see swim route at right) on Monday, September 27. The family set out from Menlo Park at 6:00 am to Cavallo Point and from there we took a boat with Sylvia from Pacific Open Water Swim.
His total swim was 1.65 miles — without a supportive current, so effectively longer — in 60 minutes. Beyond the distance, the Bay’s water at ~60 degrees was significantly colder and rougher than his practice swims.
Malik feels great and is looking forward to future swims and triathlons.
Photos courtesy of Malik’s family