Carolyn, such a refreshing change from posts re 100 yd workouts and cheese doodles!! A real worout question. I guess we need those every so often.
When I did the Escape from Alcatraz I was prob running 9 min miles in workouts. I did the 8 miles on raceday on a 10:20 pace. I also sprained an ankle and the last 2 miles were a crawl, so it prob realistically should have been 10:00. The 2nd run here (remember there's that 2.5'er bw the swim and the bike) is similar to the 8 I did in the other race. See my post from a while ago re the route. NOTE, the 2nd run is now being reported as 10K rather than 7.5 miles !!! yippee.
On the tricalifornia webpage, it looks like the sandladder is 3.5 miles or so from the finish. Transition and finish here is further west toward the ocean and the GGate, so sandladder seems to be maybe 4 miles into the run and maybe 2.5 or so from the finish. yes, just about in the damn middle.
re trainer boredom, dunno. spinervals has some good workouts but you can only watch so many times. "24" episodes were good but I'm now caught up. recording a 1 hour show on your tivo (which is usually 44 minutes in 6 segments) is a good workout, I used to do 6 sets on 7 or so minutes each at following gears 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18. pretty tough toward the end. It has to be an intense show though.