***Note on 8/28/08: Barbara passed away on Tuesday, August 26, 2008. I have those updates here and here. May she rest in peace.***
I was going to put this at the end of my race report but I believe it deserves its own post.
All day after my race I couldn't stop thinking about the woman who crashed. And on Sunday, I kept thinking about her. My triumph this weekend seemed to have this cast of shadow over it because I was so saddened by what I'd seen.
I wanted to post here what's currently known about Barbara Warren of San Diego.
I found this article on Slowtwitch.com:
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported today that endurance athlete Barbara Warren of San Diego suffered a broken neck Saturday while competing in the Santa Barbara triathlon. The 65-year old Warren crashed during the bike segment of the race and had no movement below the neck since then. She is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at The Cottage hospital in Santa Barbara.
Warren broke the ondontoid bone and the C2 cervical vertebrae according to Mac Larsen, an Alvarado Hospital emergency physician, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Warren's husband, Tom Warren was quoted to have said that his wife was conscious and alert but could not talk because she was on a ventilator to assist her breathing.
"Barbara and Tommy are two of my favorite people on the planet. They live and breathe the endurance sports lifestyle and like nothing better than accomplishing something no one thought they could do. If this is true and Barbara is indeed seriously injured, please take a few moments out of your day to pray for Barbara’s recovery," said a stunned Bob Babbitt in an e-mail to the San Diego triathlon community.
Barbara Warren, a psychologist, is a several-time participant and an age-group winner in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii. She has also participated in a multitude of other endurance events including a triple Ironman, the 2,983-mile Race Across America bike race, the 135-mile Badwater footrace across Death Valley and the Marathon des Sables, a seven day run across the Sahara Desert.
Tom Warren won the 1979 Ironman Hawaii.
So there we go. I'm really so deeply saddened by this. It shows you that even the most experienced people are not immune to crazy things happening. Nobody seems to know how it happened - whether the crappy road was involved (I have to believe it was, that road is shit, excuse my foul language, but it IS) or another person or what.
I just ask that everybody please send your thoughts her way and let's keep hoping for the best for her.