2008 BW Tribute IM

Welcome fans of Barbara Warren! 

Barbara Warren Tribute Ironman Bib Number 315 338 x 283

30 LJ Cove Katrine Jen Angelika Angelo Katrina Veronica
Oct 10, '08 La Jolla Cove swimmers:  Katrine, Jen, Angelika, Angelo, Katrina, Veronica

110 LJ Cove Fletch with Barbara photo
Fletch at the cove with Barbara photo

140 NorthTorrey Pines Road Romel
Romel on N. Torrey Pines Rd OTP

Jim and Preston strategizing before marathon
Jim and Preston strategize during Bike-to-Run transition on the cove green


         Barbara Warren
         Tribute Ironman

Date:               Friday, Oct 10, '08
Location:          La Jolla Cove, CA
Distances:        2.4 mile Ocean Swim
                      112 mile Bike
                      26.2 mile Marathon
Photo Gallery:   Click here

               # 315

Barbara 2
2008 BW Tribute IM LJ Cove Preston Romel Jim Fletch Sunniva end of bike leg 2008 LJ Cove Katrine Jen Angelika Angelo Katrina Veronica 2008 LJ Cove Angelika and Jim

Barbara Warren Tribute Ironman Recap

Sunday, Oct 12, '08

Dear Angelika, Participants, Volunteers, and Friends,

Wow!  Some days in our life are simply unforgettable; Friday was such a day for me.

I'm so grateful to Angelika for allowing me to share my expression of respect for Barbara and her magnificent life with everyone.  I felt Barbara's calming presence nearby while stroking out in the surf, spinning up in the high back country, and all along the coastal marathon course.  How else does one explain nine (9) stoplights in a row turning to green as I approached on the bike?  And on the run, only one stoplight to navigate.  It turned from red to green in the instant running partner Keith Kirby reached to push the button...luck? presence?  You decide, but I know how I feel about it.

Having so many old and new friends supporting the Barbara Warren Tribute Ironman was overwhelming and thoroughly enjoyable.  With so much great on-course support and positive Ju Ju, my recovery has been astonishingly quick.  Almost ready to do it all again today...I said "Almost"... (Big Grins)  

Last night, as I watched the live webcast of the 2008 Hawaii Ironman it was fun to see and hear the passion of participants, media members, and volunteers.  But despite the spectacle and pagentry at the Kona race, I'll always remember our little Tribute Ironman as my all-time favorite.

Thank you all again for your selfless donations of your time, effort, kindness, and Love.  I look forward to seeing you all again soon.  Click here for link to photo gallery.  

Most Sincerely,


PS:  Since several have asked, Jim's Tribute Ironman total time was 12:08:07
        2.4 mi swim in 1:12
        112 mi bike in 5:52
        26.2 mi run in 4:22

Barbara Warren Tribute Ironman

Hi, I'm Jim Knight.  What follows below is my effort to honor Barbara Warren's memory. The idea is a simple platform to swim, bike, and run, as a fitting tribute to Barbara's amazing life, on Fri, Oct 10th (the day before the 2008 Hawaii Ironman).  The La Jolla Cove is the start, finish, hot corner, dig-me beach, and overall central gathering point for this informal Tribute.  The Ironman organization has authorized use of it's logo and name "Ironman" in conjunction with the Tribute IM.  I'm having 80 full-sized Ironman Bib Numbers printed for participants and volunteers.  All Bib Numbers will be the same: #315.  That was Barbara's number at her 10th Hawaii Ironman in 2003, when she won the Womens 60-64 division.  Body marking is also encouraged. 

The Tribute IM is an informal, unsanctioned, no-cost, grass-roots way for family, friends, and well-wishers to simply express their respect for Barbara in an entirely free-format arena.  I intend to tackle the full Ironman distance.  I'll swim 2.4 mikes, then hammer down a hard 112 mile bike, followed by a full marathon, that will surely involve the Kona shuffle and some good old walking too.  Am I ready for a full Ironman? Of course not.  But that's not the point.  Barbara inspired me in very personal ways.  She quite possibly invented the term "outside the comfort zone".  So this is what I can do as my show of respect.  I've listed below what others are doing.  As you can see, the range of participation varies widely--and that's just fine.  Barbara touched many lives in many different ways.  I'm positive she would appreciate the gesture in whatever form it takes. 

This Tribute IM is not sanctioned or sponsored.  There are no entry fees or any form of fund-raising connected to it.  There will be no starting gun, no elaborate rest stops, no police directing traffic, nor any hot soup at midnight.  Everyone must obey all traffic laws and use common sense if joining the Tribute.  Everyone should be prepared to be 100% self-sufficient with water, nutrition, and support.  Anyone participating in any aspect of the Tribute does so at their own risk and waives all liability to all parties without limit.

Participants & Volunteers Updated Oct 7, '08

Dave Love and Brendan Wolters are swimming before work
Bob Kaplan is going to swim and ride about 50 miles
Elaine G. is going to shoot for 112 miles on the bike
Don McCollom sends his best wishes from West Virginia
Jennifer B. is hoping to do about half the IM distance
Sharon T. has offered to help as a volunteer
Fletch R. will volunteer at the cove
Cooper A. plans on participating
Don N. might run up the first couple hills to N. Torrey Pines Rd with Jim
Mike P. considering riding 112 miles
Stephen L. will swim 2.4 mi and probably full marathon
Mike V. will bike 112 mi
Jack S will run the marathon
Andy B is considering participating in the swim
John Molin plans on a doing the swim, bike, and run
Romel H. plans on swimming and volunteering
Gene B. will volunteer in his kayak
Dotty B. will volunteer at the swim
Keith K. will swim and run the marathon
Randy Clark will volunteer, ride about 80 miles, then volunteer again
Tentative Timeline/Courses:  Updated Oct 8, '08

Tribute IM Date:  Friday, Oct 10, 2008
Start/Finish:  La Jolla Cove

6:00 A.M. Swim.  Start at the La Jolla Cove, swim straight out to the yellow outer stick (farthest from shore) then toward Scripps Pier 1.2 miles (turn-around 600 m from pier) and return on the same route.  Dave Love will lead Jim through the first 1/2 mile.  The course was modified due to strong swells near the coastline in the vicinity of the 1/4 and 1/2 mile bouys.  Also, navigating on the Pier and Cove is easier in low light conditions.  Angelika & Preston Drake and Gene Belknap will be in kayaks.  The swim will start in near total darkness at 6:00 A.M. to afford an early start for what will be a long day.  Other participants are welcome to swim with, ahead, or behind Jim, or any other distance or course at any time of the day.  

8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.  Bike.  Jim intends to ride from the cove to Escondido past Lake Wohlford to the vicinity of Harrah's Rincon Casino and back.  He expects to ride the 112 miles solo and unsupported at sub-6 hour pace.  Hearty riders are welcome to join him.  This is the only part of the Tribute IM Jim can hammer, so he will do so to make-up time and with luck, finish the Tribute IM before it gets dark.  Other riders may ride this course or any other course or distance of their choosing throughout the day.  Dependent on traffic and weather, Jim hopes to be back at the cove between 2:00 and 3:00 P.M.  He will call ahead to volunteers at The Cove from Del Mar on the return ride to give about 40 minutes advance notice of his arrival.  Runners are encouraged to bring fluids and nutrition items to the cove by 1:00 P.M. to give to the mobile rest stop volunteers, who will include them in their vehicles.

2:15 to approximately 6:15 P.M.  Run.  From the LJ Cove, Jim will run the traditional La Jolla Half Marathon in reverse.  Starting at The Cove he'll run to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, then turn-around and run back to finish at The Cove.  Other participants are welcome to run with, or ahead, of Jim or any other distance at any time of the day.  Jim's intention is to finish the entire IM before sundown.  Because it's a Friday evening, it's important for everyone to do the same.  Recognize there are some crazy drivers out there heading to and from Happy Hour, so it's just best for everyone, regardless of distance, to finish before sundown.  For obvious reasons, safety is the first concern for everyone. 

Volunteers: Updated 7 Oct, '08   Please send a short email to Jim if interested.    

The primary volunteer efforts will be an "A-Team" and "B-Team".  The teams are Mobile Rest Stops to support runners along the La Jolla Half Marathon course.  Both teams will be fully self-contained, with water, Vitalyte, Clif Bars, E-caps, Gatorade, and ice.  The idea is to leap-frog the "A-Team" and "B-Team" Mobile Rest Stops about every two miles of the route starting at the cove, to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, then back to the cove.  The "A-Team" will try to stay ahead of the faster runners.  While the "B-Team" will key off of the slower group (the group containing Jim who expects (hopes) to run 9 - 11 minute miles) finishing in about 4.5 hrs.

Volunteers please arrive at the cove by 1:00 P.M. on Friday.  Ask around for Fletch Reynolds.  Fletch will be in the vicinity of the grassy area by the stairs leading down to the cove (currently under construction).  Fletch has very kindly offered to help manage the main volunteer effort.  By manage, I mean, he's going to work with the other cool volunteers to assemble, organize, staff, and roll-out 2 Mobile Rest Stops at about 2 P.M.  The mobile rest stops will have bare bones rest stop items like water, Vitalyte, ice, cups, Gatorade, vasaline, etc., but they are the main effort of the volunteers for Barbara's Tribute Ironman.  If you only want to stay at the cove, you're a spectator, which is fine.  But volunteers, who really want to help most, please lend a hand to Fletch to help load up and staff 2 to 4 vehicles to leap frog ahead of the runners along the actual marathon course from about 2:00 to 7:00 P.M.  I know you guys can do this thing!  No need for elaborate tables and rest stops, just working out of the trunk of a car or off the rear gate of a SUV are perfect for this mission!  

"A-Team" Volunteers (Est. 1:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.)
    Team Leader:
    Vol 1:
    Vol 2:

"A-Team" Volunteers (Est. 1:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.)
    Team Leader:
    Vol 1:
    Vol 2:

LJ Cove:

    Swim:  (Est. 5:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. Set-up + transitions)
        Vol 1:  Randy Clark
        Vol 2

    Bike-to-run (Est. 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.)
        Vol 1:  Randy Clark
        Vol 2

    Finish (Est. 5:00 to 7:00 P.M.) 
        Vol 1
        Vol 2

Background:  On August 28, 2008 we lost one of the greatest endurance athletes of all time.  Barbara Warren, 65, crashed her bicycle while racing in a triathlon in Santa Barbara, CA.  She suffered broken bones in her neck and was left paralyzed from the neck down.  Three days later, following neck stabilization surgery, doctors concluded the paralysis was irreversible.  Barbara's emphatic and unmistakable decision, surrounded by her loving family, was to remove the ventilator, permitting her to slip peacefully from this earth.

When I read the details of this harsh tragedy, as reported by Don Norcross at the San Diego Union Tribune, I was shaken to the core.  Tears spilled onto my keyboard that sad morning.  An overwhelming sense of loss crept in and seemed unshakable.  It was impossibly unfair that a woman of Barbara's unmatched grace, gentle elegance, and towering mental and physical capacities, could be swept away so suddenly.  A true Legend in her own time was gone.
Barbara (L), Preston (C), Angelika (R) at 2007 Salton Sea Century

That was 18 days ago.

Since then, accolades have poured in from across the country and around the world.  Her many unequivocal endurance feats are now known by many, but directly experienced by almost none.  Some athletes seek to complete a marathon as an ultimate test of endurance.  Barbara chose to run across the Sahara Desert.  Professional athletes have been reduced to crawling at the torrid and fearsome Hawaii Ironman.  Barbara competed there 13 times, winning her agegroup at 60 years in 2003. Click here for a link to video of Barbara's 2003 finish (at the link, enter "Warren" in the athlete search, click on Barbara, then on "watch me finish").

I had the privilege to participate in that 2003 Hawaii Ironman race, my 2nd, her 10th.  It was a particularly brutal day out in the lava fields of the Big Island near Kona, HI.  I recall Barbara's confidence prior to the race.  And her excitement at its conclusion.  But for Barbara, there was always more.  She also completed a Triple Ironman in under 50 hours.  For the record, her winning time at the HI IM was 13:35:44, meaning she sustained an even faster pace at her triple ironman.  Astonishing!   Unheard of!  Remarkable!  Every day seemed to bring more tributes and remembrances of Barbara's legend and of her life well-lived. 

That was 3 days ago.

On Sunday, it finally occurred to me.  Barbara is still with us in so many ways.  Her eldest daughter, Ingrid, reminded me her mother touched thousands of lives, in countless ways, and those connections live on.  Her legacy is her belief in not only what can be dreamed, but going after it, reaching beyond perceived boundaries.  She was fond of encouraging us to stretch ourselves outside our comfort zones.  She lived her entire life as a role model in that respect. 

I'm not surprised Barbara Warren's spirit has achieved immortality.  She figured it all out long ago.  She's likely smiling right now--as you read this--probably shaking her head "no", but we know it's true.  And in Truth comes Clarity...Barbara would want us to cheer-up and get back to the business of chasing our dreams and achieving ever-expanding goals.  This isn't easy to do, especially the cheering-up part, which is why I'm certain Barbara would insist we do it.

I contacted Preston Drake with an idea for a different kind of Tribute.  I requested permission from Angelika, Tom, and Barbara's family to permit me to complete an unsupported, full-distance, solo Ironman, right here in San Diego, as a fitting expression of my personal respect for Barbara and her legacy.  I wanted to honor her memory in as close to an unequivocal way as I am capable of delivering.  At 47 years, I'm not nearly as young as Barbara (grinning).  The day before this year's Hawaii Ironman seemed like an ideal choice.  That's Friday, Oct 10th, just 25 days away.  Since I haven't swam or run any significant miles in five years, it will most assuredly represent a departure from my "comfort zone."  My intention was (is) to carry Barbara's Bib # 315 from her 2003 Hawaii Ironman Agegroup Championship.

Preston and Angelika immediately responded with support for the idea.  In virtually no time the concept was expanded from a solo Tribute IM, to a wider community-based, grassroots platform for healing and to celebrate Barbara's epic life. 

As of today, Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008, the Barbara Warren Tribute Ironman is just coming together.  The Preliminary details are listed above.  This Tribute IM is not sanctioned or sponsored.  There are no entry fees or any form of fund-raising connected to it.  There will be no starting gun, no elaborate rest stops, no police directing traffic, nor any hot soup at midnight.  Everyone must obey all traffic laws and use common sense if joining the Tribute.  Everyone should be prepared to be 100% self-sufficient with water, nutrition, and support.

In our great country we have the Right to gather peacefully.  Let's do it.  Let's keep it safe and look after eachother.

Family, friends, and well-wishers, are welcome to join in any aspect of Barbara's Tribute IM.  I'm working with the Hawaii Ironman to obtain a stack of official HI IM logo'd Bib# 315's, so all of us can carry Barbara's number.  Body marking with #315 is also encouraged.  You did not have to know Barbara to be a part of this Tribute.  Distances and times are irrelevant.  You may swim, bike, or run any distance.  You may volunteer to help.  You may swim, then volunteer, then run.  It's an open format and, hopefully, a creative way for the San Diego community to informally gather to honor and celebrate Barbara's life. All who participate in any way do so at their own risk and accept their own liablity and waive liablility for anyone connected with the tribute.