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  • Writer's pictureChristy Warren

Escape From Alcatraz Incident Report

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Introduction

On June 5, 2022, Christy Warren participated in the 2022 Escape from Alcatraz triathlon held in San Francisco, CA. She was accompanied by Lisa Morris and Lisa Hagopian who provided transportation, coffee, support and cow bell.

Sequence of Events

On June 5th, at 0330 hours, Christy’s alarm sounded, playing the theme song, Gonna’ Fly Now, from the iconic hit film, Rocky. Christy (whom we will identify now as CW) then stated, “Why in the holy fuck did I sign up for this?” Lisa Hagopian (whom we will identify as LH) quietly got out of bed without complaint. LH then began the process of readying herself for a day of standing around in the rain. CW sighed several times and got out of bed. She used the restroom and prepared an intensely strong cup of coffee. At 0349 hours, Lisa Morris (who will be identified as LM), sent CW a text saying, “Are you ready to escape the rock?!” To which CW replied, “I’m ready to go back to bed.” LM left her house at 0409 hours and drove to CW and LH’s house.

At 0356 hours, Harriet left her crate, walked into the kitchen, and in English Cream Retriever dialect stated, “What in the hell is going on. Aren’t we supposed to be asleep?”

At 0405 hours CW ate one gluten free bagel with blackberry jam, and ¾ cup lowfat plain yogurt with cinnamon and blackberry jam. Ten minutes later, LM arrived to transport CW and LH to San Francisco and to stand in the rain for several hours. The drive to SF was without incident.

Upon arrival to the staging area, CW exited the truck and LM and LH proceeded to a parking location approximately 1/4 of a mile away. CW proceeded to her racked bike, and placed items needed for the bike stage and the run stage in a somewhat organized manner. CW then boarded the bus and was enroute to Pier 3, to be loaded onto the San Francisco Belle. 1370 people in various states of wetsuit dress boarded the large paddleboat ferry. 1 gentleman, standing 6’3” tall, sported long grey hair and a long grey beard, wore tight fitting blue jammers, the mandatory swim cap, and goggles.

At 0713 hours the San Francisco Belle arrived in close proximity to the Island of Alcatraz. The temperature of the vessel’s interior began to climb significantly. At that point in time, everyone was completely attired in wet suits, caps, and goggles. And one male in nothing but a thin pair of blue shorts.

At 0724 hours all 1371 participants were ordered to abandon ship. At 0726 hours, CW quickly excited through the port side door and jumped into the 58-degree water. As soon as she surfaced, she was pissed due to her Garmin Triathlon watch not working properly. She stated she treaded water for 2 minutes and was able to, “Get the God damn thing working.” Once the Garmin began tracking her swim data, she began to swim towards shore. The intended landing point was the beach just west of the Saint Francis Yacht Club.

At 0804 hours, after swimming 1.603 miles, CW arrived at St. Francis Beach. Once in ankle deep water, she attempted to stand up, only to be knocked forward by a wave measuring approximately 6 inches high. CW stood up again, taking greater precaution this time, exited the water to rain and a large crowd of wet people yelling positive words and ringing cow bells. CW ran down the beach, up the stairs and found bag #1792 containing an old pair of shoes and a small towel. She peeled off her wetsuit to reveal a thin, horizontally striped white and black cycling jersey. Along her waistline the white strip appeared pink, showing her extra medium muffin top, similar to a wet T-shirt show. She sighed, put on her shoes, and laughed at the soaking wet towel. CW then began the one-half mile run to transition 1. Just prior to entering the transition area, LH and LM, held a blue umbrella, stood against the barricade, yelled, and actively rang a cow bell. As CW ran by LH and LM, CW kissed LH and ran into the cordoned off transition area. CW noticed the transition area still held most of the participant’s bikes. Upon believing she found the aisle with her racked bike and then not finding her bike, she realized she ran down the wrong isle. She corrected her route and found her bike. She put on one pair of black cycling shoes and one white helmet. CW elected to leave one pair of sunglasses behind due to the clouds and rain. She pulled down her black and white stripped jersey that had allowed said muffin top to pop out of the bottom.

At 0816 hours, CW excited the transition area, mounted one black Pinnarello road bike named Jeannine, and began an eighteen-mile ride. The rain continued. After the race, CW stated, “I was so thankful my awesome pals at Sports Basement San Ramon tuned up and put new grippy tires on my Jeannine.” CW felt good and passed several other athletes along her way to the first climb. Each of those passed athletes quickly passed CW on the first hill. This scene repeated on each of the six 17% grade climbs. Shortly after the first climb, CW’s lower back began to “lock up” and become quite painful. 30 minutes into the ride, CW ate one Spring Long Haul packet. At the one-hour mark CW made several attempts to open a second Spring Long Haul packet. She was able to make a pin hole with her teeth and used extreme force to squeeze a milligram of content out at a time. The entire ingestion of one Spring packet took twenty-five minutes. On the last, lengthy, 17% grade climb CW gritted her teeth and worked to just pick up enough speed so she did not fall over while both feet were clipped in. A few participants walked their bikes up the grade. CW became intent on at least passing them and not allowing them to beat her to the top of the hill. She found success. Barely. During the cycle leg of the race CW encountered 4 ambulances tending to bicyclists that crashed.

At 0945 hours CW finished the bike and entered the transition area, again finding LH and LM standing in the rain cheering and ringing a cow bell. CW noticed the transition area was full of bikes. CW dismounted Jeannine, racked Jeannine, and removed her dry Hoka Speed Goat Trail running shoes from a plastic bag they were stored. She strapped on bib number #1792 and put on a green baseball cap. :34 seconds later CW’s shoes were 100% saturated with water. Upon slowly running by LH and LM, CW stated, “This is going to take a while.” To which LH and LM responded, “That’s okay, we will be here. Take all the time you need.”

At approximately 0951 hours, CW felt severe pain in her lower back. She repeated a pattern of walking and stretching, unable to obtain relief. She thought to herself, “I don’t know if I can do this. I might have to walk the whole thing. I wonder if would make the time cut off walking.” She attempted to do math in her head, calculating the how much time it would take to finish the prescribed 8 miles while walking at 17-minute miles. She was unable to complete the calculations so thought to herself, “Fuck it. Let them drag me off the course if I’m too slow.” CW continued to walk and stretch. She caught up to a gentleman whose shoulder was wrapped due to a collar bone break from crashing his bike. CW asked the gentleman, “Are you going to walk this whole thing?” Without turning his head, he nodded and under his breath said, “Yes.” CW replied, “Well if you are going to walk this whole thing, I will too if I have to.” The skies continued to rain, and the mud became slicker and thicker. CW continued to walk, jog or “wog”, climb stairs, wog up and down Baker Beach, and climb the God damn fucking, never ending, sand ladder. Finally, at 1142 hours, CW wogged herself across the waterlogged finish line. LH and LM were at the finish with loud cheering and even louder cow bell. Christopher Walken would be proud. In almost equal intervals throughout the run, CW ate two packages of Skratch Orange Flavored Chews. She had great difficulty opening these each of the packets and stated to the investigation committee, “Why in the fuck do they make this shit, that is supposed to be eaten while riding your bike and running, so God damn hard to open? Am I supposed to bring scissors with me?!?!”

Shortly after crossing the finish line, a teenager with a large smile revealing braces with an extraordinary amount of rubber bands going in all different directions, placed a finisher’s medal around CW’s neck.

CW moved to the athlete area and found LH and LM. CW stated, “Man, this medal feels so heavy.” LH and LM assisted CW with figuring out how to find her bike and other race related crap. All three of them walked to LM’s truck and LM and LH put everything away as CW sat, drank water and asked for coffee—to which LM quickly acquired some.


Summary

Christy would only have been able to escape Alcatraz If there were a getaway car parked just outside of the beach west of the St. Francis Yacht Club. The results show if she had to also bike and run her way to a getaway car, she would have surely been caught. In a scientific comparison of subject’s times, even a small, poorly trained, dog would have been able to catch this escapee as soon as Christy started up the first hill. Christy stated, “This would have been fine, because then I’d get to pet a dog. The poorly trained ones are my favorite.”

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