I’ve sent in my registration for the 111th Dipsea Race. For those who are wondering “What the Hell is a Dipsea?”, here are some fun facts:
- It’s the oldest footrace in the US.
- The 7.4-mile trail race starts in Mill Valley and ends in Stinson Beach. Here’s a chart of the course with witty trail names/points of interest/infamous sections.
- The first quarter-mile is a flat road then you get to climb the Dipsea Stairs which are 3 separate staircases totaling 672 steps.
The organizers “cap” the race at about 1400 runners (give or take) and because it’s such an iconic and popular race, it’s never a given that you’ll be accepted. There are spots reserved for invited runners, folks who qualify by landing at the top in previous years, or who have a family legacy. That leaves about 800 or 900 spots for the Open category which is where “yours truly” will hitch her wagon.
And even if there’s no guarantee that I’ll get in, I have started to increase my training because one does not start preparing for the Dipsea in mid to late April. That means intervals, hill repeats, and runs that include long grinding climbs. The training has to be hard because this race is hard. I’ve run the Dipsea 3 times and the punishment of the course always surprises me.
In a perfect world, I am accepted and will toe up to the starting line on June 12th. At worst, I don’t get in but will have become a stronger runner and regained a lot of my running confidence. And that my friends, is what I call a win-win.
Now go run!