The Dipsea footrace turned 100 years old on Sunday, June 13th.  The race started in 1905 and takes runners from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach.  (The Dipsea was suspended for 6 years during the great depression due to financial hardship and again during World War II when the Army occupied most of Mt. Tamalpais and closed the mountain to the public for defense reasons).  The Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America.  The race is  unbelievably popular. Let’s face it some of us just can’t get enough pain.  This 7.4 mile race can deliver!  Six hundred stairs and 1,360  feet of elevation are quad burning, heart pounding, calf cramping HARD!  Only the luck 1,500 can get in.

To mark the Dipsea’s 100th Birthday an eight year old girl, Reilly Johnson of Mill Valley,  pulled off the historic win. I wonder if Reilly knows that women were not allowed an official entry to the Dipsea race until 1971?  Regardless, it was a remarkable feat and she trained hard with the  Tamapla Running group for this race. (Note: The Dipsea is a handicapped race so Reilly had a 25 minute head start.  The fastest time of the day was Alex Varner, Santa Rosa in 48:54).  But it will be Reilly’s name that will go down in the history books and on a special plaque on the stairs to commemorate the 100th race! Plus she gets the coveted black Dipsea shirt that only goes to the top 35 runners and Reilly gets number 1!  (Looks like she will have to use it for a nightie).

A total of 37 Petalumans ran in this year’s Dipsea Race.  Once again, the fastest Petaluma finisher was Jacque Taylor, 18,  who finished 18th in a time of 53:27.  (Jacque was also the top High School finisher in 2007).  Next, was no stranger to the course, 49 year old Don Lindsey who finished 51st in a time of 55:23, followed by Robert Dickinson, 53, in 1:01;46, Spencer Hall, 18, 1:03:16, Paul Weber, 44, 1:05:10, Brian Crawford, 50, 1:07:37, High Track/Cross Country Coach Jim Lynch, 50, 1:07:38, Ron Svinth, 50, 1:07:58, Thor Shattuck, 41, 1:08:48, Ethan Mora, 19, 1:09:21 and Grant School Coach Lisa Hilbert, 48, 1:09:37.  Chase Falk, 11 was the youngest of the Petaluma runners and John (Fitzs) Fitzgerald, 66 was the oldest.  For other Petaluma runners go to results 2010

As a runner everyone keeps on asking me about the Dipsea!  This is not my race.  As a trigeek, I like a swim and bike as appetizers before my entrees.   But I have to admit I am thinking of adding it to my bucket list. So maybe next year! Check out this great article in Runner’s World and maybe I will see you on the trail!

Keep up the Pace,


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