6.07.2013

The Dipsea

Like I said yesterday, I have to tell you guys about this funny local race we have. It's called the Dipsea Race and it's supposedly the oldest trail race in the nation and one of the oldest foot races in general. It began in 1905 and aside from a couple of missed years during WWII, has been going strong ever since. It goes from a town called Mill Valley to Stinson Beach and is 7.5 miles long.

dipsea
starting the climb

To get from the start to the finish, you first climb a series of stairs and then a large hill, before heading back down to the beach. The fun thing about this race is you can get there any way you want. If you know a shortcut, you are allowed to use it. There is also a handicap system in place, based on your age, so it's not always the youngest who win the race. In fact, the 2012 winner was 72 years old.

dipsea
Up, up, up

After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, my family, who lived in the city at the time, moved out to Mill Valley, and my relatives ran this race shortly after that. When I was one month old, my entire family ran this race and I was there to cheer them on.

My Dad and Aunt getting ready to run.

It is difficult to get into. They only allow about 1,500 people and they have a very strange entry system. If you have not run it before, it is really hard to get in. If you ran last year and you were one of the first 500, you get a chance to register early for this year's race. After that, the application is posted online at noon on a Saturday and you have to print it out and send it via snail mail and the first 500 who get there first get in. For the next few hundred or so, there is a lottery and then the remaining slots can be bid on, sometimes going for hundreds of dollars.

stinson
Heading down to Stinson Beach

There is a wild card. If you have a "sob story" you can include it in your packet to attempt to get in. We did this. Our story was how three generations of our family have run this and we would like the fourth (my brother and I) to be able to join the tradition.

We did not get in.

The race is this weekend, and like I said yesterday, last weekend my brother and I decided to hike the trail instead, in honor of my Dad and his family who have run it. What I learned is that we probably want to practice, as it is quite a climb (2,200 ft). Also, we need to practice in order to beat the old guys! They were passing us as we were hiking and they really know their stuff. I don't want to get beat by a 72 year old!

So, we will rework our sob story and we will try again next year!

Have you ever really wanted something but didn't get it? Did you try again or give up? What do you think a better "sob story" would be? 

15 comments:

  1. The Dipsea is super cool--and on my bucket list. Sorry you didn't get in..next year!

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  2. That is a bummer that your sob story didn't result in you getting in! I hope you have better luck next year. It was interesting to read about it in that magazine as I instantly thought of you!!

    I can't think of anything I've tried to get into and have had no luck! I did think that I might not get into Chicago as their registration system was such a debacle, but I got in... and now that might all be for nothing as it's looking more and more likely that running it is out of the question. :(

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  3. This trail reminds me when we hiked down to the second tier of the Grand Canyon. There were people who hiked down and up every week and they were older than us and we couldn't keep up.

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  4. This sounds so cool!!! Good luck for next year!

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  5. Too bad your story didn't work to get in! I remember reading about the race in Runner's World.

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  6. that's the first time I've heard of the Dipsea described as "a funny little local race". it's insane! Hard to get into, hard to run, 2000 ft of climbing over 7.5 miles? that's absurd. Good luck, I hope you get in next year. It's a real bucket list event.

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  7. Sounds super cool. I think I read about this one in RW. Sorry you did not get in. I feel the same way about the NYCM lottery.

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  8. This sounds fun! I love that people in their 70's do it. That's how I hope to be when I grow up;) There is a race I want to get into next year but I hear it sells out in 1 hour. I guess if it's meant to be it will happen:) I will think of a good sob story for you.

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  9. What a crazy entry system. I love it! Though, sad to hear you didn't get in. I hope this will become an annual tradition (of trying to get in and then of running it every year)! The only thing I can think of (right now) that I didn't get into was a club in Liverpool. I was 18 and a girlfriend and I tried to go (it was the birthplace of the Beatles). I got caught with a couple bottles of cider in my coat (my friend, who is British didn't have a coat and didn't think it would be a big deal if we did get caught). Apparently, being American works against you, because they refused to let us in, even after she tried to pull the "but, I'm a Brit!" card.

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  10. This is so cool! I'm pretty sure I read about this in Runners World once. Bummer you didn't get in though - hopefully next year!

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  11. Oh my goodness, that is too funny! I would have let you in if I were deciding. Hope you get in next year!

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  12. The trail sounds and looks really cool. THey sure make you do a lot just to try and get registered!!

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  13. My first husband has an aunt and cousins in Mill Valley... I had forgotten all about them and visiting them there. Pretty. First place I ever visited where people had rocks and cactus in stead of lawns in the front yard! Water shortage I guess. Or lazy?

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  14. What a cool race, sorry your sob story didn't work. Good luck next year.

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