• One mile from Stinson Beach

  • Norman Pease, 74, on the final descent.

  • One of the many shortcuts on the course that have been closed.

  • Fellow spectator Devon Crosby-Helms - recently returned from a 5th place finish at Comrades Marathon in South Africa

  • Stick in the eye. Seriously.

  • Sisters Summer and Reilly Johnson. 7 and 9 years old.

  • Top of Cardiac

  • Alex Varner, 4th place but with the fastest overall time of 49:01

  • Dave Mackey

  • Andy Ames

  • Race winner, Hans Schmid, 72, approaching the top of Cardiac with a five minute lead on 2nd place

  • Winner's trophy

102nd Dipsea Race

June 11, 2012Tags:

The 102nd running of the Dipsea Race. June 10th 2012.

I have long wanted to race the legendary Dipsea race from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach just outside San Francisco. The event is a point to point trail race that has taken place nearly every year since 1905. It runs up and over two large ridges, through poison oak and silent redwoods before finishing at the Pacific Ocean – San Francisco seen off in the distance.

What makes the race most interesting to me though is the handicap start system that attempts to equalize all the runners for age and gender. Ideally a six-year-old girl, a 26-year-old guy and a 72-year-old man have equal chance to be the overall winner of the race. Taking the focus away from the the usual winners creates an atmosphere unlike any other race I’ve ever been to and in my opinion more races should be run this way.

Only a week away from trying to defend my Mount Washington Road Race title, I decided against the risks of running the Dipsea and opted to photograph it instead.