Dipsea Trail Run

Dipsea Trail Run

Event Dates: June 13, 2010
About this Event

First run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June. The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world. The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race. And its unique handicapping system has made winners of men and women of all ages. Because of its beauty and challenge, it is a very popular event, and because of safety and environmental concerns the number of runners is limited to about 1,500. While racers enter from all over the world, the Dipsea is primarily a Northern California event and the entry process is tilted slightly to favor local contestants.
Admission Fee (if any)

The fastest and best way to get an application is to download and print the application from the website. Also note that the application will be available on the website before most other runners receive it in the mail. However, if you don’t have access to the Internet they will mail one to you.

Requests for an application may be made via email: [email protected] or via USPS write to:
The Dipsea Race
P.O. Box 30
Mill Valley, CA 94942

Address changes and application requests must be received by March 1, 2010
Participation Requirements (if any)

The number of runners are restricted to 1500. That’s less than half the number of people who apply every year. So, an elaborate system has been developed to fairly apportion the scarce racing slots.

The surest way to get a racing number is to do well in the previous Dipsea. The first four hundred and fifty Invitational runners who finished in 2008 are automatically eligible for the Invitational section of 2009 race. All they need do is get their entry forms completed and sent back before the deadline of April 1, 2009. Also eligible for the 2009 Invitational are those from the Runner section who were among the first 750, overall, to cross the finish line in 2008. For everyone else, it’s a little trickier, partly because the system still is subject to the U.S. Postal Service.

Once the pre-qualified runners are assigned their numbers, the remaining 800 or 900 slots are apportioned according to the following system:

Five hundred racing numbers are allocated on a basis of first come, first accepted. For the last several years, the official applications are available for downloading only on our website. That evens the playing field because everyone has access at the same time. But the completed applications can be sent back to us ONLY through the mail. That tends to favor the local Bay Area residents. And that’s fine with the race committee, because the Dipsea is essentially a local event, even though racers come from other states and other countries.

In previous years, the fastest way to get your application to us was to hand-deliver it to the Mill Valley Post Office. The officials there tell us they won’t accept and hand cancel letters directly for our post office box in Mill Valley. We understand that Dipsea applications posted at the Mill Valley post office will go to a regional facility for sorting and then will be delivered to the Mill Valley Post Office. So it might be fastest to mail the application from a regional center near you.

For those who are really desperate to run in The Dipsea, there’s always money. After the first 500 applicants have been assigned, another hundred entries are accepted based on a silent auction. One hundred race numbers are awarded to applicants who send checks in excess of the $50 entry fee, $35 for children under 16, (the “bribe” money, anything over the $50 for adults and $35 for youngster under 16 goes to the Dipsea Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that awards scholarships and maintains the trail). The auction bidding goes higher every year.

The final 300 places in the 2009 Dipsea race will be filled by lottery. After the three above scenarios are completed, all remaining applications received in our office by April 7, 2009 are eligible. No special application is required. The drawing will be conducted randomly. We cannot predict the chances of success. The odds will be based on the total number of applications received.
There are actually two more ways to get into the race. One is to send a convincing sob story that will persuade the race committee to make room for the applicant. They’re reasonable, but they’ve heard just about everything, although serving previously as a volunteer in the race may help, but not necessarily. Finally, on the Friday before the race, there’s the Annual Dipsea Race Foundation banquet where two Invitational race numbers are auctioned to the highest bidders, starting at a bid of $500.

For More Information, Contact:

The Dipsea Race
P.O. Box 30, Mill Valley, CA 94942
(415) 331-3550


Dipsea Trail Run