Adventures: > Double Dipsea Dirt - 2006


by Peter Holleran

    Rumor has it that a prominent Tamalpan and multi-year Double Dipsea champion was disappointed with the decision of race management to make Swoop off-limits on race day, requiring runners to take the alternate Dipsea (ie., “Gail Scott”) trail instead. The veteran runner, sometmes affectionately known as “Mr. Avis”, felt this eliminated one of his key natural advantages as a fearless downhiller. Further inspection brought up another reason contributing to his close third-place finish. It was reported through a tactless piece of gossip that he stopped to answer the call of nature deep in the bushes off the stairs in Haulk Hollow, a location which for this sort of thing takes some doing. Perhaps this accounted for only an additional 20-30 seconds added on to his finishing time, but on the other hand, due to problems uniquely associated with advancing age it might have been more like 4-5 minutes...My advise to him was to (1) get a fake ID and (2) run in drag, thereby qualifying for the generous 57 head-start minutes given to women over 75, assuring his victory for years to come....

    Combining the re-routing of the Lone Tree section of the Dipsea trail with the elimination of Swoop, the course this year by a reasonable estimate was 1.5 to 3 minutes or so longer EACH way, depending on one's pace. So how come Roy Rivers ran 1:47, essentially as fast or faster than 2005? That‘s not supposed to happen, yet it is happening quite alot lately. This only confirms the suspicions I voiced after a similar performance in the Quad last November, that Roy takes daily counsel from The Picture of Dorian Gray, and has in fact made a pact with Beelzebub, selling his soul in exchange for eternal youth. What happens next year when he turns 50 will most likely be further evidence for this theory. It is all quite scary....

    The record heat wave (several days of triple digits - as high as 115 on my porch on Wednesday) broke the Thursday evening before the race, when the normal Bay Area fog layer moved in, making temperatures not too bad over a good part of the course. Steep Ravine was still muggy, and Hogsback had its usual warm sun, and I did notice I was sweating much more than usual, and needed to dump water on my head several times, but overall it wasn’t unbearable. It had looked like we were going to get a replay of the race of ten or more years ago, when one man died and many runners laid out flat in Redwood Creek to cool off, but fortunately nature cooperated and we lucked out. Up to 80 people probably felt it was going to be nasty, however, and therefore chose to register on race day at the very last minute - myself included. Times generally were slower by a few minutes compared to last year when the weather was much cooler, and by a few more minutes due to the aforementioned course changes. But there is no way I should have finished 79th with a crummy 2:43, nor, for that matter, Melody Anne Schultz 6th with 2:28, regardless of handicaps. I don’t know what happened. Did more slowskies show up than usual, or less fasties, or what?....

    For those who suspected something ignoble was occurring, it should be pointed out in the interests of clarification that our one and only Dimitris ran without a race number for amusing historical reasons, and not because he is cheap or anything like that. It turns out that twenty years ago after he finished the Dipsea, Walt Stack invited him to return in two weeks to try the Double. Since the Dipsea is held on Sunday, Dimitris waited exactly two weeks, and arrived in Stinson on a SUNDAY, only to be informed that the Double Dipsea was held on Saturday! He decided to run the course anyway. So this year he “commemorated” the twentieth anniversary of that event by running without a bib... a heart-warming story - or a convenient excuse?! (just kidding)

    I replaced the gold wedding band I lost in the Miwok 100k, and guess what? I lost the new one during the Double! So now there are two $300 gold rings somewhere on the Dipsea trail as well as the Miwok course, for the interest of all treasure hunters out there. This running thing is getting expensive....