Header Graphic
Adventures: > Running Trivia and Mt. Tam Trail Quiz

by Peter Holleran

1. What famous Tamalpa runner, upon first hearing of the Dipsea , said, “That’s impossible!” ?
2. Who threw his hat down in Muir Woods to ceremonially start the opening of
Dipsea season in 2004, and then declared, “It’s all b______t!” ?
3. Which Tamalpan said, “of course, having no mind is a requirement”, when commenting on his alleged sub-15 minute Mt. Tam Hill Climb descent ?
4. Which rugged Tamalpan has been rumored to eat roots and escargot for breakfast?
5. What Bay Area legend said “I get four miles per beer” ?

(The information for questions #6-14 courtesy of Barry Spitz' books DIPSEA The Greatest Race and Tamalpais Trails)

6. What famous comedian said of the Dipsea, “besides the hills, the stairs and the downhill, it wasn’t bad” ?
7. What former college half-miler and well-known actor, star in a movie about a race over Mt. Tam, said he would never do the Dipsea again because it was "one of the most hair-raising experiences" he had ever been through?
8. What sub-four minute miler quit the Dipsea at Cardiac saying, “This is not race for humans, this is race for animals”?
9. How many trail spokes branch off from Five Corners?
10. How many trail spokes branch off from Six Points Junction?
11. At the age of 80 he singlehandedly built this important self-named trail connecting Hoo-KooE-Koo with Eldridge Grade, his epitaph reading, "the trail work cost him his life."
12. ______ _____ was part of the old country road between San Rafael and Bolinas.
13. A popular route combining Hoo-Koo-E-Koo and Matt Davis was originally named what?
14. Temelpa Trail was formerly part of this trail built in 1875 starting in Blithedale Canyon.

15. The approximate length of the Mt. Tam Hill Climb is: (a) 177,408 inches (b) 240,768 inches (extra credit for George Frazier)
16. Which Tamalpan is on record for stating a personal goal of running Western States at age 100?
17. What famous miler set a world record by training only 15 miles a week, predicting that to cut ten seconds off his time he would have to train four times as much?
18. What legendary Finnish distance runner trained with long walks in the morning and short runs in the afternoon?
19. What 1952 Olympic 5K, 10k, and marathon champion ran in place for three hours while doing his wife’s laundry so as not to miss a day's training, and came up with the bright idea of monster workouts like 20 x 200 meters/40 x 400 meters/20 x 200 meters to build endurance?
20. What ultra-marathon pioneer for years ran 13 miles back and forth to work in street clothes, IN ADDITION TO his regular workouts, including annual 300-mile “hell weeks” consisting of two loops a day around Manhattan Island?
21. What flamboyant Boston Marathon winner said "chopping wood and quitting beer were his workouts" ?
22. What food good for endurance is the staple of both the Tarahumarans and the Kenyans?
23. The Tarahumarans call themselves “raramuri”, meaning “foot runners”, which for them is also a synonym for what?
24. Who holds the record for the most consecutive Dipsea crossings ever run?
25. The "hair" of the Sleeping Maiden falls over what steep trail on Mt. Tam?
26. What famous coach said “Run until you are exhausted. Then you are ready to begin meaningful training” ?
27. Who said “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be” ?
28. True or False: Phidippedes died from exhaustion after running 26 miles from Marathon to Athens.
29. What best-time Dipsea winner advocates the “banzai” approach?
30. Whose Dipsea strategy is to “run like hell from start to finish” ?
31. True or False: Darryl Beardall started running at six months of age and has averaged 86 miles a week ever since for a lifetime total of 300,000 miles.

Extra Credit:
32. What is the fastest 100 meters ever run by a female?

Answers below:

1. Russ Kiernan, as quoted in his Dipsea training video 2. Don "Mr. Dipsea" Pickett 3. Tomas Pastalka (I think he is hallucinating, but Tomas won't back down, adding that Roy Rivers recently did 17 minutes, which is still unbelievable. A sub-15 minute descent would break down like this: assuming a highly questionable 4:30 per mile pace on the more runnable section from Hoo-Koo-E-Koo to Mill Valley, for about 8 minutes, that leaves less than 7 minutes from the summit to Hoo-Koo-E-Koo! That would require faster than 2 minutes from the tower to the Verna Dunshee paved loop, 2.5 minutes from there to Sitting Bull Rock, and 2.5 minutes down the gulley to Hoo-Koo-E-Koo, a superhuman feat. It takes me almost a half-hour to get that far.) 4. Dimitris 5. Walt Stack, founder of DSE Runners 6. Robin Williams, 1984 7. Bruce Dern, 1974 8. Hungarian Lazlo Tabori, 1958
9. Six (connector fire road to Bald Hill Trail, combined Shaver Grade and Concrete Pipeline going downhill, Elliott going uphill, Shaver Grade going uphill, Concrete Pipeline going towards Fairfax-Bolinas Road) 10. Five (Six Points, Yolanda to Worn Springs, Yolanda to Phoenix Lake, Hidden Meadow, Bald Hill)
11. (Alfred) Wheeler 12. Shaver Grade 13. Kentfield-Ocean Trail 14. Summit Trail 15. (a) 177,408 (approximately 2.8 miles x 5280 feet x 12 inches) 16. Link Lindquist 17. Roger Bannister, first man to break four minutes
18. Paavo Nurmi 19. Emil Zatopek 20. Ted Corbitt 21. Ellison "Tarzan" Brown 22. corn meal 23. people or humans
24. Don Lundell - 16 Dipseas in 41 hours, 2003 25. The frequently used (but officially closed) Indian Fire Trail 26. Percy Cerutty, coach of Herb Elliot, John Landy, and others 27. Bruce Lee 28. False. Phidippedes was no wimp. He died after running 140 miles from Athens to Sparta to summon help, then 140 miles back to Athens to announce Sparta wouldn't arrive in time, then fighting all morning in heavy armor on the plains of Marathon, BEFORE running approximately 25 miles back to Athens to announce victory. The 25 was later changed by the British to 26.2 to make the finish line accommodate the Queen. 29. Mike McManus 30. Russ Kiernan, op. cit. 31. False. He started at three months of age. 32. 6.0 seconds, a cheetah, 2000.