Friday, April 27, 2007

Dipsea Training

Started with a prayer, well I was kneeling anyway - to take this picture. More pics here.

Last weekend was the longest weekend of the year but between training, the wedding in Sonoma, Sunday School and the after church Dessert Auction I managed to get away for a great run on the Dipsea Trail and it made my weekend. Had to work off my double helping of wedding cake for the night before...that was like the best cake, made by the bride herself - a pastry chef. Anyway got up at 5AM and was on the trail shortly after the sun rose shortly before 7AM. It had rained all night and the trails was slick with mud and moisture, the steps were just as slippery but there was no rain, no wind and everything was lush and green. It was a quiet slow first crossing to Stinson Beach from Mill Valley. A single crossing is approximately 7.1 miles and about 2200 feet of total climbing. It was quiet on the trail and Stinson Beach was for the most part empty. On the way back however I ran headlong into runners training, some of them undoubtedly training for the original single Dipsea race.The single Dipsea scheduled for June is the second oldest race in America, second only to the Boston Marathon. If you go to the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley you'll see black and white photographs on the walls dedicated to the race. Much more exciting on the way back, even saw some ultra runners out there. One woman was wearing the Montrail Blue of the trail running team, leading a couple of friends for a double crossing. Got back to the start just in time to lead our club run. I only had 3 takers, none of which have ever run the Dipsea. So back on the Dipsea it was and I lost my first runner 1 mile into it. She had no idea what the Dipsea was and was very reticient on getting her shoes muddy. ??? Halfway through I lost John. He had to turn back because he had to be back into SF by 1PM. That left me with Ryan who thankfully wanted the whole pie. The skies got dark again by the time we made it to Stinson but it never rained. Muir Woods looked magical in the fog that never lifted. Running through it reminded me of scenes from Lord of the Rings. Ryan was faster and fresher so I sent him off on the return trip. He never would get too far though since he was wise enough to wait for me when he got to the confusing sections, things always look different on the way back. Thankfully I was never too far behind. Made it back to the car a little after 1PM and beat it back quickly to San Francisco. Returned the car rental exactly at 2PM, the time it was due. Always chasing the clock...preaching to the choir. Everything else was gravy after that.

Quad Dipsea » 28+ Miles » Approx. 8800ft. of Climbing » 6+ Hours

And lastly here's more video fun with my camera. I made if for my family but anyone is welcome to it. Just trying to convey to the fam a little bit of the trail running experience. It's shaky like the last one which only makes me realize further how amazing our bodies are cause it certaintly doesn't look like that when we're running. Amazing how the body can dampen the vibrations and roughness. I use a soundtrack to hide my breathing which sounds like an out of shape smoker. Anyway one of these days this camera is going to kiss the ground, either I drop it or me following right behind. Until then however...


  1. Awesome pics! And I think your video is pretty cool too. Nice music. :)

    I'll have to put running the dipsea trail on my to do list.

  2. The beloved Dipsea trail. I'd take you up on that offer anytime.

  3. WOW Great job Rick...Love the video--this line is funny ( rick said: I use a soundtrack to hide my breathing which sounds like an out of shape smoker.)

    LOLOL also the shadow of u holding the camera and ur left arm flailing away shows u running hard-- very nice & hard to run like that holding that dang camera!!

    Thanks for the tip about the finding a track club, good idea!

  4. Rick, outstanding pictures. That shot of the valley with the fog hanging over the treetops is particularly beautiful!

    And I enjoyed the video, too. It is cool to see trail running from a runner's perspective!

    Nice job!

  5. These stairs look scary!! I am not up for Dipsea yet:) Besides, it's always Thanksgiving as well as 9 trails by Luis, and I travel home...I'll check out pictures later, but good for you training on it!

  6. Hi Rick,

    I came across this picture of the dipsea stairs you took. I went out there today to find the same vantage point and replicate it. Couldn't find it.

    Could you tell me which set of dipsea stairs this is? Or may I simply borrow the picture for my web site?

    Thank you.