The 2014 Application Process!
The Dipsea Race is one of the more challenging athletic events in the Bay Area. Because of the potential environmental impact that would result from uncontrolled use and the risk of injury from crowding on the steep and narrow trails, the number of runners has for several years been restricted to no more than 1,500. 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 2013 are automatically eligible for the Invitational section of 2014 race. All they need do is get their entry forms completed and sent back before the deadline of April 1, 2014. Also eligible for the 2014 Invitational are those from the Runner section who were among the first 750, overall, to cross the finish line in 2013. For everyone else, it's a little trickier, partly because the system still is subject to the U.S. Postal Service and the fact that the Race receives twice as many applications as the number of available entries.
Once the pre-qualified runners are assigned their numbers, the remaining 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.
Please note: You may send the application by USPS Overnight Mail. However, neither FedEx nor UPS delivers to our P.O. Box.
- 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 $75 entry fee, $50 for children under 16, (the "bribe" money, anything over the $75 for adults and $50 for youngsters 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 2014 Dipsea race will be filled by lottery. After the three above scenarios are completed, all remaining applications received in our office by April 1, 2014 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.
The 2014 Annual Dipsea Race will be Sunday, June 8th, 2014 starting at 8:30am, downtown Mill Valley. If you were entered in the 2013 race, whether you ran or not, you will be mailed an entry form on March 14, 2014. Enter as soon as you receive your entry form. If you have moved, notify us of your new address no later than March 1, 2014. ONE application per applicant. You can make a copy of the application for a friend, but Invitational Runners must submit the original with attached label.
If you were not registered in the 2013 Dipsea and wish to enter the 2014 Dipsea, you can download an application from our web site, www.Dipsea.org, on or after March 15, 2014 after 12:00pm (noon) PDT (the exact time may vary). Runners who attained Invitational status in 2013 must submit their original mailed application, not the online copy.
Applications will be mailed, via the US Postal Service, to those who were registered for the 2013 race. However, the fastest and best way to get an application is to download and print the application from our website when we post it. Also note that the application will be available on the website before most other runners receive it in the mail. If you were not entered in last year's race, you will not be mailed an application; you must print the online application when it is posted. We will not email the application to you.
Applicants who were not successful in entering the 2014 race will be mailed a refund check less a $10.00 processing fee on April 15, 2014. The fee is intended to cover some of the costs of paperwork, handling of application and postage and does not subsidize the race. We impose the fee by cashing your entry check and returning the refunds by separate check with your notice. REMEMBER: Cancellation of your check DOES NOT mean you have been accepted in the Race.
Address changes must be received by March 1, 2014. Use the Contact page to notify us of your new address. Please include your name as it appears in our records, and your new address.