The 2017 Application Process!
|The 2018 Dipsea Application will be posted on or around March 15th, 2018. Check this website in the days and weeks leading up to that date for further information.
The following information is for the 2017 race, but 2018's procedure will probably be similar.
The 2017 Annual Dipsea Race will be Sunday, June 11th, 2017 starting at 8:30am, Downtown Mill Valley.
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 2016 are automatically eligible for the Invitational section of 2017 race. All they need do is get their application completed and mailed in before the deadline of April 1, 2017. Also eligible for the 2017 Invitational are those from the Runner section who were among the first 750, overall, to cross the finish line in 2016. Note: if there is a * next to your name on last year's results, it means you automatically qualified for Invitational. 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 $90 entry fee, $60 for children under 16, (the "bribe" money, anything over the $90 for adults and $60 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 2017 Dipsea race will be filled by lottery. After the three above scenarios are completed, all remaining applications received in our office by April 1, 2017 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 Invitational race numbers are auctioned to the highest bidders, starting at a bid of $500.
Effective this year, 2017 applications will not be mailed via US Postal Service. In our endeavor to contain race operating costs and entry fee the Dipsea Race will no longer print and mail applications to previous year’s participants and new applicants. The application will reside on www.Dipsea.org for you to download only.
Participants, Invitationals and Runners in the 2016 Dipsea Race, who provided a valid email address on last year’s application will be able to access their personal application on our web site. The application will reflect 2016 data. Applications can be accessed and printed on March 15, 2017. After reviewing the application and making any applicable updates (Birthdate and age cannot be edited), simply print out the application, sign it and attach entry fee check and mail it to Dipsea Race, PO Box 30, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Any donation amount maybe added to the entry fee check.
2016 race participants who did not submit a valid email address on the 2016 application, and new applicants may also download an application from our web site www.dipsea.org on March 15, 2017, but the application will not contain any of your information. (The exact time may vary – please check our web site on March 14). We will not email applications to you.
Please note: Acceptance into the race is based on criteria as set forth on page 1 of “The 2017 Application Process”.
Registration is not complete until your application and entry fee has been received by the Dipsea Office by April 1, 2017.
All 2016 race participants who had provided a valid an email address file will receive an email by March 3, 2017 with detailed instructions to access the 2017 application. 2016 participants without a valid email address on the 2016 application will receive a post card via US Mail Service by March 6, 2017.
Applicants who are not successful in getting into the 2017 race will be mailed a refund check less a $10.00 processing fee on April 15, 2017. The fee is intended to cover some of the costs of processing the 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 and email address updates for all participants must be received by February 26, 2017. Please include your full name as it appears in our records, new email address, and bib# from the previous year. As stated above, 2016 Dipsea Race participants who have an email address on file will receive an email by March 3, 2017 with detailed instructions about how to access your 2017 application. At this time you may update your information online if you missed the February 26th date.
Any questions or comments not related to Invitational applications can be asked via our Contact page.