100th Anniversary of Women's Dipsea Hike on April 21, 2018
1922 Women's Dipsea Hike
Attention all women!
Save the date of April 21, 2018. The Dipsea Race is going to honor the 100th anniversary of a momentous pioneering event – the Women’s Dipsea Hike – exactly 100 years to the date of the very first one on Saturday morning, April 21, with a special women’s-only tribute walk/run over the Dipsea Trail beginning at Old Mill Park in Mill Valley and ending in Stinson Beach.
Details about registering for the non-competitive, untimed event plus a special gala lunch in Stinson Beach will be announced soon on the Dipsea website and Facebook and Twitter pages. Both events will have a limited number of participants. All men are welcomed to serve as volunteers and help transport the women hikers back from Stinson Beach to Mill Valley.
Barbara “Bobby” Van Meurs, the daughter of Edith Hickman – who won the inaugural Women’s Dipsea Hike in 1918 – is tentatively scheduled to participate in the celebratory start with daughter, Arianna, in Mill Valley. Hickman donated her winning trophy to the country’s metal drive during World War II.
According to race historian Barry Spitz, author of the “Dipsea: The Greatest Race,” the Women’s Dipsea Hike was created to provide the opportunity for women to compete in a long distance race, though it was called a “hike” to avoid an AAU ban. There were 307 entrants in the first Women’s Dipsea Hike and the entry list was longer than the Dipsea men’s race for five consecutive years. However, in 1923, the hikes were halted because, according to Spitz, they were considered dangerous to women’s reproductive systems.
The Women’s Dipsea Hike may have been among the first organized women’s long-distance “races” in the United States. The hikes occurred before women were first permitted to compete in track and field events in the Olympic Games in 1928.
Please check regularly with the Dipsea website – www.dipsea.org – as more details become available for the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Dipsea Hike.