100th Anniversary of Women's Dipsea Hike on April 21, 2018
1922 Women's Dipsea Hike
The Dipsea Race Committee is planning the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Dipsea Hike on Saturday, April 21, 2018. We are securing permits and organizing event details, safety measures, and volunteers.
The women-only tribute walk is tentatively scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Old Mill Park in Mill Valley and end at approximately noon in Stinson Beach State Park. A celebratory catered lunch – which will be limited to 150 registrants – will follow in the Stinson Beach Community Center.
The Dipsea Race Committee will announce walk registration information and lunch information in January 2018. The number of entrants for the celebratory hike may be restricted up to 500.
Participants will be encouraged to wear period costumes from 1918 – when the first Women’s Dipsea Hike was staged. The walk registration fee will include the presentation of a women’s head scarf to each entrant on the morning of the event.
In addition, a 100th Anniversary Women’s Dipsea Hike commemorative T-shirt will be made available for purchase online.
All registration will be online. There will be no walk-up registration on the day of the event.
More details about registering for the non-competitive, untimed event plus the special gala lunch in Stinson Beach will be announced soon on the Dipsea website and Facebook and Twitter pages when finalized.
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. Special arrangements for parking and bus transportation are being considered.
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.