The 2018 Dipsea

Chris Lundy Breaks The Tape
Photo By Steve Blose

It was a Dipsea déjà vu.

For the second year in a row, Chris Lundy, a 47-year-old San Francisco veterinarian from Sausalito, outlasted 32-year-old Alex Varner of San Rafael and his record-tieing performance to win the 108th Dipsea race.

“But this one was more enjoyable,” said a smiling Lundy, who suffered a torn left knee ligament near the finish last year.

“At least I saw her this time,” said Varner, who finished 15 seconds behind Lundy in Stinson Beach after starting 10 minutes behind her at the start in Mill Valley. “I ran 1:40 faster this year and I still couldn’t beat her.”

Lundy, with an 11-minute head start, posted an actual time of 58:37 – the fastest time of the day by a female in the 7.5 mile trail race -- to become the fourth woman to win back-to-back Dipseas. She joins Megan McGowan (1991-92), Shirley Matson (2000-01), and Diana Fitzpatrick (2013-14) as the only women to accomplish the repeat feat. She also claimed her seventh “Female Best Time Award,” extending her Dipsea record.

“I ran exactly what I wanted to run. It was dead-on,” said Lundy, who is completely recovered from left ACL surgery last June 30. “I was slow last year (1:01:09). I trained harder this year. I thought he (Varner) was going to win, but you never know how everyone is going to race.”

Varner, a Research Director for Main Management in San Francisco, had a one-minute head start in the time-handicapped race where the 1,500 entrants receive head starts based on age and gender. Varner’s actual clock time of 48:52 earned him the Best Time Trophy for the eighth time in the race, tieing Mike McManus’ 18-year-old Dipsea record.

“That’s been in my sights for a while,” Varner said. “One more now.”

For Varner, arguably the best runner to never have won the Dipsea, it was his 15th attempt at winning the historic trail race, the second oldest footrace in the country behind the Boston Marathon. Varner, who placed 26th overall in the 2014 Boston Marathon, has now placed second twice, third once, and fourth four times. In 2013, he placed fifth overall despite clocking a Dipsea personal best time of 47:59.

Chris Lundy with Hauke Memorial Winners Trophy
Photo By Steve Blose
Lundy, who prior to last year experienced similar obstacles in winning the first Dipsea race of her career (three second-place finishes), started the 108th Dipsea in the same group as 58-year-old Mark Tatum of Colorado Springs. He briefly pulled ahead of her, but she ran away from him and passed the rest of the field by the time she reached the bottom of Steep Ravine. That allowed her to collect her second winner's trophy, which this year was officially renamed the Jerry Hauke Award.

Tatum, 58, and Heath Hibbard, 65, also from Colorado, finished third and fourth, respectively, in their bids to become the first non-California resident to win the Dipsea since Coloradoan Gail Ladage-Scott in 1986 and first male non-Californian to win the race since Australian Joe Patterson in 1972.

Two-time Dipsea champion Diana Fitzpatrick, 60, of Larkspur placed fifth, just ahead of Gary Gellin of Mill Valley, who was one of eight runners to win a coveted Dipsea black shirt for the first time for placing in the Top 35. Jamie Rivers of Mill Valley, another two-time Dipsea winner, won her 19th black shirt, a Dipsea record for female runners.

Lyle Rumon, a 15-year-old Marin Catholic student, won the fastest time award for a high school male for the second consecutive year. He finished a Dipsea career best 14th overall. Shannon McKillop-Herr of Drake High School recorded the fastest time by a high school female.

Elena Shemyakin, 59, of Geneva, Ill. and her 35-year-old son, Mikhail, won the Alan Beardall Family Trophy while 34-year-old Jack McAfee of Knoxville, Tenn. was the first Dipsea Runner’s Section to finish. He passed at least 500 runners to clock an astounding time of 53:03, third fastest in the race.

Varner, who dedicated his effort in memory of the late Linda Broderick Gill (who won the Fastest Female Trophy in 1995), led the Pelican Inn to its fourth consecutive Team Trophy triumph. His teammates were Gellin, Cliff Lentz (the mayor of Brisbane), Gus Gibbs of Boise, Idaho, and John Gardiner of Rancho Santa Margarita.

Longtime Dipsea competitor and volunteer and Dipsea website webmaster Robb Briggs of Pasadena was recipient of the Red Tail Hawk Award for “Leadership, Dedication and Sportsmanship,” and Wolfgang Zech of Kentfield -- who has competed in more than 40 Dipseas and four years ago, at the age of 72, finished the race and later discovered that he had suffered a heart attack – was handed the Jack Kirk “Dipsea Demon” Award for “dedication, perseverance and performance over time.” Hans Schmid of Greenbrae, the oldest winner of the Dipsea at age 72 in 2012 who last year won a Dipsea black shirt at 77, was the recipient of the Norman Bright Award for “Extraordinary Effort in the Dipsea Race.” He suffered an injury during a workout on the track days before the race, yet decided to compete. However, soon into race, he realized he made a mistake. Still, rather than pull himself out of the race, he somehow managed to finish it.




The 2018 Awards
Champion: Chris Lundy 58:36 (47:37, 11 Minutes Head Start)
2nd Place: Alex Varner 48:52 (47:52, 1 Minute Head Start)
3rd Place: Mark Tatum 1:00:22 (49:22, 11 Minutes Head Start)
4th Place: Heath Hibbard 1:05:28 (49:29, 16 Minutes Head Start)
5th Place: Diana Fitzpatrick 1:09:30 (49:30, 20 Minutes Head Start)

Fastest Time Male:
Alex Varner 2nd Place 48:51(1 Minute Headstart)

Fastest Time Female:
Chris Lundy 1st Place 58:36(11 Minutes Headstart)

First High School Finisher - Boy:
Lyle Rumon 14th Place 55:47 (4 Minutes Headstart)

First High School Finisher - Girl:
Shannon McKillop-Herr170th Place 1:12:10 (9 Minutes Headstart)

Winning Team: Pelican Inn Track Club
1. Alex Varner 2nd Place: 48:51
2. Gary Gellin6th Place: 54:33
3. Cliff Lentz 8th Place: 57:01
4. Gus Gibbs 9th Place: 51:40
5. John Gardiner 16th Place 56:08

Alan Beardall Award: Winning Family
Mikhail Shemyakin 46th Place 56:55 (1 Minute Headstart)
Elena Shemyakina 50th Place 1:15:20 (19 Minutes Headstart)

First Finisher-Dipsea Section
Jack McAfee 556th Place 53:08 (1 Minute Headstart)

Jerry Hauke Perpetual Award (The Red Tailed Hawk)
"Leadership, Dedication and Sportsmanship"
Robb Briggs, Dipsea Webmaster and longtime competitor

Norman Bright Award
"Extraordinary Effort in the Dipsea"
Hans Schmid 1161st Place 2:26:55 (25 Minutes Headstart)

Jack Kirk "Dipsea Demon" Award
"Dedication, Perseverance and Performance"
Wolfgang Zech 849th Place 2:10:50 (25 Minutes Headstart)

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