Frequently Asked Questions, and Our Answers To Them!
Q: I sent in my application for the Dipsea Race. When do I find out if I got in?
A: Notifications are usually sent out during the last week of April. A list of confirmed entrants is posted on this website at roughly the same time.
Q: I sent in my application for the Dipsea Race, and I just checked my bank account and saw that the check was cashed. That means I was accepted into the race, right?
A: No. We deposit ALL checks. If you are not accepted into the race, you'll get a refund of your entry fee, minus ten dollars for processing.
Q: I'm registered for the Dipsea this year, but something has come up and I won't be able to participate. Can I give my number to someone else?
A: No! Race numbers ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE. It is very important that a participant's race number is registered to them only. If someone races with another person's race number, not only will the person be disqualified, but BOTH the person that was registered and the person that raced will be banned from future Dipsea races. We take this rule very seriously, and we catch violators every year.
Q: I'm registered for the Dipsea this year, but something has come up and I won't be able to participate. Can I get a refund?
A: No. We have many up-front expenses that we have to pay regardless of whether everyone runs or not, so we can't afford to give refunds.
Q: I didn't get into the race but I really want to run it. Is there a waiting list I can get onto? Or anything I can do to get into the race?
A: No. The number of racers is very strictly limited by several different jurisdictions, and once the list of entrants is finalized, we simply can't add any more.
Q: I didn't receive my application in the mail and therefore missed the registration deadline. It's unfair that I'm being denied entry because of this! Can't you let me in?
A: We can't be responsible for errors either on our part or on the part of the Postal Service. It's up to you to know the deadlines and important dates for the Race. The April 1 deadline has been in effect for many years. If you don't receive your application in a timely manner, it's up to you to print the online application or to contact us (if you've qualified for Invitational) for further instructions, BEFORE the deadline. Once the deadline has passed, it's too late for us to do anything.
Q: What is the date of the Dipsea Race this year?
A: The Dipsea Race is always held on the second Sunday in June, at 8:00am sharp. For 2022, that would be June 12th.
Q: What is the date of the Dipsea Race next year?
A: The Dipsea Race is always held on the second Sunday in June, at 8:00am sharp. Check a calendar.
Q: When and where can I apply for the Dipsea Race?
A: The pre-filled online race application is made available to everyone who was registered for the Race the previous year, whether you actually ran the race or not, in mid-March. Previous participants may print this application, sign it, and mail it. If you were not registered previously, you may download and print a blank application in PDF format from our website a few hours after. The dates may shift slightly when they fall on weekends, so be sure to check Dipsea.org in the days and weeks prior.
Q: "Download and print?" Don't you have an online registration option?
A: No. Because the space in the race is very limited, we prefer to keep this a local race. And in order to slightly favor local runners, we require that all applications be mailed to our PO Box. Presumably, this would mean that the applications that have less distance to travel would take less time to get to us. That said, we're looking into having an online registration process for the 2013 race, but we're still working out the details.
Q: Would the fastest way for the application to get to you be to drop it off at the Mill Valley Post Office?
A: No. In previous years, the fastest way to get your application to us was to hand-deliver it to the Mill Valley Post Office, but 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. Note that you may send the application by USPS Overnight Mail. However, neither FedEx nor UPS delivers to our P.O. Box.
Q: Can you just email me when the application is available?
A: No. It's up to you to stay on top of the critical dates for the application period. If you are on Facebook, you may wish to add our Facebook page, where we often post up-to-the-minute news and information.
Q: If my whole family is applying for the race, can I send all of the applications in one envelope?
A: Yes, you may send the completed applications in one envelope. However, you must send a separate check for each application, and attach the check to its corresponding application.
Q: My friend and I both mailed our applications at the same time, on the same day the applications became available. He got accepted into the race and I didn't. How is it possible that I wasn't in the first 500 entries received and he was?
A: Just because he was accepted into the race doesn't mean he was among the first 500. There are also a few hundred "lottery" spots that are chosen at random among all of the received entries. In 2012, the application became available on March 16th, and we had our first 500 entries within minutes of the post office opening on March 17. We continued to receive hundreds more applications throughout the day, and all of those were mailed "as soon as the application became available."
Q: Do I qualify for Invitational?
A: If you ran in the Invitational section last year, you must have finished in the top 450 overall, by order of finish, to requalify for Invitational this year. If you were in the Dipsea Runner section last year, you must have finished in the top 750 overall, by order of finish, to qualify for Invitational this year.
Q: I'm looking at last year's results and it says that I came in 918th place, but I ran the 702nd fastest time and 287th in my section. Since my time was in the top 750, and my place in my section was in the top 750, does that mean I qualified for Invitational?
A: No, to qualify for Invitational, we go by the order in which you crossed the finish line. That is, the first column in the results.
Q: What if it's raining? Will the Race be postponed?
A: No, the Race will be run, rain or shine. Or, in theory, snow.
That said, there is always the possibility that circumstances may force us to cancel the race (such as, but not limited to: fires or other extremely dangerous conditions, state or national park restrictions, etc.). In the unlikely event that this occurs, the race will be cancelled and there will not be an alternative race date. There would be no refunds were this to happen.
Q: The Dipsea is a point-to-point race. If I finish in Stinson Beach, how do I get back to my car, which I parked in Mill Valley?
A: There are several options. You can arrange for a friend or family member to meet you at the finish line in Stinson Beach. However, know that the Stinson Beach parking lot fills up very early on Race day. Another option is that you can run or hike the trail back to Mill Valley, if you're not completely worn out yet. (but please, be courteous to the other competitors and wait until most people have finished). Finally, the Race does provide limited shuttle bus service back to Mill Valley after the race for racers only.
Q: I've never been on the course before. Will I get lost?
A: Unless you're ahead of everyone else (which is unlikely if it's your first time running the course) you can just follow the person in front of you and hope they know where they're going. However, it is your responsibility to know what areas are off-limits; the excuse "I was just following the person in front of me" isn't going to fly with us if you're disqualified. (The application packet lists the areas that are off limits to racers) Otherwise, on Race day the consensus course is marked with blue and white ribbons.
Q: I've never been on the course before but I want to practice on it. How will I know the way?
A: The course makes a few turns and branches that are often difficult for the first-time runner to find. We recommend you take a look at our course map to get a general bearing, but also invest in a higher-quality trail map, or find someone who's familiar with the course to accompany you. We've also put together a turn-by-turn photo essay of the course on the Course page.
Q: How do I get an application?
A: The fastest and best way to get an application is to download and print the application from our website when we post it. We also mail the application to runners who were registered in the previous year's race. Note that the application will be available on the website before most other runners receive it in the mail. If you were not registered last year, the only way to receive an application is by printing it from this website, or photocopying one from someone else. We will not email you an application file, and we will not email reminders that the application is available. It is up to you to keep up with the relevant deadlines.
Q: What's a good "sob story" to put on my application to increase my chances of getting into the race?
A: Sorry, can't help you there. Keep in mind, though, that we've heard everything, and "really, really, really, wanting to run the Dipsea" won't be enough to sway the Dipsea Committee.
Q: How much extra money do I need to include with my entry fee to increase my chances of getting into the race?
A: Sorry, can't help you there. The Dipsea Race doesn't divulge that information, so you really need to ask yourself how much a Dipsea entry is worth to you. All we can say is that the minimum amount to guarantee entry in the "Auction" category increases steadily every year.
Q: The race was first run in 1905, but 2010 is the 100th Annual Race. Shouldn't it really be the 105th race?
A: No, it actually should be the 106th; check your math. But because of the course's strategic location near the entrance to the San Francisco Bay, the Army commandeered much of the ocean-facing parts of the course during World War 2, making it impossible to run a race through those lands. And during the worst couple of years of the Great Depression, the race was suspended for financial reasons.