Weather. ~74 F and sunny — dry & hooooot
The course. Start at Mill Valley, run the single track Dipsea Trail to Mill Valley with optional short cuts (Suicide & The Swoop)
I cared most about the results of this race than any other race on my calendar. This was the first time I’ve run in the invitational group, after having tried to qualify twice before in the runner group. I wanted to qualify for invitational again.
The race in the invitational group is very different than the runner group. The invitational group is thinner than the runner group and generally faster, so running from the scratch position in the invitational group meant the race was wide open and fast. There was a lot more solitary time in the first half of the race, and all the passing happens in the last couple of miles.
Last minute, I decided to bring a water bottle on the run. I have a history of cramping in heat and fatigue. I lost 10+ minutes a calf cramp during the Dipsea Race two years ago after a gnarly calf cramp. I didn’t want the same to happen this year.
The course was hot and the water bottle saved me. It was clear many racers were exhausted, some were vomiting, some suffered from cramping. Unfortunately, I was one of the latter. Leading up to Cardiac, I felt fine but near the ton, I felt some twitching in my calves. My worst fear. Everything after cardiac is flat and fast and where I knew I had to pass as many people as possible.
Two miles out, a volunteer called out “480!” as I passed. I was 30 people away from qualifying… that’s easy! Except that the twitching got worse and I had to pull over several times to stretch out the calves before they fully cramped. My 6th mile pace was 11:00 in spite of a net negative 600ft in elevation change.
At the end of the race, I ended up finishing in 465th place, 15 places and about 1 minute shy of qualifying for invitationals next week. I ran a fine race, but ultimately got got by the heat. In context, this was a pretty good race for me. I was about ~1 minute slower than last year, which had much more favorable weather.
Next year, I’ll hopefully be back in the raffle and running in the scratch runners group. Cross my fingers that the Dipsea committee accepts my invite 🤞
1. Do more heat training. I’ve known for quite some time that heat is a weakness of mine, but it’s not something that I’ve actively addressed.
2. Experiment with salt tablets. I ate shot blocks throughout the race in hopes that this would provide me enough salt. I’ve taken salt tablets in other races before and should’ve had a couple on hand with me for this race.
Thank you to…
Dipsea for another fun and welcoming race.
All the super friendly volunteers who helped out on race day.