Chris Lundy refuses to be counted out, no matter what the odds are at the annual Dipsea Race.
The Sausalito resident, who began running in the Dipsea in 1997, won her first Dipsea in 2017 at the age of 46 after placing second three times. She managed the feat despite suffering a major injury during the race.
Previously, Lundy had come close to victory only to finish as the runner-up — beaten out by a 67-year-old grandmother (Melody-Anne Schultz) in 1999, a 72-year-old retiree (Hans Schmid) in 2012 and a 55-year-old attorney (Diana Fitzpatrick) by only four seconds in 2013.
Lundy has won the women’s fastest time trophy six times in the annual 7.5-mile trail race from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, but has been dogged by injuries in recent years, including hamstring surgery in 2016. Lundy was leading the pack in 2017, but it looked like fate turned against her when she tore a ligament in her left knee coming down from the Stile and landing awkwardly onto Highway 1 in Stinson Beach about a quarter mile from the finish line.
“It finally all came together for me,” Lundy said after the 2017 race. “After being second three times, I’m really happy to finally win.”
Lundy needed surgery to repair her injury, but has rehabbed and recovered to defend her title.
There could be a few extra Dipsea black t-shirts up for grabs, as four of the top 10 finishers from 2017 are not entered this year. Two-time Dipsea champion Brian Pilcher is not entered either.
The 80-year-old Russ Kiernan holds the record for black shirts won (30). This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first of Russ Kiernan’s three wins. The former substitute teacher from Mill Valley, who first ran the Dipsea in 1967 when he finished 317th out of 350 competitors, had progressed to placing third three times and also being runner-up in the race three times before winning it in 1998 after 26 tries.
The 108th Dipsea Race — the oldest trail race in America and the country’s second oldest footrace behind the Boston Marathon — will be held on Sunday morning, June 10, beginning in downtown Mill Valley at 8:30 a.m. It is a tight, tricky and sometimes treacherous 7.5 mile cross country romp following the scenic and historic Dipsea Trail over hill, dale and three flights of steep stairs totaling 688 steps climbing to a peak elevation of 1,360 feet (the equivalent of a 50-story building) while continuing around the south flank of Mt. Tamalpais through Muir Woods and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It ends at Stinson Beach where some of the limited field of 1,500 runners usually cool off in the Pacific Ocean.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the inaugural class of five charter Dipsea Hall of Fame members being inducted. Only one — record seven-time Dipsea champion winner Sal Vasquez — is still alive. That year, 1993, Shirley Matson won the first of her four Dipsea victories and Dave Dunham from New Hampshire broke Mike McManus’ streak of six consecutive Dipsea “best time award” performances.
Vasquez will be a guest of honor on Friday, June 8, for the 25th anniversary of the Dipsea Race Foundation’s annual Dipsea Hall of Fame and Scholarship Dinner at the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club.
The newest inductee(s) into the Dipsea Hall of Fame will be announced as well as five graduating high school seniors who will receive college scholarships from the Dipsea Race Foundation. Last year the DRF awarded $25,500 in scholarships.
Cost to attend the event is $75 for adults and $35 for children. Space is limited. For more information, contact Merv Regan, DRF dinner chairman, at