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Two years ago, the narrative surrounding Sausalito’s Chris Lundy was that she was the best female runner who had yet to break through and win the Dipsea.
On Sunday, Lundy enters the 109th Dipsea Race with a chance to become only the second person to win three in a row. The question about her has changed from ‘When will she win?’ to ‘How many will she win?’
“After winning it the first year, you’re no longer in that zone of just trying to get to get the win,” Lundy said. “Then it becomes ‘What’s the next challenge?’ The next challenge was to try to win it again and that happened. I don’t think it’s looking super likely to win it a third time in a row but I’m certainly going to try.”
Only four women have ever won back-to-back Dipseas — Lundy, Diana Fitzpatrick (2013-4), Shirley Matson (2000-1) and Megan McGowan (1991-2). Only one person has won three in a row. Sal Vasquez won four consecutive Dipseas in the 1980s.
Although three people have won back-to-back Dipseas this decade — Lundy, Brian Pilcher and Fitzpatrick — the race is set up to prevent anyone from going on an extended run of success, literally punishing anyone who does.
As a two-time defending champion, Lundy will be penalized an additional two minutes in the age-handicapped race from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. Normally her age, 48, would grant her 12 headstart minutes but she’ll only receive 10.
“Obviously the penalty minutes definitely come into play,” Lundy said. “Every year you get a little bit older. You hopefully stay just as fast but it becomes more of a challenge to keep the same speed. Other people around you might move up in age groups at different times. Every year you just have to re-evaluate who is starting in each group.
“You pretty much just get as fit as you can and see how it goes that day.”
Fitness isn’t an issue for Lundy heading into the race this year — she has no injuries to report after winning her first Dipsea two years ago despite tearing her ACL down the stretch of that race. She repeated as champion last year while coming off rehabbing that same injury.(06/05/2019) ⚡AMP
2020 Dipsea Race Cancelled:The health and safety of our community is of utmost importance to the Dipsea Race Committee. Given the rapid developments and danger involving the COVID-19 coronavirus, we regretfully have chosen to cancel this year’s race. First run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday...more...