2023 Dipsea RacePaddy O’Leary, a 35-year-old oncology scientist at the University of California, San Francisco, won the 112th Annual Dipsea Race in June 2023, claiming his first career Dipsea win one year after he finished a closed second to 2022 winner Eddie Owens, who was unable to compete in 2023. O’Leary topped former Branson School standout and Ross resident Julia Maxwell Bailey, 27, while Mill Valley’s Chris Lundy, 52, and Larkspur’s Diana Fitzpatrick, 65, finished third and fourth, respectively.

As usual, prognostication from Dipsea Race guru Barry Spitz, via the Marin Independent Journal, brings plenty of speculation about who will win. 

Here’s how Spitz calls it:

1. Chris Lundy, age 53 (1:02:15 best actual time past two years – 15 minutes handicap/head start = 47:15 clock time) Lundy has already won the Race twice and owns a record nine Women’s Best Time trophies. She is hoping to anchor her Impala club to a first all-women’s Team Trophy.

2. Julia Maxwell Bailey, 28 (57:06 – 9hc = 48:06) Julia won Women’s time honors as a 13-year-old in 2009, then again last year with a sensational 57:06. Her grandmother, Barbara Magid, also won two Women’s time trophies and her mother, Jennifer Biddulph, owns two Family trophies.

3. Diana Fitzpatrick, 66 (1:13:07 – 25hc = 48:07) Fitzpatrick is a two-time Dipsea winner who this year hits the maximum head start of 25 minutes. So this will realistically be her last shot at winning again.

4. Clara Peterson, 40 (58:12 – 10hc = 48:12) Upon turning 40, Peterson gains a head start minute. She’s earned three Women’s time trophies and been in the top-5 three of the past four years.

5. Paddy O’Leary, 36 (49:22 – 1hc = 48:22) The Ireland native won last year so is burdened with a winner’s penalty minute. But a plan to compete in a 62K race in France a week before the Dipsea fell through so his focus is back on the Dipsea.

6. Eddie Owens, 30 (48:34 – 0hc = 48:34) Owens is likely the fastest open runner in the Race, and favorite to win the Best Time Award. But he carries the burden of a one-minute Winner’s Penalty for his victory in 2022, and has had injury issues.

7. Audrey MacLean, 18 (1:00:29 – 11hc = 49:29) Unlike older runners on this list, MacLean is likely to run considerably faster than last year, when she was a Redwood High senior. At Middlebury College, she was the only freshman among the top-ten at the 2023 Division III cross-country national championships.

8. Mark Tatum, 64 (1:02:37 – 13hc = 49:37) This is the last year of a penalty minute for Tatum’s 2021 victory.

9. Fiona Lyon, 37 (59:02 -9hc = 50:02) As Fiona Cundy, she won Women’s time honors in 2016 and ’17.

10. Fred Huxham, 28 (51:06 – 1hc = 50:06) Huxham is one of fewer than 10 Marin athletes ever to win a California State track title, in the 3,200 meters while at Redwood High.

11. Don Stewart, 63 (1:04:08 – 14hc = 50:08) Stewart was eighth place in 2011.

12. Buzz Burrell, 72 (1:14:39 – 90 seconds – 23hc = 50:09). For Buzz, I’ve subtracted 90 seconds from his 2023 time because it was in the far more crowded Runner’s Section (which he won). It was his Dipsea debut, at age 71.

Several other racers have excellent chances of cracking the top ten. They include: Alex Varner, winner of nine Best Time awards and in excellent shape, and many more.

From the San Francisco Chronicle, here’s an excellent rookie’s guide to surviving the Dipsea, the Bay Area’s grueling, legendary race



All photos by Steve Disenhof Photography.

Want to know what’s happening around town? Click here to subscribe to the Enjoy Mill Valley Blog by Email!