It was a Dipsea déjà vu.
For the second year in a row, Chris Lundy, a 47-year-old San Francisco veterinarian from Sausalito, outlasted 32-year-old Alex Varner of San Rafael and his record-tying performance to win the 108th Dipsea race on Sunday, June 10.
“But this one was more enjoyable,” said a smiling Lundy, who suffered a torn left knee ligament near the finish last year.
“At least I saw her this time,” said Varner, who finished 15 seconds behind Lundy in Stinson Beach after starting 10 minutes behind her at the start in Mill Valley. “I ran 1:40 faster this year and I still couldn’t beat her.”
Lundy, with an 11-minute head start, posted an actual time of 58:37 – the fastest time of the day by a female in the 7.5 mile trail race — to become the fourth woman to win back-to-back Dipseas. She joins Megan McGowan (1991-92), Shirley Matson (2000-01), and Diana Fitzpatrick (2013-14) as the only women to accomplish the repeat feat. She also claimed her seventh “Female Best Time Award,” extending her Dipsea record.
“I ran exactly what I wanted to run. It was dead-on,” said Lundy, who is completely recovered from left ACL surgery last June 30. “I was slow last year (1:01:09). I trained harder this year. I thought he (Varner) was going to win, but you never know how everyone is going to race.”
“That’s been in my sights for a while,” Varner said. “One more now.”
For Varner, arguably the best runner to never have won the Dipsea, it was his 15th attempt at winning the historic trail race, the second oldest footrace in the country behind the Boston Marathon. Varner, who placed 26th overall in the 2014 Boston Marathon, has now placed second twice, third once, and fourth four times. In 2013, he placed fifth overall despite clocking a Dipsea personal best time of 47:59.
Lundy, who prior to last year experienced similar obstacles in winning the first Dipsea race of her career (three second-place finishes), trailed 58-year-old Mark Tatum of Colorado Springs briefly early in the 108th Dipsea, but found herself in the clear by the time she reached the bottom of Steep Ravine and took home the winner’s trophy – now called the Jerry Hauke Award.
Top 5 finishers:
Champion: Chris Lundy 58:36 (47:37, 11 Minutes Head Start)
2nd Place: Alex Varner 48:52(47:52, 1 Minute Head Start)
3rd Place: Mark Tatum 1:00:22(49:22, 11 Minutes Head Start)
4th Place: Heath Hubbard 1:05:28(49:29, 16 Minutes Head Start)
5th Place: Diana Fitzpatrick 1:09:30(49:30, 20 Minutes Head Start)