The Dipsea is a foot race, obviously, which is a pretty simple thing. If you listen to someone like Jeff talk about it for enough years, though, you will come to realize that the Dipsea is also something different than that. You could say the Dipsea is a mindset, a way of thinking. You might even say that the Dipsea is an instinct. After all, to perform well in the Dipsea race requires more than just physical prowess, it requires a certain attitude. Even just to gain entry to the race requires perseverance and acceptance, a willingness to jump through some hoops.
And, once you’re in the race, more acceptance is required. Acceptance of the fact that, as a new racer, you will be starting way at the back and fighting hard just to gain entry for next year. Acceptance that you will probably get some poison oak, may break a bone, will definitely have to make a lot of uncomfortable passes on potentially sketchy trails. It’s a lot to ask of a runner, but plenty are willing to heed the call. You might even argue that the signup process itself is a first step to developing the Dipsea instinct, a harbinger of the demands the race will make down the road.
The Dipsea instinct demands that a runner search for the path less taken. Maybe you can gain a few spots by hopping up on a bench and using it to pass people? Go for it! Think you can go faster by running up a driveway and through someone’s back yard? Give it a shot! (more on that next week). Jeff works to hone his Dipsea instinct every time he runs, taking weird lines up hillsides and searching for logs to jump over. Thanks to his tutelage, he declares Tyler the most prepared Dipsea rookie ever, and it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
The guys put some finishing touches on their legs last weekend, blasting a fast downhill mile at the State Street Mile in Santa Barbara. Tyler ran 4:30 with Jeff hot on his heels in 4:33 (good for second and third in the 30-39 AG), so all systems are definitely go. Stay tuned post-race for a full update on how the guys performed and more on that special shortcut!