Are the Handicaps Fair? Age and Participation Effects in the Dipsea Race

The Mystery of Winners’ Ages

The Dipsea Race, established in 1905 and held annually since then, is the oldest trail race in the United States. It is held on a 7.5-mile course in Marin County, California, with nearly 700 stairs in the first mile; 2,200 feet of elevation change; and rocky, uneven single-track footpaths. Runners can choose their own paths along the approved route, so any shortcuts discovered are closely guarded secrets. The race attracts athletes from all over the world, and all 1,500 spots are filled the first day applications are accepted. It is no wonder the race has been coined “the greatest” cross-country race.

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