Historic: 8-year-old Reilly Johnson crosses the finish line first i...

Full story: Marin Independent Journal

Everyone knew the 100th running of the Dipsea Race would be special. Few could have guessed that an 8-year-old girl would steal the show.
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Child abuse

Larkspur, CA

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#2
Jun 14, 2010
 
I question the safety of children so young participating in this.

I also don't believe all the hype the IJ is pushing.
contractor

Mill Valley, CA

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#3
Jun 14, 2010
 
A two year old just summited Everest and a one year old just sailed around the globe and a fetus just voted in the last election. Abortion proponents beware.....

Seriously, parents are the ones pushing all this nonsense. For what? A chance at Opra?
Beerful

Walnut Creek, CA

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#4
Jun 14, 2010
 
Run the race before making judgement. Worry about your own kids. Live your own life. Give the little girl credit for an amazing race and accomplishment.
Marin local

Novato, CA

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#5
Jun 14, 2010
 
1,500 hundred people get to "RACE" on trails?
And mountain bikes are illegal on trails?
Mountain bicycles have the least trail impact; let them race on Tam!
Mountain bicycles; Born and raised in Marin!
Bicycling is not a crime..........
dove_rosey

San Jose, CA

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#6
Jun 14, 2010
 
Beerful wrote:
Run the race before making judgement. Worry about your own kids. Live your own life. Give the little girl credit for an amazing race and accomplishment.
I'm with you!! Great to give this wee one a big nod instead of talking bike politics, marketing schemes or parenting. This kid had a huge thrill and I for one would LOVE to hear her story from her perspective.
Antiphon

San Leandro, CA

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#7
Jun 14, 2010
 
Marin local wrote:
1,500 hundred people get to "RACE" on trails?
And mountain bikes are illegal on trails?
Mountain bicycles have the least trail impact; let them race on Tam!
Mountain bicycles; Born and raised in Marin!
Bicycling is not a crime..........
Actually, you are wrong. I did some of the initial studies years ago on Mountain Biking in National Parks (1984). Mind you I did this study when I was living in Marin, attending college and mountain biking on all the trails before is was banned. So, here is the deal. Feet (human feet, horse hooves, deer, etc) make singular pockets (imprints) when they land on the ground. They are not connected. When water pools in footprints, it just evaporates. Over time, the footprints will disappear. Bikes make a singular, continuous track. This allows for water to flow continuously, build up momentum and start to create ruts and erosion. That is why mountain bikes cause damage on single track trails. They provide a course for water to flow and eventually undermine the trails which means more maintenance. I worked on the trails for three summers so I know how much maintenance costs in time and physical labor. Sorry, but that is science. Water flows down hill my friend.

Other issues of course (probably why it was banned sooner on Tam rather then later) are because mountain bikers hit runners and hikers. I know someone (friend of my brothers) whom hit a runner and killed her dog on Tam. My father and I almost got taken out by a group of them coming down a fire road. They thought it was funny that we jumped into the trees. Everyone I know who was running and hiking in those days has a near miss or accident to report. So there you have it. That is why it is banned.

Mountain biking was banned because a few people could not ride with good manners. Blame your cohorts, not runners and hikers. Its not unlike people wanting to be able to swim in Lagunitas Lake or Bon Tempe. Drinking water aside (which is really not a great reason to disallow swimming), the real issue is the mess of humans. Can you imagine if they allowed boating and swimming? I can see it now, beer cans everywhere, trash, diapers in the water, etc. People are slobs and destroy anything they overuse. That is what would happen to Lagunitas and Bon Tempe as well as Phoenix Lake. If people behaved responsibly, then we could possibly still be mountain biking on Tam and swimming in the lakes.

I would rather have it more pristine and subject to a few rules rather then destroyed by idiots.
Withnail

San Rafael, CA

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#8
Jun 14, 2010
 
Would you want your 8 year-old kid running 7.5 miles in a competitive race? I dunno. Seems too much, too far, too soon in life.
joe

Greenbrae, CA

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#9
Jun 14, 2010
 
this is an article about an 8 year old winning a running race. now it's a forum to dispute the impact of horses vs. mountain bikers on trails? please! that's another topic altogether. but back to the issue...that's great that Jr. won, but let it be known, kids and old people get a 25 minute head start, so no wonder they win. i'm just sayin'.....
joe

Greenbrae, CA

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#10
Jun 14, 2010
 
oh PS, Antiphon, go back to Hayweird.
Antiphon

San Leandro, CA

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#11
Jun 14, 2010
 
joe wrote:
this is an article about an 8 year old winning a running race. now it's a forum to dispute the impact of horses vs. mountain bikers on trails? please! that's another topic altogether. but back to the issue...that's great that Jr. won, but let it be known, kids and old people get a 25 minute head start, so no wonder they win. i'm just sayin'.....
Joe, I agree. It is just that Mountain bikers use every Tam event to spout their cause when they do not have the history or the facts! I like to correct their reasoning when I can because they never seem to get the facts right.

In terms of the handicap in the Dipsea, is that really still being debated? It is just a race! An 8 year old won! Good for her. Did she get a head start, yes, but so she should! Does every road race have to be won by males between the ages of 18 and 32?

If I had a kid, would I let her run? Hell yes! Kids do not have enough physical challenges today. I was running on Tam when I was 11 and have run the Dipsea course multiple times though never joined the race.

People whom question whether an 8 year old should be running are overprotective. Kids learn from doing this kind of thing, not from sitting home playing Xbox or PS3.

More power to Reilly Johnson! You go girl and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!!!!!
Antiphon

San Leandro, CA

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#12
Jun 14, 2010
 
joe wrote:
oh PS, Antiphon, go back to Hayweird.
Oh Joe, what makes you think I actually live in Hayweird? Kind of depends where you are logged on doesn't it? I'm just saying :)
Antiphon

San Leandro, CA

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#13
Jun 14, 2010
 
Child abuse wrote:
I question the safety of children so young participating in this.
I also don't believe all the hype the IJ is pushing.
Wrong, read my post to Joe. Seriously? Do you happen to know why Peanut allergies are on the rise and only in western countries? Because kids are growing up in environments that do not put enough stress on their immune system. In layman's terms, they are not allowed to play, eat or throw dirt! My parents let me run a marathon when I was 12. It was the best moment of my life and is something I can always fall back on during trying times as in "Hey if I could run a marathon when I was twelve, I can certainly do this!".

Why do you think kids have no critical thinking or problem solving skills today (nor adults for that matter)? Because there is a protective label on everything telling them what to do or not to do rather then letting them use their own common sense! Kids need to be exposed to situations where they can make their own judgment about their safety so they learn. They will not learn by not doing it, I can assure you. I am not saying to take your kid sky diving, but running the dipsea? Please. It is only 7.6 miles. There are kids in West Virginia, parts of Texas and most third world countries whom have to walk that far to school each day. Spare me the child abuse crap.
Captain Gort

Berkeley, CA

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#14
Jun 14, 2010
 
I think this is magnificent....and just as great- look at #2!!!!!! 68 years young!!!!
Kevin

United States

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#15
Jun 14, 2010
 
Shame on this girl's parents!! How dare they take an interest in her, help her develop a passion, encourage her to exercise, show her the value of community, and allow her to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Don't they know what parenting is? I will be outside Mill Valley Whole Foods (the new one) with a petition to buy this young lady a playstation, sugar soda and potato chips.
offgrid

United States

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#16
Jun 14, 2010
 
antiphon, your perspective on kids racing, I agree; far too many people lack critical thinking skills and survival skills.
However your erosion theories are nonsense. Water, period, is 99.9 percent of the damage to trails. Water doesn't need footprints, tire tracks, or anything to make 4 ft. deep gullys across a trail after a big storm. In spongy soil,if very steep, mt bike ruts will eventually develop. But also multiple horse hoofprints which go 6inches deep all connect together in spongy wet areas. But that said, this .01% of damage , is readily repairable. There are volunteers from each sport at the ready to maintain a few problem areas every year. As far as your anecdotal stories, yes it's true, finance people from new york who just moved out here seem to have a fast startle respone when approached by a mt.bike. But we have been riding tam since the 70's and really find it bizarre to have some uptight east coaster yelling at us as we go by. There should be more multi use singletrack, and then you can have your choice to be on a multi use or off. Either way you'll see the damage from winter storms.
Antiphon

San Leandro, CA

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#17
Jun 14, 2010
 
Kevin wrote:
Shame on this girl's parents!! How dare they take an interest in her, help her develop a passion, encourage her to exercise, show her the value of community, and allow her to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Don't they know what parenting is? I will be outside Mill Valley Whole Foods (the new one) with a petition to buy this young lady a playstation, sugar soda and potato chips.
Right there with ya!

Since: Jan 09

Novato, CA

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#18
Jun 14, 2010
 
I was in the race yesterday and it was a lot of fun. This isn't the Boston Marathon; it's all ages and kids just kind of bumble through it. I'm not an expert, but I don't think it's a big health hazard for kids aside from the treacherous parts of the course.

With most of it being single track and given the immense handicap (especially for those in the 'invitational' section), it should come as no surprise that an 8yo "won." The rest of us were all caught up in the log jam of people treating the race more as a hike, but there's nothing wrong with that. There's a certain charm and atmosphere to this event that you just have to experience to really understand. It's a unique small town race with immense pride, and this 100th running was pretty special.

Antiphon: thanks for the insight on trail erosion. You raise some good points, and I agree with you 100% about the Marin lakes.
Like Duh

San Anselmo, CA

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#19
Jun 14, 2010
 
Antiphon - You are dead on the mark. Kids need to be able to play and fall down and skin something. When I was growing up we could take a risk or two maybe come home missing some skin or with a few bruises. Mom would dig out the Merthiolate (ouch) and Dad would ask if we learned anything from it. We did!
Guide your kids but let them spread their wings a bit.
Bouncing Betty

Oakland, CA

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#20
Jun 14, 2010
 
Kids have been running this race for ONE HUNDRED YEARS.
Antiphon

San Leandro, CA

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#21
Jun 14, 2010
 
offgrid wrote:
antiphon, your perspective on kids racing, I agree; far too many people lack critical thinking skills and survival skills.
However your erosion theories are nonsense. Water, period, is 99.9 percent of the damage to trails. Water doesn't need footprints, tire tracks, or anything to make 4 ft. deep gullys across a trail after a big storm. In spongy soil,if very steep, mt bike ruts will eventually develop. But also multiple horse hoofprints which go 6inches deep all connect together in spongy wet areas. But that said, this .01% of damage , is readily repairable. There are volunteers from each sport at the ready to maintain a few problem areas every year. As far as your anecdotal stories, yes it's true, finance people from new york who just moved out here seem to have a fast startle respone when approached by a mt.bike. But we have been riding tam since the 70's and really find it bizarre to have some uptight east coaster yelling at us as we go by. There should be more multi use singletrack, and then you can have your choice to be on a multi use or off. Either way you'll see the damage from winter storms.
Yes, water...and water likes to run in a stream and a nice track connected helps this process. Most mountain bikers I know (an that is a lot) enjoy riding through mud, thus adding more places for the water to collect and run. Most runners will avoid mud (don't want to get their $100.00 sneakers dirty). Its a question of how people use the trail and when.

I have been riding on Tam since the 70's as well. I almost bought one of Tom's (Ritchey) original bikes from the store in Fairfax, just so you know.

I agree with New Yorkers screaming and having a hissy fit, but as I already mentioned, the reason it was banned sooner rather then later had to do with social issues. Speed of Mountain Bikes coming down the trail scaring horseback riders, runners and hikers alike. I have no issue sharing with Mountain Bikers, but frankly you must admit to the rude element that has ruined it for us all. As to making some of the single track available, I could maybe see that on wider trails like HooKooeKoo or the trail around Bon Tempe. Trails like the Matt David though? Recipe for disaster that...Whom gets to pay the legal bills when a Mountain Biker hits a horse on the back side down to Stinson?

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