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San Rafael's Varner Sets Course Record in Double Dipsea Triumph

Scratch runner races 14.2 miles from Stinson Beach to Mill Valley and back faster than anyone before him.

Year after year, Alex Varner passes hundreds and hundreds of runners in the and the Double Dipsea two weeks later. Given the handcapped system of those races, however, Varner has yet to win them despite frequently recording the fastest time.

That string ended Saturday.

Varner, 26, won the 43rd annual Walt Stack Double Dipsea Race on Saturday by both becoming the first scratch winner since 1971 and setting new course record while doing so.

Varner had his way with the grueling 14.2-mile course from Stinson Beach to Old Mill Park in Mill Valley and back. He finished in 1 hour, 36 minutes, 31.3 seconds, beating the previous record of 1:38:26 set by Butch Alexander in 1984 and tied by Lawrence McKendell in 1987.

Dipsea legend and Mill Valley resident Roy Rivers, who has won the Double Dipsea five times, had a 20-minute headstart over Varber given the races handicapping system and finished second overal with a net time of 1:38:00 and an actual time of 1:58:00.

Greenbrae resident and finished fifth with a time of 1:45:06.6 and actual time of 2:28:06.6.

The first female finisher was Larkspur resident Lisbet Sunshine, 48, who finished ninth overall with a net time of 1:49:37.4 and an actual time of 2:16:37.4.

2012 Double Dipsea finishers:

  1. Alex Varner, San Rafael, 1:38:26
  2. Roy Rivers, Mill Valley, 1:38:00
  3. Cliff Lentz, Brisbane 1:42:06
  4. Alan Reynolds, Sausalito 1:44:40.9
  5. Hans Schmid, Greenbrae, 1:45:06.6
  6. Brian Purcell, Sebastopol 1:46:21.1
  7. Brian Gilliss, San Francisco 1:46:38.1
  8. Patrick Lepelch, Mill Valley 1:47:04.1
  9. Lisbet Sunshine, Larkspur, 1:49:37.4
  10. Caitlin Smith, Oakland, 1:50:01.6

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