Diana Fitzpatrick has experienced a lot in her running career. She’s won the storied Dipsea Race two times, she’s qualified for the Olympic Trials in the marathon, she’s coached a high school running program for years, co-RD’ed a popular trail 50k with her husband Tim, earned four silver buckles at Western States, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the first hundred mile trail race in the country. When it comes to institutional knowledge and perspective, Diana is someone you want to listen to.
In this interview, we talk about her upcoming (now past) race at Dipsea, advice on finishing fast on the trails, staying fit at sixty years old, the trials and tribulations of directing races, and a few hot topics like female inclusion and lottery logistics in this wacky sport of ours. She’s also lining up in Squaw next weekend in hopes of breaking the 60+ record and being the first 60+ female to earn a Silver Buckle.
I’ve included time marks (chapters?) in the mp4 file in case you want to skip around, but will likely forego this practice next time and include only major sections (reviews, top 5, etc).
“There are going to be those times when it’s going to suck and I’m going to be hating it and wondering why I’m doing it and all that..but it’s surprising how you can recover.”
Diana Fitzpatrick Episode Notes
(2:25) Dipsea chat
(7:50) The importance of track workouts
(14:30) Gender issues in ultramarathon and trail running
(17:25) Specific workouts Diana uses to stay fit and fast
(28:45) The importance of smart pacing
(38:30) Lessons for and from Western States Endurance Run
(40:00) DNF’ing and running together.
(47:00) The difficult situation of the WS lottery
(51:30) Roles of runners, pacers, and crew members
(59:30) Predictions for the Big Dance
(1:01:40) Fartlek questions
(1:06:20) Reflections, site notes, and close
Here’s an excellent bio on Tim and Diana Fitzpatrick in iRunFar.
Results from 2018 Dipsea. Fifth.
Here’s the movie Survival Run about visually impaired runner Harry Cordelios’ incredible run on the Dipsea. I’m amazed at not just the awesome grit, dedication, and fearlessness (and speed!) of Harry, but check out that cinematography from 1979! No GoPros, no steadi cams or gimbals, no drones, and it’s amazing!
Diana’s training and racing site: Impala Racing Team
Here’s more on the Dipsea handicapping system.