“The Dipsea Demon” is a film about a 96-year-old man, Jack Kirk, who has run the Dipsea race for 68 consecutive years. He holds the world record for the most consecutive running of any foot race.
"The Dipsea" is the second oldest cross-country race in America, after the Boston Marathon. First run in 1905, it is held annually the second weekend in June, beginning in downtown Mill Valley, California, covering 7.2 miles of extremely difficult and treacherous terrain through the Mt. Tamalpais watershed to Stinson Beach.
Jack Kirk has won the race twice and had the best time award for two races. This fact, along with his longevity in running the race, would in itself make for a fascinating film, but the way that Jack lives only adds to the legend and story of an intriguing character.
Jack has lived alone for the past 60 years on a 400-acre homestead in the Sierra foothills, 40 miles outside of Yosemite. He has no running water, no electricity, and no house. He has been a vegetarian all his life, raising most of his food on his property. He is fiercely possessive of his property, having had several encounters with trespassers that have resulted in him spending short amounts of time in local county jails.
The film follows Jack as he runs the Dipsea race for his 68th time, experiencing the love and admiration he has garnered from the hundreds of fellow runners. We hear from friends, runners and family members who share their stories and insight into the unique personality of Jack Kirk.
We travel to his homestead in the Sierra foothills where Jack shows us around his property, sharing stories and tales. We're treated to Jack’s unique sense of wisdom which one of his friends describes as “Jack’s own Yogi Bearisms”, that comes with having lived such a long and unique lifestyle.
As Barry Spitz, author of “Dipsea, The Greatest Race” and race historian puts it, “Jack is an American original in every sense of the word”.