Thursday, June 27, 2013

Possible to DNF a Timed Race? Yes, And I Despise You!

Week of daily rants must continue...another pet peeve of mine follows...

I really dislike, maybe even despise, those that sign up for a timed running event and don't finish it. You probably thought it was impossible to DNF ("Did Not Finish") a timed running event. Well, technically that may be true, but if you don't keep going for the full time, you are a DNF!  You don't sign up for a 5K and decide to "just do 4K"--do you? Why sign up for an 8-hour ultra and stop after 6 hours? That's a DNF buddy! Officially, you'll just be assigned whatever miles you accumulated in that period, but we true finishers all know you didn't finish. You didn't complete the full timed event. Worse yet, you took the spot of someone that wanted to get in and challenge themselves for the full time. Next time, if you aren't going to finish, don't sign up. Maybe that local 2K race is more your style.

Seriously, this "DNF" in timed running events is really problematic. We have a local "Howl at the Moon" 8-Hour ultra in August...and it fills up quickly. Unfortunately, many runners sign up planning on stopping after 26 miles (marathon) or 31 miles (50K). If that's what you want, just sign up for a freaking marathon or 50K! You can get more than 26 miles in 8 hours. Skip the timed event if you aren't going to try. Many runners that wanted to push themselves for the full 8 hours are locked out because other "so-called runners" took a spot and didn't even plan on finishing.

Understand? Yes, you can DNF a timed event. And yes, I despise those that do.

NOTE: I understand if you get injured you might need to stop early. It happens. No shame. But the VAST MAJORITY of "DNFs" at timed events are simply weak souls that lack discipline and refuse to push themselves. Get off your ass and give it a valiant effort.

9 comments:

trice said...

Like the best buffalo ultra runner once said, "It's just running." It's no big deal, finish or not.

Chris said...

Dude...you are going to dnf.

David said...

I did once stop 11:15 into a 12hr race, but that was only because I knew I wouldn't complete the next 5-mile loop before the clock ran out. With no credit for partial laps, I called it a day. Excuses, excuses.

Last year, I paced Serge Arbona at the 20-in-24 Lone Ranger ultra in Philly, a 24-hour race. Serge dropped after 23:55 having only completed 154.75 miles. I told him "Come on! You're only a quarter mile from an even 155, but we were at an aid station and he had found a chair, so there was no moving him. Lazy bum...

John said...

I kept moving until the bitter end of the Howl last year; however, once I stopped racing, I chalked it up as a DNF in my own mind. The Howl fills so early, that I had to sign up for it while I was still injured. I wonder how many runners fall into that category. My pet peeve is when ultras fill up so early that you have to commit before you know if you'll be in shape to give it a proper go. Best of luck to you at the Howl!

Chris said...

@David I'll give Serge credit for the full 24 hours!

@John It does suck that many races, including ultras, fill up too fast!

Vanessa said...

I did a 72-Hour timed race earlier this year. That same race is having a timed 6-day race next year. Both on a one-mile loop. If anything can change your mind about this, it's a multi-day timed race ;)

Chris said...

@Vanessa
You must be taking about ATY! I'd like to do that one year. Heck, maybe this December!

Vanessa said...

Yep, you'd love it! It really sucks... in a good way :)

Chris said...

@Vanessa
I'll definitely consider it this year. If not this year, then very soon. Friends have run the 72-hour several times. Thanks for suggesting the race.