FFF: 5 Reasons to DNS

DNS is short hand for did not start.

In other words, you registered for the race, maybe even picked up your bib, but chose to not to actually cross the start line.

If you race often enough, eventually you may choose to DNS a race. Maybe you already have.

In fact, I was really considering one recently. And I have one future race that I may skip.

Here are a few reasons why you may opt to DNS:


Some runners will race in any weather conditions.

But safety should always be a concern whether it be because of ice or extreme heat.


It obviously depends on the seriousness of the injury but it may require you to skip the race.

broken foot = no race

Sometimes, it also may be because the injury will get worse if you do race. (Unfortunately runners are not always good listening to their body.)

Then there’s sickness.  That also depends on the nature of the illness. They say above the neck is ok but below is nay.

3. Schedules/Commitments

Family or work commitments can force to you miss a race. Life happens.

Also flight cancelations or travel plans can interfere. (I’ve learned the hard way to never schedule my arrival the day before the race.)

 4. Training Plan/Mileage Requirements

Your training calls for a long run and you signed up for a short race. You may decide, if it’s an important race that you are training for, to skip the race.

Or you should be tapering and this race is challenging. Again, it may be in your best interests to DNS this race.

5. Lack of Mojo

For whatever reason, you just don’t feel like it.

Racing should be fun!

It should never be a “have to” but always a “want to.”

or at least FUN afterward.

Once you’ve made the tough decision to DNS your race, it’s entirely normal to go through a wide range of emotions from relief, to anger, to regret.  Don’t let anyone kid you. FOMO is real!!!

But hopefully those situations will be few and and you will run many races…

Happy Running! Have you ever DNSed a race? What reason influenced your decision? Please share.


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17 thoughts on “FFF: 5 Reasons to DNS

  1. Oh yes, i’ve DNS’d a few races due to injury, and it’s always heartbreaking. Especially when it’s a marathon that you did all the training for, including a 22 mile long run, and then got injured during the taper… but I digress. As you pointed out, there are plenty of excellent and valid reasons to DNS. Nowadays I’m a little more cautious about signing up for races too far in advance, but that’s still no guarantee!

    Liked by 1 person

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