By following the live-scoring of the individual Championships of Backyard Running (aka. Big Dog´s Backyard Ultra) which may or may bot approximately half-way of what everyone think could be the limit – there is an interesting terminology to be found on that tracking page.

In normal ultra races there are usually three things which can happen apart from finishing:

DNS: Did Not Start/Show aka “something went wrong and that’s why I couldn’t come”

DSQ: Disqualified aka “oops”

DNF: Did Not Finish aka “‘something‘ happened along the way which, unfortunately, made me diverge from the initial plan of finishing. You know. Well. Fuck.”

The Backyard family added three more detailed sub-levels to DNF – among them one really great one. Those three sub-levels are:

OVER: Backyard-specific expression of finishing (a loop) but over the given time limit of one hour per loop.

DNC: Did Not Complete loop. Well – it says quite clearly what it is. But in an honoring way. Its not a simple DNF – it values somehow the runner who had the guts to start the (most of the time) hopeless try to complete another loop. To go out another time. To fight the overwhelming task.

And then there is:

RTC: Refuse To Continue. And I mean: wow. Its not a simple DNF – its an RTC. A REFUSE to continue. Its a different and way more intense expression of a delicate situation. We all know runners (incl. ourselves) and their (our) various reasons and explanations of why they (we) did not finish a certain run/race. But the deeper story behind most of those “stories” is nicely summarized by the expression: RTC. Because at the end – whomever/whatever we are blaming for our failure – the reason of discontinuing is mostly to be found within ourselves. The strong inner voice, the strong outside discomforts, the whatever – it is our decision and its an active one. We actively refuse to go further because in front of us lays the uncertain beyond, even more misery or whatever makes us pull the easy option. The way out. The instant relief.

And by that I don’t mean to underestimate any effort taken nor want to criticise any RTC. It never comes easy and may be the better/safer/more reasonable/healthier option in many cases.

But still. Did Not Finish is a fact. REFUSE TO CONTINUE requires an active decision. A decision which could have been a different one. It feels like it leaves the door to continue a tiny bit open. Some would say both expressions are the same and technically that’s true. On the other hand – its a completely different view on the things – a view only those can understand who really dealt with certain circumstances…

Next time casualties arise I will try to remember – try to make myself clear that its me, and only me, who is making an active decision to not continue. It will certainly make the decision more difficult and by that hopefully pushing me beyond that point.

Just go on…

DNF LEO180 2021

Next to all the stories, myths and legends about crossing borders and pushing limits there are also these moments where your are so far away that you simply need to accept your failure and identify your mistakes.

Nevertheless – it was great to meet and connect – to discuss and to plan. Thanks for supporting and hosting me.

DNF STUNT100 2019

Man muss sich ehrlich machen mit diesem DNF. Die Kreislaufprobleme die tatsächlich da waren, waren eigentlich überwunden (zumindest hätte sich das in der Nacht wieder gefangen). Der heiße Tag war geschafft und der erste kühlere Wind wehte den Tafelberg hinauf. Alles gut also. Dann direkt der Abbruch. Zu vielschichtig die Überlegungen zu dieser Entscheidung um sich groß darüber auszulassen. Den Laufbericht von Hansi findet ihr hier!

Am Ende zeigt dieser Sport der von viel Leichtigkeit, Schönheit und Eleganz durchzogen ist eine weiter tolle Eigenschaft: Gerechtigkeit. Von echten medizinischen Notfällen abgesehen ist jede Diskussion um ein DNF hinfällig. Es geht niemals um äußere Bedingungen (die hat jeder zu durchstehen), es geht niemals um die Krisen unterwegs (die haben einige zu durchleben) und es geht schon gar nicht um irgendetwas Anders. Man bekommt immer genau das aus einem längeren Lauf heraus, was man verdient.

Entweder man hat es mental und physisch drauf, oder eben nicht. Und erst unter herausfordernden Bedingungen zeigt sich wer ein wirklich Guter ist.

Ein riesiger Dank geht an die Veranstalter und Helfer des STUNT100 – die 3 Sterne 2016, 2017 und 2018 waren ein Traum und bleiben unvergessene Highlights! Bewahrt Euch den Lauf so wie er ist – genau so ist er perfekt! Eine Verbeugung vor den Finishern!

Die Laufliste mit den Läufen >42 km (dort zählen auch private (Gruppen)läufe mit hinein) zählt nun 68 Einträge bei 3 DNFs (4,41 %). 11 Ultras (≥160,9 km) sind darunter.

Und da gerade das erste Halbjahr 2019 gerade rum ist:
1991,2 km bei 94 Laufeinheiten (10,9 km/Tag, 76,6 km/Woche).