I am not encouraging people to DNF- a point of ultrarunning is certainly to push yourself to your limits.
I am encouraging those who DNF to EMBRACE it for what it is ! Do NOT HATE yourself (as I saw so many runners do) - such a waste, when you pay for the race/travel etc !
Here's the story;
28 miles in, my husband got ill at the high altitude and could not eat/drink without throwing up. He spent 2 hours trying to regroup, but just could not. The hardware in my old tibia fracture was giving me greif, and I thought it wise to pull out with him too. That aid station was more like a MASH unit with many people sick/bleeding noses/ etc at the altitude. So anyways, we ended up spending time with others at the remote aid station, waiting for a ride.... and this is when it occurred to me.... there are actually some....
GOOD THINGS ABOUT DNF'ing !!!!
1. You get to hang out at the aid station and graze, get into the vibe and people in the same situation.
2. You get to reminisce on the beautiful parts of the run.
2. You get to STOP and take in the views at that aid station (views at 27 mile- Nice! ). Too bad Jim diddn't see this, as he was busy being nauseated.
cheer them on- or help them if they fall over!
... It was great to cheer people on! but I held back trying not to be too 'perky' for those who were ill.
4. You get to MEET people who are also DNF ing and hear their stories ! It felt like a 'support group' .
... one guy, who reported to have done several 100 km/100 milers made us feel better by saying ;
"pfft, I DNF all the time ! " I guess he just picks and choses to finish when he feels good- nothing wrong with that !
5. You get a COOL 4X4 backroad ride home from your remote aid station, with some crazy driver.
.... Seriously, the next day my NECK was more sore from hitting the roof of the car than my legs were!
6. You have ENERGY the next day to GIVE BACK to the race ! We went to the finish line and drove 100 milers back to their hotels. They GREATLY appreciated it, and it made us feel much better! I frown on people who DNF and just go home to pout- what a selfish waste !
and my FAVORITE !!! ....
7. You get to RECOVER faster, meaning you might even be able to hit a cool run/hike in the area, over the next couple of days! an And we CERTAINLY did ! Bryce canyon ROCKED ! ... literally.
So Don't hate yourself, LEARN from the experience, make the MOST of it... besides, there is always ANOTHER RACE !