Obstacle Mud Runner - issue 16

10 How can you avoid a DNF and why it is just a learning process? In 2012 as I ascended a steep and narrow track, at about 7k during a 20k trail race, I stepped on a slippery rock and turned my ankle. The result lead to an achievement that I never imagined would happen; my first DNF (did not finish). At the time, in the moment of the accident, I was more concerned with the fact that I wouldn’t get to the finish line and pick up a medal, than I was about the damage to my ankle. In addition I tried desperately hard to camouflage the damaged ego that I hid away from other competitors and avoided running conversations for a few weeks. Nearly ten years later I still have a weak ankle. At home, with my feet up and an ice pack rested gently on my swollen ankle I was feeling sorry for myself. The standard and maybe expected questions ran through my mind; could I have prevented the injury? Will I heal in time for my next event? Is it such a big deal? Will I recover enough to be as quick? In addition, I had some of the symptoms of competitor avoidance, such as not checking the results, avoiding Facebook (which was the running hub at the time) and having a personal grudge with my running kit. My trail shoes didn’t get cleaned for weeks! I was clearly not the first person to get injured at an event and not the first person to get a DNF for being injured. I remember saying “well at least I didn’t finish due to an injury.” This is a pretty silly thing to say. Why should it matter that I got a DNF, the most important thing was surely the ankle. But I also thought that achieving a DNF due to injury is the only good reason to receive a DNF. If I was unprepared, not fit, poor choice of kit or I just didn’t feel it, they would all be poor reasons to DNF, wouldn’t they? Two main things came out of the experience; 1. I learnt to be better prepared before and during events 2. I learnt to enjoy racing more (losing out can do that). Also, I gained a fascination around DNF results. The reasons why they happen and how best to avoid them. In 2019 we did some research. We took 103 events, a mix of road, trail, long distance and ultra-distance to see if there were any clear patterns. It became clear that to find true patterns you really need to look deeper. KIT : BE PREPARED Adam from the KitBrix Sales and Partnership Team gives us his insght – [email protected]