Runners’ Regrets: To DNF or Not to DNF? That is the Question

Runners share their stories and reflections on the decisions to DNF or DNS their races.

Runners often face a tough decision when it comes to not finishing a race. Sometimes, it’s a matter of physical limitations, while other times, it’s a mental battle. The Reddit post titled ‘Looking to hear from runners who DNF-ed or DNS-ed: in retrospect, was it the right decision?’ delves into the experiences and lessons learned by those who have faced this dilemma.


  • Choosing to DNF or DNS can have long-lasting effects on a runner’s psyche and performance.
  • Regrets stemming from these decisions often revolve around missed opportunities for personal growth and achievement.
  • Physical and mental readiness play crucial roles in determining whether a runner should push through or call it quits.

When Quitting is Winning

The decision to DNF or DNS a race is not always easy, but it can sometimes lead to positive outcomes. LiterallyLemon emphasizes the importance of prioritizing long-term health over short-term race results, highlighting that there will always be more opportunities to race.

The Weight of Regrets

For some runners, the choice to DNF lingers as a regret that haunts their future performances. Whenarewegoing88 shares a poignant story of how a DNF in Boston led to a downward spiral in motivation and performance, serving as a cautionary tale against letting one race define one’s running journey.

Lessons Learned

Choosing to DNS or DNF can sometimes reveal underlying issues that need attention. suchbrightlights recounts how DNSing races ultimately helped uncover medical issues, underscoring the importance of listening to one’s body and making informed decisions based on overall well-being.

The Runner’s Crossroads