Knowing When to Quit/DNF: A 2013 Runner Survey of the JFK 50-Mile Race

By Christy De Vader and Lynne Elkes.

Published by Journal of Sport and Health

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 23, 2015 $US5.00

In the sport of ultra running, not knowing when to quit a race can kill you. Our research asked the questions: How and when do athletes make the decision to quit a race? And does that affect successful completion of future races? We hypothesized that there would be knowledge differences between more and less experienced distance runners about the risks associated with ultra running, and about how to manage those risks and future race outcomes. The differences between experienced and inexperienced ultra runners are identified. There is an acute lack of knowledge among less experienced ultra runners about injuries and physical conditions that can have severe and long-term effects on the runner. More experienced ultra runners had higher levels of knowledge about various race components and had more did not finishes (DNFs) but also more successful race completions than less experienced runners. Experienced ultra runners had learned how and when to quit. This research is important for those who train coaches and sports professionals and for ultra runners.

Keywords: Ultra-running, Quitting, Injury, DNF (did not finish), JFK 50-Mile Race, Novice/Expert Differences

Journal of Sport and Health, Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 23, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 389.278KB)).

Dr. Christy De Vader

Associate Professor of Management and International Business, Sellinger School of Business and Management, Department of Management and International Business, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Ms. Lynne Elkes

Affiliate Assistant Professor of Economics, Sellinger School of Business and Management, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA