Surviving My First DNS

As many of you may already know, I threw in the towel on my big Montreal Half-Marathon.  Injury has sidelined me for months and I just didn't think it was a smart move to do it.  However, I DID still go on the trip with several friends who were running.  This probably made my first DNS (Did Not Start) even tougher.

It was my first trip outside the U.S. and regardless I did manage to have a blast!  The city was great.  The hotel was awesome.  I mean... what more can you ask for than a self-service wine bar! (imagine a soda fountain... but for wine. Totally awesome!)

We saw a lot of sights... ate a TON of food... and drank. Because that's what you do on a race-cation!

And I also got a haircut at a french salon.  So foreign I know. :-P

The tough part came when we went to the Expo.  For anyone who's ever been to a Rock N Roll race expo you know the massive-ness and excitement that surrounds it.  All the runners picking up their bibs, their shirts, their goodies... all with pre-race butterflies fluttering away.  Meanwhile, here I was... just trying to keep a positive attitude.

I refused to pick up my bib and shirt... because I'm a little superstitious when it comes to those.  I don't like to wear race shirts that I didn't finish in.  I won't even wear them until AFTER the race... just in case something happens.  Same for the bib.  I didn't want to display a bib for a race I never ran in.

The expo was still a good one, and I enjoyed as much of it as I could.

Later I decided that by golly if I wasn't going to be able to run the RACE, I was at LEAST going to get my first "international run" in!  So I went for a small, easy 4 miler through the city.

Apparently I chose the hilliest route in the city! But it felt good to be running, even just a little. Really helped to relieve some of the DNS Stress.  And the city was so pretty!

The hardest and most emotional part came when everyone was setting out their gear the night before the race.  Putting together clothes, pinning bibs, gathering GUs... I had to go have another glass of wine. Haha.

The next morning I slept in a bit while everyone left for the start.  I woke up about an hour later (that definitely didn't stink! lol) and met another friend down in the lobby.  I don't want to say "fortunately" he was injured too... but he was and I thankfully had him with me on the sidelines.  Had it not been for Tan, I know the DNS experience would have been much much worse.

When we stopped at a coffee shop along the way, I noticed the tv stations were covering the race!  How awesome!  Of course it was all in French, so I didn't know what they were saying... but cool to see it nonetheless.

We walked down to the finish line and started the long wait.

There was a kids fun run finishing at that time so we at least had the opportunity to cheer the kids in.  The most unique thing about cheering in an international country--Everyone was yelling "Bravo! Bravo" instead of "Go runners! You've got this! Way to go".  So we joined the clapping and started cheering "Bravo" just like the natives.

I at least made myself useful and as our friends started to come in, I would do my best to snap a good running pic of each of them.  And that's harder than you think! Nevertheless, I got most of them.

After the finish, we waded through the crowd and made our way to some post-race celebration.  Cheering was tough, so I deserved to celebrate too, right?! :-)  It was then that I got to see my favorite part of the city.. Old Montreal.  Saw Notre Dame, drank at a local brewery, and had a great time now that the race was over.

So what did I learn from my first DNS?  I'd have to say that although the emotions were tough, having my friends there and stepping back to just enjoy the vacation really made all the difference. Sometimes we have to take to the sidelines because, after all... SOMEONE'S got to cheer, right?

To any of you who've ever had to sit out a race.... to you I say, "BRAVO BRAVO"! 


  1. You are a good friend! How awesome of you to take pics of everyone. I love Montreal. Awesome city no? And who can say no to self serve wine??????

  2. You are a good friend indeed!!! Glad you had someone else with you in the same position (although not glad either of you were injured). Self serve wine - not sure that would be a good idea for me LOL!!!!! Sounds like a fab trip. xo

  3. Bravo Jeremy! I think going along to support your friends and salvaging the other part of your vacation was awesome of you!


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