Bib #33 – Run/Walk for the Poor 13.1 Mile
DNS. Did. Not. Start. Trail runners fear its dirty cousin, the DNF: Did. Not. Finish. But people rarely talk about the DNS which is, to me, the worse of the two by far. The DNF says, “I tried; I really tried and I fell short.” The DNS says, “I never even tried.” Put that way, it seems as though one would need a really, really good reason to DNS.
Mine was commute related. On Friday night, just 12 hours from the start of the Cle Elum Ridge 25k, I realized I was also registered for the Run/Walk for the Poor trail 13.1 mile in Lakewood, Washington. Two races, 103 miles apart, starting on the same day at the same time. Cle Elum, I knew, would be tough. Billed at nearly a 30k (despite the official “25k” listing) with 3700 feet of gain. The Run/Walk for the Poor would not only be 5 miles shorter, but I expected it would be nearly flat. In the end, it wasn’t the course difficulty that steered me away from Cle Elum and towards a DNS, though; it was the fact the race was further from my house.
I don’t know what I missed in Cle Elum. At Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, the clouds burned off early, and the trail stretched like my personal yellow brick road for just over 13 miles. What the race lacked in participants, it made up for in tranquility.
The Cle Elum results list me as a DNS. I never even tried. But in Lakewood, I finished 13 miles without regret. 33 races down, and I feel like I haven’t missed a thing.