The backpack of excuses – 13 of the best for your next race!


Everyone loves a good list, so humour me while we present a light-hearted post and some laugh-at-yourself banter with our look at the best ultra running excuses. Heck we’ve all come up with excuses in the past I’m sure, so if you’re looking for something that’s ready-made, you’ll do no better than some of the items below I’m sure. These are just some I’ve heard over the years and have indeed, used myself. Enjoy!


#1 “It’s just so hot out here!”

Translation = I did not look at the weather forecast before I headed out for the race today, plus I didn’t really bother to adjust my racing pace accordingly either, hence I blew up.

#2 “I’m having massive stomach issues”

Translation = I ran way beyond my own ability for the first 20kms and as a result, this is my body’s way of telling me just that. Now, the food I’ve tried to ingest has no way of settling in my stomach that I’ve jiggled around violently in the first 1.5hrs of my run.

#3 “I only entered this race last week”

Translation = I’m massively under prepared, so I’m giving myself an excuse to DNF right here, right now.

#4 “My shoes don’t feel right”

Translation = I bought the wrong size online because I’m a cheap and won’t buy from shops where I can try them on.

#5 “The checkpoint is 2kms further on than my GPS said it would be”

Translation = I have a complete inability to be accountable to myself, as well as read course notes. I didn’t realise that GPS wasn’t accurate to the nearest 9m.

#6 “I took a wrong turn and did an extra 15kms”

Translation = I really only ran an extra 2-3kms, but it felt like hours, so I’ll tell everyone it was longer to get some more pats on the back for being a hero.

#7 “This race is just a ‘C’ race”

Translation = I haven’t trained properly for this.

#8 “I didn’t taper for this race”

Translation = I’ve essentially crammed all my training into the four weeks preceding this race.

#9 “I could have won today”

Translation = This is based on my 5km Park Run time from last week.

#10 “I didn’t expect it to be so technical”

Translation = I did all my training on the road because I couldn’t be arsed to get up at 5am to go to the trail.

#11 “My feet are sore”

Translation = I’m wearing Inov8s.

#12 “I’ve had a cold all week”

Translation = I’m slow.

#13 “I twisted my ankle in the first 3kms”

Translation = I’m wearing Hokas 🙂

What are you favourite ultra running excuses?

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Dan on Twitter
I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

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