Blaufränkischland Marathon

Have you ever seen abbreviations like DNF or DSQ in marathons or track and field events?

Especially in running, there are numerous abbreviations that often appear next to or instead of an athlete's result. Here you can find the explanations of all abbreviations:


Did not finish. An abbreviation that no one wants to see next to their name in the results lists. It means that the runner started the race but did not finish it successfully. In marathons, there are usually a lot of DNFs due to premature abandonment due to exhaustion or injury. However, DNFs are also quite common among sprinters and middle distance runners, for example due to a fall or a strain.


Did not start (not started / not competed). This means that the athlete did not start the race or competition, but was registered for it. This is the case, for example, if one falls ill shortly before the competition or is stopped by an injury - in the worst case during the warm-up.


Disqualified. As a rule, the athlete has finished the competition, but his/her performance is not recognized. In long-distance races and marathons, for example, disqualifications can occur if the athlete cuts short or takes unauthorized aids (e.g., the bicycle or the subway - yes, this has happened too). Disqualifications can also be pronounced weeks or even months later, e.g. after a positive doping control.

For sprinters, early starts also lead to disqualification.

Attention: At some city marathons it is forbidden to wear headphones. In the worst case, this can lead to disqualification. As a rule, however, organizers overlook this in the case of amateur runners.

In addition, in top-class sport, abbreviations are often used to signal new records:


Personal best time. The athlete has set a new personal record in his discipline. The equalization of the personal best time is also marked, usually with "=PB".


Seasonal best time. Is usually only relevant for disciplines that an athlete completes several times a year, such as the 100-meter runner. If, for example, the athlete has a season's best time of 9.98 seconds before his competition and improves this to 9.96 seconds, then this is marked with SB in the results lists, but only if the PB is below 9.96 seconds. A personal best is a seasonal best anyway. A season in athletics always runs from 1.1. to 31.12. of a calendar year.


World record. This abbreviation signals the best performance ever achieved in this discipline on our planet and will therefore be seen very rarely. By the way, the equalization of a world record is also a world record!


European record. This means that the athlete is from Europe or has the citizenship of a European member federation and has achieved in his discipline the best performance of all time by a European athlete. For other continents there are of course also abbreviations. The "Asian record" is abbreviated as "AR". In general, the abbreviation "CR" for "Continental Record" can also be used.


National Record. If there are global and continental records, then of course the national record designations must not be missing, which are abbreviated with NR.

By the way, there are many more abbreviations, for example in the junior field. In the case of a junior record (U23), the age group is added to the above abbreviation, i.e. U23 in this case.

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