Yesterday, Math enthusiasts woke up to a wintery π Day (March 14 = 3.14). Snow had finally fallen in Chicago, which meant horrible morning commutes, train delays, lots of snow pictures on social media and the question of if the Fleet Feet Pi Day πK would happen later in the evening. Around 4 p.m., athletes received confirmation the path would be clear and the path to the pies (Pizza pie and Apple pie) was already waiting for us.
The fun run benefited the Illinois Science Council, an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization bringing science, technology, engineering and math to the public. The race stayed true to the theme with a start time of 6:28 (2 times π) and the race distance of 3.14 miles. “We know Pi K technically means 3.14 kilometers, not 3.14 miles, but “Pi K” just rhymes better than ‘three point one four mile run.’ It’s an artistic choice,” was the official quote from the Illinois Science Council when asked about the discrepancy in specifics.
Runners met at Feet Fleet stores around the Chicagoland area for the Pi Day πK fun run. The Old Town Race utilized the lakefront path along the water with a start at the Lincoln statue just northeast of Clark and North Ave. The course was a simple out and back. The sunset and beautiful skies along the lakefront path were a nice reward for dealing with the gusts of cold wind and low temps along the course.
While many of us would have skipped an outside run if not for the race, there were a few (like five) runners that were seen training on their own in the blistery conditions. I personally enjoyed doing this race for the first time running alongside good friends and meeting new ones.
Once runners completed the distance, racers warmed up to post race food and a math quiz. Winners of the quiz were awarded pies and many of us learned different facts about the irrational number, π. My favorite: π does not include any Zeros in the first 30 digits! The post race made the evening, and served as a great reminder that significant funds were going to the Illinois Science Council. The untimed fun run included a gender-specific shirt, bottled beer, Bai drinks, Connies pizza and apple and whoopie pies to round out the post race feast.