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Title:"Mathematician's Corner" : Lesson 1
Date:Wednesday March 16th, 2011
Author:Dave Sarocka
[Report: Image]Usain Bolt’s world record time of 9.58 seconds for the 100 meter dash corresponds to a speed of approximately 23.35 miles per hour, calculated as follows:
100 meters
9.58 seconds
x60 seconds
1 minute
x60 minutes
1 hour
x1 mile
1609.344 meters
= 23.3500656791 miles/hour

Another simple calculation reveals that a “superhuman” who could maintain this speed indefinitely would finish the Mad City 100k in slightly over 2 ½ hours:
9.58 seconds
100 meters
x1000 meters
1 kilometer
x100 kilometers = 9,580 seconds

This is equivalent to 2 hours, 39 minutes, 40 seconds.

Our race director, Tim Yanacheck, has informed me of a recent study by researchers in biomechanics at the University of Wyoming who, by analyzing human muscle fibers, concluded that it is physically possible for humans to reach a speed of 40 mph. How fast could a person run the Mad City 100k at this speed? Since distance = rate*time, if speed is increased to 40 mph from 23.3500656791 mph, the time would be decreased to 23.3500656791/40 of the aforementioned time:
9580 secondsx23.3500656791
= 5,592 seconds

This would correspond to a finish time of 1 hour, 33 minutes, 12 seconds, and the institution of a mandatory steroid testing policy for the 2012 race.

Happily, you would only need to run approximately 22% of this speed in order to beat the course record of 6 hours, 56 minutes, 57 seconds.

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Posted:March 16th, 2011 1:24 pm
Last Update:March 16th, 2011 2:44 pm
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