Ed Packel reports on his Boston Marathon run and the mathematical
T-shirt he wore.
"...I ran with a shirt designed...by teachers at a Real/Analysis
and Chaos Summer NSF Institute we had at Lake Forest College... The
shirt has a Mandelbrot set on the front along with some bad/good
mathematical pun about Cantor and fractal dimension. The back had
a statement of the Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem. There was an aleph
nought on one shoulder and a Sierpinski triangle on the other.
Crowd reaction: I got about 5 yells along the lines of "Go
Fractals" and one very spirited cheer from a group that yelled "Go
Mandelbrot man." I also had a breathless conversation about
iterated functions with an engineer who ran along side me for 15
minutes or so. As I said, no major impact there. But I did enjoy
running wrapped in mathematical stuff.
My experience: Wonderful; a truly thrilling experience. People
yelled nonstop the whole way--that is good! In Wellesley it was so
loud that I had to move to the middle of the road to protect my
ears. I only had to wait 4 1/2 minutes to cross the start and then
was able to do the first mile in about 8 1/2 minutes. Subsequent
miles, despite the dense packing of runners, were mostly in the low
to mid 7 minute range until the last 6 miles or so when I went up
to 7:45 to 8:00 minute pace.
My time was 3:19:34--faster than I had anticipated but slower than
I had fantasized. I ended up in 6972nd place (out of some 36,000
or more). More details available upon request."
Cheers, Ed Packel
Mathematics and Computer Science Dept
Lake Forest College