Running in the Rain

Department of Mathematics




Running in the Rain


(summary of the Original Written Report)

Exploratory Object Designer: Kylie Maheu and Matthew Lillie
Date: April 2004

Introduction

Is it better to walk or run in the rain?   For our MATH 2F40 term project we decided to write a computer program to investigate if you stay drier when you run through rain than when you walk through the rain.  It seems to be common sense that if you run through the rain, you will arrive drier at your destination than if you walk, since you will spend less time in the rain … but is this always true?

Objectives

To create a two-dimensional, and a three-dimensional simulation of running in the rain and to investigate the number of raindrops that will hit a person at various rain, wind and running velocities.  The three-dimensional version is not available on this website.

Results

We have found that how wet you get depends on the direction that the rain is falling. When there is no wind involved, or if the rain is falling in the opposite direction as you're walking, then it is better to run as fast as you can rather than walk. However, when wind is involved the best speed varies.  If you're walking in the same direction as the rain, you stay driest by moving at the same speed as the rain.

Written by: Kylie Maheu and Matthew Lillie (Edited by Jodie Wallis - October 2007)

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