Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Track and Field Brain Teaser

Update: no solutions yet! I'll post the answer to the riddle at the end of the month after the Prefontaine Classic.
One of my great highlights of 2013 leads to this track and field brain teaser:

On the evening before the 2013 Pre Classic I gave Olympic discus champ Robert Harting a ride from the airport in Eugene to his hotel. This marks the 4th time in my life I've given a ride to a world class track and field athlete.

They are, in chronological sequence:

Steve Prefontaine
Rick Wohlhuter
Grete Waitz
Robert Harting.

What unites my four passengers?

I will confess that it wasn't until several months after meeting Harting that the question even occurred to me, much less the answer.

Have fun, everyone!

Mark Cullen
Seattle, WA
University of Oregon '75

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Teens for Teens - Weather Forecasts for Nike Cross Nationals

11:35am update - wind chill at start of boys race: 18F
27F plus 9 mph wind

10:05am update - wind chill at start of girls race: 11F
23F plus 14mph wind

2:30am (PST) update: the National Weather Service has cancelled its wind warning for this morning in Portland. However, wind chill remains a factor for this morning's Nike Cross Nationals with a likely wind chill effect in the mid-teens.

Check the "Feels Like" column on this page at weather.com


And here is the National Weather Service's pinpoint forecast for Delta Park; wind chill is posted in the center column:


For those of you fortunate enough to travel to the meet today, here are two road reports links:


 - http://www.oregonlive.com/roadreport/

I will update this site at 10:05am and 11:35am with race time wind chill reports for the girls and boys, respectively.

Original post from 12/5 at 5:58pm Pacific time:

Possibly extreme wind chill conditions face the best high school cross country runners in the nation at Saturday's Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.  

Two respected weather websites put the likely wind chill at race time at 14-15 F, while the National Weather Service puts it as low as -2 F.

Weather.com (The Weather Channel) predicts 18 F as tonight's low with a high of 30 F on Saturday, with winds at 7 mph, and a wind advisory ending at 6:00am.

Weather Underground pegs Saturday's temperature at 23 F at 11:00am with 7mph winds, with the girls race scheduled to start at 10:05 and the boys at 11:35.

The National Weather Service predicts sunny but windy and cold conditions for Saturday's championship races. Tonight's overnight low is predicted to be 16 F while Saturday's high is predicted to be 25 F. Far worse, wind speed is predicted to be 17-22 mph at race time, with gusts to 37 mph. If these predictions are accurate, wind chill can be as low as -2 F at race time.

Even with the more moderate Weather Underground and Weather Channel predictions, online wind chill calculators suggest that 23 F combined with a 7mph wind results in a wind chill of 14-15 F.

Much will depend on wind speed; check the weather.gov website to see if the wind advisory is lifted at 6:00am, as predicted.

Drivers - especially visitors unfamiliar with Portland - should exercise extreme caution in these unusually cold, icy, and slippery conditions. See the oregonlive.com road report link below.

Links to the weather websites:





Road conditions:


 Credit to:
- weather websites as indicated above
- http://www.onlineconversion.com/windchill.htm
- http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill/
- http://www.oregonlive.com/roadreport/

Mark Cullen
Seattle, WA, US