Chad asks “Brolympus, as I was running on the local track yesterday, I was wondering why tracks are oval-shaped. Why are tracks oval?”

This question reminds me of something my math teacher used to tell me after I asked a question: “There are no dumb questions, just dumb people who ask questions.” But seriously, asking why tracks are oval is kind of like asking why the sky is blue. According to Wikipedia, “Rayleigh scattering of sunlight in the atmosphere causes diffuse sky radiation, which is the reason for the blue color of the sky and the yellow tone of the sun itself.” So there’s your answer. Rayleigh scattering.

Chad has another question: “Brolympus, I attended a running race over the weekend and saw that many of the vehicles there had stickers on them. The stickers had numbers on them, such as 13.1, 10k, and 140.6, for example. Can you tell me what these indicate and is there a hierarchy to them?”

That’s an easy one! This is how serious runners respond to the question “How long is your marathon?” So in your example, one person ran a 13.1-mile marathon, another did a 10K marathon (though we’re uncertain exactly how long that is since it is metric), and the last person did a 140.6-mile marathon. If you run 140.6 miles, that makes you an “Ironman.” But you’re also probably dead because no one can actually run that far. Hope this helps!

Chad asks “Brolympus, I’ve recently joined Strava and there is something called “kudos”. What is a kudos?”

Haha, typical newbie error there, Chad. “Kudos” is actually the plural form of “Kudotu.” You get a Kudotu when you had a really good run, where good means you either puked multiple times or suffered a fall that drew blood. Who gives Kudos? All the other runners on Strava who are following you. The trick is to get them to “follow” you. I would suggest wearing extremely revealing clothing during your runs.