July 2021

Selected from: One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math!


Way to Go

Kyle and his friend Antonio had been watching the summer Olympics the day before. Their favorite events were track and field. Kyle was the fastest sprinter in school, while Antonio liked running longer distances. 

On this day, they were at the high school football stadium, practicing for the upcoming fall track season. Antonio warmed up by running a few laps while Kyle stretched and ran some short sprints. 

Kyle gave Antonio his stopwatch and asked Antonio to time him as he sprinted from one goal line to the other. Antonio timed him at 15 seconds flat. 

"Olympic gold medal, here I come!" Kyle yelled. 

"How do you figure that?" Antonio asked. 

"Remember when we were watching the sprinters yesterday? The winner in the 100-meter dash was just under 10 seconds. All I have to do is run about 1/3 faster. 5 seconds is 1/3 of 15 seconds, and if I cut off those 5 seconds, I'll be right around 10 seconds. There's an Olympics every four years. I bet that eight years from now I'll be 1/3 faster." 

"I hope you do win an Olympic gold medal someday," Antonio said. "But you won't need to run 1/3 faster." 

"Great!" Kyle said. 

"Actually, not so great," Antonio said. 

"What do you mean?" Kyle asked.

Track Race