Running for 99 Days

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Running for 99 Days

August 26, 2015

What does it take to run across a whole country? When it’s a big country like the US, it takes a lot, since the US stretches thousands of miles from coast to coast.  But last weekend a 23-year-old named Barclay Oudersluys ran all the way across, from southern California to northern Maine. That path took him through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. * He hoped to do the trip in 100 days, and ran it even a little faster than that: he finished in 99 days. Thanks to all that exercise, Barclay used up 6 pairs of running shoes.  He also burned 2-3 times as much energy per day as you normally would, so he had to eat a lot of food. Hopefully the next time he does this, he can visit all the states he missed the first time.

Wee ones: If you use up 6 pairs of shoes, what numbers do you say to count the pairs?

Little kids: Barclay ran through 15 states. If he had swung through New Jersey along the way, then how many states would it have been?  Bonus: If the first 1/2 of those states had covered 1/2 the distance, how many states would that have been?

Big kids: If Barclay made it to 15 of the 48 continental states (attached), how many states does he have left to visit?  Bonus: If he had taken exactly 100 days to run the 3,200 miles, with the same distance every day, how many miles would he have walked each day?




Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Little kids: 16 states.  Bonus: 8 states.

Big kids: 33 states.  Bonus: 32 miles each day!


* Note: The news article incorrectly lists Louisiana as one of the states.  In reality he visited the 15 listed here.

Also, a big congratulations to Barclay for raising money for a good cause: fighting poverty through better health, through the Hall STEPS Foundation!

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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