This March 14th, 11 runners competed to see who could run π miles fastest while eating π slices of pie. The rules: eat a slice of pie, run π/2 (1.57) miles, eat another slice of pie, run another π/2 miles, and eat a final 1.14 slices of pie. The prize: eternal glory and probably an upset stomach.
When asked for his strategy, Liam Bendickson said what every racer was thinking, “Run fast, eat pie, win. Don’t yak.” Zach Harris was somewhat more confused in his pre-race interview, changing his mind about whether chicken pot pie is considered a pie. His final answer? It is.
It was a sunny day on Blackstone Boulevard, and the racers started stuffing their mouths with pie. As a part of his slice fell to the ground, Adam Janik lunged to pick it up and eat it to avoid disqualification, much to the dismay of his competitors. Despite Isaac Oda-Bayliss’s dominance in the previous week’s pancake eating competition, Adam was first off the line, with Eliot Laidlaw close behind. The rest of the runners followed in succession. Last off the line was Matt Vigilante, who struggled to finish his first slice of pie.
At the midway point, Adam and Eliot stayed in first and second, with Isaac following. Max Heller and Matt faced a setback after the second slice when they made a wrong turn, an impressive feat given that the only turn in the course was turning around. Once realizing their mistake, they were able to make up some ground, but blame their poor performances on the detour.
The race came down to the final crumb. Though Adam made it to the last pie-eating zone first, Eliot was close behind, and regained ground through the third piece. Both struggled to chew the last .14 slice, but Adam was able to get it down first, beating Eliot by about a second. The women’s champion was Maura Driscoll. Though not the fastest pie eater, she commented afterwards that the race was “faster than regionals lol.”
Making his racing debut with Brown Running Club was Thomas del Vecchio. Though he and Julia McClellan spent much of the race neck and neck, she was able to pull ahead with the final bite. Both struggled to maintain position during the running portions and excelled more at eating.
Trevor Houchens, on the other hand, found the eating exceptionally difficult. The last to finish his pie at the halfway point, he was devastated to reach the end and find that the only selection of pie left was everyone’s last choice, pineapple. With the other runners cheering him on, he was eventually able to battle his way through and finish the race.
The event may have its skeptics, such as Alec Bania, who claims that the idea “is atrocious and whoever came up with it should be send to the Hague,” but such is the case with every innovation. After its strong debut, the Pi(e) race is set to become the next big thing in road racing, and it is rumored that Molly Huddle is already training for next March 14th.
Thank you to our race volunteers, Violet Sackett and Caroline Ribet, for making this possible!