Florida Polytechnic University students, faculty, and staff are ready for one of the school’s most popular traditions, and this time the action goes virtual. The annual Florida Poly Pi Run, which traditionally takes place on March 14 to celebrate the mathematical constant of pi, was delayed as COVID-19 forced the cancellation of on-campus events this spring.
Although the original date could not be maintained, run organizers said because all number sequences occur within pi, every day can technically be Pi Day. The run will now take place over the July Fourth weekend, celebrating pi’s 57th and 58th digits: seven and four.
“It was unfortunate that a tradition we’d had for so long had to be put on pause, but luckily we found a way to make sure the tradition continues,” said David Sevilla, a senior majoring in computer engineering.
With the spirit of ingenuity Florida Poly is known for, organizers have decided to host the run in a virtual environment. Participants will register online for the event and run, jog, or walk 3.14 consecutive miles at their own pace sometime during the weekend. They then must upload a screenshot from their preferred fitness app to show they’ve completed the Pi Run challenge.
“Since it was going to be the sixth annual and one of the longest running events on campus, we wanted to find a way to not skip a year,” said Derek Lower, race organizer and Florida Poly’s student life coordinator. “We also love that we can still celebrate a piece of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).”
Those who complete their workout will receive a 2020 Florida Poly Pi Run T-shirt and other prizes. Participants are encouraged download a run bib and share photos of their run on social media with the hashtag #FLPolyPiRun.
“Our in-person event gets about 100 runners, so I’d love to see that,” Lower said. “Since we’re virtual and on everyone’s own time schedule, I think we can keep pace with that.”
The free Pi Run is open to all students, faculty, and staff.
“Allowing people to work out from home and still feel like they’re part of the community is a great way to bring everybody around a shared experience,” said sophomore computer engineering major Conner Murphy.
At the end of the run, participants traditionally celebrate with a slice of pie. Lower said he hopes runners fully embrace the spirit of the day by indulging after their exercise.
“I definitely will be,” he said. “It will be pumpkin – my favorite.”
Register here to participate in the virtual 2020 Florida Poly Pi Run.
Director of Communications