Race Details

Date: Friday, April 21, 2017
Time: Race starts promptly at 4:30pm
Race-Day Registration: 4:00-4:20pm
Location: CMU Track


Every runner will receive a Random Distance Run T-SHIRT (after the race day this year). Additional prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finishers, the top student-advisor pair, the random finisher (the person who finishes in the position specified by the two dice rolls), and each person who correctly predicts the two dice rolls. Prizes from The Dice Lab!



To register for the race, fill out this form . The registration fee of $10 will be used to cover the cost of the race t-shirts & water. Members from the CMU School of Computer Science and their friends are invited to participate. This year, t-shirts will be provided after the race day. This time, we are going to cap registrations at 90, so you might not be able to register on the race day. To guarantee a spot, register now!


How long will the race be?

Nobody knows! All we can say is that it will be somewhere between 1/2 mile and 3 miles (between 2 and 12 laps of the track). The exact number of laps will be specified by the sum of two ENORMOUS FUZZY DICE rolls - one occurring just before the start of the race, and one just before the first runner finishes the number of laps specified by the first dice roll. 


Is there any history to the race?

Why yes! The Random Structures and Algorithms conference has held a Random Distance Run at its gatherings since 1983, with Paul Erdös rolling the dice at the first race. It was started at CMU by Adam Wierman and Rob Reeder in 2003. It was organized by Gaurav Veda from 2007-2010. Over the years, the RDR has been written about in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and the Tartan and even filmed for a special on cmuTV.


Has anyone done a statistical analysis?

Jonathan Clark, on his own initiative, produced graphs to help you in your own interpretation of the randomness. You have the data, and even a visualization, come up with your own conclusions! Oh, and please join us as we take our yearly sample from this delightful distribution in the hope that our sample mean (currently 1.86mi, for those of you keeping score at home) will reach the golden expected value of 1.75mi!


That's a cool idea, but I'm not a runner...

Then come help us out!  If you are interested in helping on this years race, we will definitely need volunteers.  If you are interested, please sign up in this Google Form. Volunteers will get a free T-shirt as well!


RDR Winners


Male Winner Female Winner Student/Advisor Winner Race Length
2017 Keenan Crane Jeff Bigham
Serena Wang
Collin Eubanks & Rupert Croft 1.25 miles
2016 Bernhard Haeupler Ivan Ruchkin
Roykrong Sukkerd
Anhong Guo & Jeff Bigham 1.5 miles
2015 Mahadev Satyanarayanan Paul Welle
Evelyn Yarzebinski
Hao Wang & Carl Kingsford 2
2014 Andy Pavlo Paul Welle
Jamie Morgenstern
Walter Lasecki & Jeff Bigham 2
2013 Ariel Procaccia Ivan Ruchkin
Jamie Morgenstern
Jen King, Shervin Javdani & Siddhartha Srinivasa 1.5
2012 Kayvon Fatahalian James Faeder (3:37) Jamie Morgenstern
Saket Navlakha, Hai-Son Le & Ziv Bar-Joseph 0.75 miles
2011 Anupam Gupta Stephen Rose (2:21) Jamie Morgenstern
Ben Blum & Dave Andersen 0.5 miles
2010 Scott Fahlman Karl Naden
Jamie Morgenstern
Karl Naden & Jonathan Aldrich 2
2009 Lenore Blum Chris Salvarani
Catherine Sidey
Zelealem Yilma & Oleg Pikhurko 2.75
2008 Peter Lee Jake Krohn
Diane Mattingly
Jason Enrst & Ziv Bar-Joseph 1.75
2007 Jeannette Wing Dario Donatelli
Sandra Ma
Dan Wendlandt & Adrian Perrig 1.25
2006 Randy Bryant Arjunan Rajeswaran
Jacqueline MacDonald
Dan Wendlandt & Dave Anderson 2.75
2005 Frank Pfenning Jake Krohn
Mary Koes
Jonathon McCune & Adrian Perrig 2.25
2004 Steven Rudich Steve Back
Amy Betz
Jonathon McCune & Adrian Perrig 2
2003 Manuel Blum Ethan Coffey
Kelly Chin
Nidhi Kalra &
Tony Stent

RDR Scrapbook


RDR T-shirts

(designs by Tom7)