Peterson, T. C. and Wallis, T. W. R. (1997), Running in the rain. Weather, 52: 93–96. doi: 10.1002/j.1477-8696.1997.tb06281.x
But all this is model and theory. What about reality? To predict the weather four
days in advance you may want to use a model, but to truly determine whether a walker
or a runner would get wetter in the rain one can simply conduct an experiment. ...
we purchased two identical pairs of hats, sweat shirts and pants, ... Departing
at the same time, Dr Wallis ran the lOOm at a velocity of 4.0ms-' while Dr Peterson
walked the same distance at 1.4ms-'. The total water absorbed by the walker was
0.217kg and by the runner 0.130 kg.
Running, therefore, produced a decrease in wetting of 40 per cent.
I find it intriguing but also somewhat self-satisfying that the natural response (to run), placed in our DNA by evolution, is confirmed by both mathematics and experiment. One wonders why one should have asked at all!8-))
As delazeur said lower, this calls for follow-up research!
The real issue, for me, has always been shoes. Most clothing dries fairly well, but shoes and socks are a tough matter. Besides, if it's unpleasant to be in, you should run, and if it's pleasant to be in, take your time.
Priorities are clear (;
The experiment also seems to assume that it'll rain a constant amount. That's reasonable but if it can be expected that the rain will increase (maybe it just started), running becomes even better. Conversely if you somehow know it is more likely to decrease, walking becomes better (as you might even hit a window where it doesn't rain at all that you'd simply miss by running).
I certainly enjoyed this sentence though:
‘optimal’ solutions, cases in which the experimenter assumes strange angles with respect to the ground, are not considered, being awkward to obtain in reality.
Personally, I find the question of "waiting it out" way more intriguing. Murphy seems to let the rain continue endlessly whenever I decide to seek shelter temporarily.
Bonus marks for considering ecological validity
Is it worth running as fast as possible to get less wet?
So the author is only trying to answer the question of whether you will get less wet if you run in the rain. He is not making any claims about comfort. The author's only premise is:
The purpose of this paper is to put an end to this kind of useless argument.
- "What if a rainstorm dropped all of its water in a single giant drop?" 
- "At what speed would you have to drive for rain to shatter your windshield?" 
"As suggested by common sense, when it is raining it is
better to move fast. By running faster you get less wet.
but the benefit that you get beyond the speed of a brisk
walk does not justify the supplementary effort. "
Personally, I love running in a light rain just for comfort reasons and (presumably) the negative ions.
Note that it doesn't do oblique angles.
EDIT: I've been meaning to update this with a graph for a while -- the plot in the article really illustrates the tradeoff between wetness and velocity quite well.
I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail years ago...admittedly, I was walking, with a pack, not running...
If I was within sight of shelter (a rarity) I sometimes trotted, and stayed a bit dryer...usually I just walked on, smiled, and tried to find things to enjoy...
One thing I learned was that it didn't matter one whit if I got wet when hypothermia was not a factor...the only important thing was whether or not, once I'd enjoyed the rain, I had dry clothes in my pack to change into while I cooked my supper...
I think we undervalue the good feeling rain falling on us offers...kids instinctively experience it as something special and dance around in it...imagine that...
We could re-learn things from them...rain's nothing to fear...
Were the kids you appear to be referencing in your comment taught to fear rain for some reason...by adults?
My experience has been the opposite...
Getting wet or cold; neither "causes" sickness...that theory was debunked years ago...
I commute to work in cities for some of my gigs, but don't live in them...my leisure time is mine...getting wet..?...It's just not that big of a deal when I have no pressing business...fear of getting wet is no reason to miss the magic of standing out in the rain...
We lead different lives, my friend...and both are OK...
Absolutely and thank goodness for that variety. I was just putting up an explanation for why kids like playing in the rain and why adults typically do not.
Nothing bullet-proof definitive here, but the consensus certainly seems to be that colds are caused by virus entering the respiratory system, nothing more.
You deserve a pat-on-the-back for the careful and tedious thought required to join such disparate topics, much like the constant struggle against the elements you had to face, step by step, and the invaluable rewards you must have received on your epic journey!
Brave, smart, enlightened... not to get off topic, but what other interesting qualities do you have, and the stories and wisdom to go with them, oh great "Outdoorsman"?
Edit: o why the downvote o great master? What thou request of thine?
Also, the HN guidelines ask you not to go on about getting downvoted. See the two rules at the bottom: