A Run That's "No Sweat"

The Puzzler

RAY: This puzzler comes to us from Doug Mayer who, actually, works for us.

TOM: Wait a minute. None of those guys work.

RAY. Right. Let's just say he's around us. Anyway, here's Mayer's puzzler. Mayer and his pal Mike get up every morning and run through the mountains, in North Moosejaw, New Hampshire, where they live. In the winter, however, they take a break-- since it's what? 40 below zero with 50 mph winds. Instead... they ski.

But, on the days when it's even too cold to ski, then they drag their frostbitten appendages to the local gym. It's 80 degrees warmer there-- plus they get to watch Oprah on the TV and try to impress the babes.

Mayer sets his treadmill to 12 percent-- the exact grade of the trail up nearby Mount Washington, one of their favorite runs. He runs at 5.8 miles per hour for 4 miles, by which point he's praying for a massive coronary to end his workout. After the requisite 42 minutes, he's covered in sweat and the treadmill is rusting.

Well, this last week, spring finally arrived in North Moosejaw, and Mike and Doug decided to go out and test themselves on Mount Washington, and see how their training stacked up against the real thing.

They set their watches, put out their cigars and ran at exactly 5.8 miles per hour for four miles at a 12 percent grade. There was no wind and, what's more, they remarked how interesting it was that the temperature was 62 degrees that day-- exactly what it was in the gym. Though they have no way of measuring it, it turns out that even the relative humidity was exactly the same. In other words-- same weather, same speed, same grade, same everything.

Yet, when they're done, they're not sweating at all.

Why was that?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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