Direct Measurement Videos > Video Library > Hill Runner

Hill Runner (Jessie Diggins)


This is a series of videos showing US Olympic cross-country skier Jessie Diggins running up a short steep hill. In some of the videos, Jessie is carrying a large backpack filled with heavy weights. Students can measure the hill angle, the position of Jessie along the hill, and the time using a stopwatch.

Jessie alternated between running with no backpack and with backpack, so students can compare her output for each effort. Jessie attempted to keep her output as equal as possible while running with and without the backpack.


Instructor Note

When teaching with this video, direct students to the student video library, which provides student access to all videos without links to instructor materials and solutions.

Multiple videos of Jessie running up hill in DMV Player

  • Use your keyboard space bar to play or pause the video.
  • Use the arrow keys to navigate one frame at a time.
  • Use the controls at the bottom of the video to show a ruler, protractor, and stopwatch.
  • Drag the measurement tools into position to make measurements
  • Select from the drop-down list to see all the videos.

Teaching Materials

Although we did not ask Jessie her weight, let's assume that she has a mass of 60 kg. Here are some activity ideas for students at different levels:


  1. Calculate Jessie's average speed as she runs for any of the videos. In which video is she fastest and slowest?
  2. Select any of the videos where Jessie runs with the backpack. Does Jessie slow down as she approaches the top of the hill? How can you tell?


  1. As Jessie runs 6 meters along the hill, determine how much work the force of gravity does on her body.
  2. What is the change in total mechanical energy of Jessie's body as she runs?
  3. Determine how much power her muscles must produce so she can continue to run at a constant speed.


  1. How much mass do you think is in the backpack? Justify your answer.
  2. Think of a new question that could be answered using the information measured from these videos.