Penn Relay Carnival

On Wednesday afternoon there were signs of the beginning of the Penn Relays. From Spruce Street I could see people inside Franklin Field (click that link for a very cool wide angle view of the field) and my husband solemnly informed me that the Relays were beginning.

By Thursday morning the streets around the Penn campus had been transformed. On my way to work, I navigated past food and vendor tents on Walnut Street, groups of track uniformed athletes, and spectators asking for directions to the stadium.

The Penn Relay Carnival is a 112-year-old competition, open to pretty much anyone who wants to participate. This year there will be over 425 races run over the course of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The track events on Friday morning open at 9 am with the College Men “Championship” 400m Hurdles, followed by events for elementary, junior high, and high school, then there is the 100m dash for Women’s Wheelchair, Men’s Amputee, and Men’s Master’s broken up in decades (e.g., 40 and older, 50 and older, up to 70 and older). The track events for the day end with sprint and distance medleys. Field events on Friday include discus throw, high jump, pole vault, etc., mostly for college men and women. (See a schedule for much more detail.)

Tickets range from $14 for general admission per day to $45 for reserved seats.

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