On Thursday, April 26, thousands of finely tuned athletes clad in colorful warm-ups will descend upon Penn’s campus. They’ve trained for months, maybe years, to run fast, jump high, and throw far, and at the 118th Penn Relay Carnival they will put their talents to the test. The Relays run from April 26-28 at Franklin Field, and the Penn community is invited to watch the competition.
The Penn Relays are the longest continuously held collegiate track meet in the country, featuring high school, college, and professional competitors from around the country and across the globe. “We predate things like the Masters Golf Tournament and the Indianapolis 500,” says Dave Johnson, director of the Relays.
This year, 20,000 athletes are slated to compete in events that range from the 4x100-meter relay, to the 10,000-meter run, to the hammer throw. The famed USA versus the World events, scheduled for Saturday, April 28, will pit U.S. track stars against professional athletes from 22 countries in six different relay races.
Penn students, staff, and faculty can attend the Relays for free on Thursday, April 26, and Friday, April 27, with a valid PennCard. Each member of the Penn community can also receive one free ticket for a child; additional child tickets can be purchased for $5.
On Thursday, April 26, at 10:30 a.m.—coinciding with Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day—children can attend a special assembly at The Palestra featuring USA Track & Field athletes and other guest speakers who will share information on exercise and health. There is no staff or faculty discount to the Relays on Saturday.
Johnson expects attendance over the three days to be roughly 110,000.
“If you want to see Franklin Field in its filled-to-capacity, fully packed glory, this is the time to do it,” he says.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to Saturday’s events, visit the official website of the Penn Relay Carnival.
Originally published on April 19, 2012