The Penn Relay Carnival

Penn Relays

Penn Athletics

The 2013 Penn Relay Carnival, more commonly known as the Penn Relays, runs from April 25-27 at Franklin Field. Through 118 editions of the meet, more athletes have run at the Penn Relays than at any single meet in the world.

The longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the country, the Thursday-through-Saturday carnival features local, national, and international runners spanning elementary school through college and Olympic development. Over 33 hours of competition, the meet averages one race every five minutes.

In this edition of By The Numbers, we take our mark with the Penn Relays.


Year in which the first Penn Relays was held. On April 21, 1895, the meet was held in conjunction with the University’s Spring Handicap Track and Field Games. The first Penn Relays also served as the dedication for Franklin Field.


Approximate number of people who attended the first Penn Relays, the largest track and field crowd in Philadelphia at the time.


Number of relay events in the first Penn Relays—four for high schools and prep schools, four for colleges, and the college championship.


Year in which the Penn Relays became an international affair when a team from Oxford University in England won the 4-mile relay.


Approximate number of athletes expected to compete in this year’s Penn Relays.


Year in which women’s events began at the Penn Relays, with a 100-yard dash.


Number of people who attended the Penn Relays in 2006, a record for the meet.

Originally published on April 18, 2013