Off to the races

Spring is in the air, which means the sound of songbirds, the scent of flowers in bloom, and the thunderous roar of 20,000 track and field fans as the world's oldest and largest amateur track-and-field competition returns to Franklin Field for the 105th time.

Last year's edition of the Penn Relay Carnival set new records for attendance and drew more than 18,000 participants from 35 countries around the world. Even more fans dropped in on the meet in cyberspace, logging on to for live, real-time results. But the best way to experience the excitement of the Penn Relays is still live, in person, at Franklin Field.

The annual Penn Relays Distance Classic on April 18 is the traditional kickoff for the carnival, which gets under way in earnest at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 22. From then until Saturday, April 24, fans can see runners from 7 to 70 compete in 350 different events, culminating with the high school, college and Olympic development championship heats on Saturday.

  • THE 105TH PENN RELAYS: Thursday, April 22 through Saturday, April 24 at Franklin Field, 33rd and Spruce streets. Tickets: Thursday and Friday, general admission $11, PennCard holders free; Saturday, general admission $16, reserved seats $25, $30 and $35. Info: visit the Penn Relays Web site or call 898-6151.

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Originally published on April 15, 1999