University of Pennsylvania Relay Carnival

University of Pennsylvania Relay Carnival

Seven days, beginning on the Sunday before the last weekend in April
The Penn Relays is the oldest and largest track and field event in the United States. The first relay meet held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia was on April 21, 1895, but even back then the tents and the festival atmosphere contributed to its reputation as a carnival rather than just a series of races. Since that time, the Penn Relays have served as a springboard for athletes who later went on to win Olympic medals—such as Carl Lewis, Joan Benoit, Edwin Moses, and Frank Shorter. It is also a breeding ground for rising track and field stars, with more than 700 high school teams and 180 college teams participating.
The event begins on the Sunday before the last weekend in April (unless that day is Easter, in which case the Relays begin a week earlier) with a 20-kilometer road race. There is a heptathlon and a decathlon on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the rest of the week is filled with walk, sprint, distance, and field events for athletes of all ages and abilities—including Special Olympians ( see also Special Olympics). More than 70,000 spectators are drawn to the event, which receives wide press coverage.
CONTACTS:
Penn Relays Office
219 S. 33rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-898-6145; fax: 215-573-2797
www.thepennrelays.com
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