Running numbers at the Penn Relays

Featuring some of the top track and field athletes in the world, the 124th Penn Relays kick off on Thursday, April 26, and run through Saturday, April 28.

Penn Relays

Set, (starter pistol sound.)

The 124th running of The Penn Relay Carnival, or the Penn Relays, commences at Franklin Field on Thursday, April 26, and continues through Saturday, April 28.

Athletes from more than 200 colleges, 1,000 high schools, and professionals will compete in the three-day festival, along with international participants from countries such as the Bahamas, Canada, Jamaica, Guyana, Haiti, and Trinidad.

Founded in 1895, the Penn Relays is the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the country. The world’s first and largest track and field relay meet, more athletes have run at the Relays than at any single meet in the world.

In this edition of By the Numbers, Penn Today tries to keep up.

    • 4/21/1895

      Date of the first Penn Relays, which were held in conjunction with the University’s Spring Handicap Track and Field Games.

    • 5,000

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

    • 100,000+

      Number of spectators who have attended the Penn Relays in each of the last 14 years. 

    • 9

      Number of events in the first Penn Relays: four for high schools and prep schools, four for colleges, and the college championship. All were held at 4×440 yards. 

    • 1960

      Year in which U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) ran in the Penn Relays. He anchored James Madison High School’s distance medley relay.

    • 54,310

      Number of people who packed Franklin Field to watch Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt run in the Penn Relays in 2010. He previously ran in the Relays in 2002 and 2003 for Jamaica’s William Knibb High School.

    • 16:26.30

      Time Penn runners Keaton Naff, Chris Hatler, Nick Tuck, and Thomas Awad ran the 4xMile at the 2016 Penn Relays, which earned the University its first Championship of America at the Relays since 1974.

    • 94

      Age of South Philly native George Scott when he ran the 100-meter dash at the Relays in 2015.