On your marks

Welcome to my third annual Penn Relays live-blogging adventure.

I have said for a long time now that the Relays are without question the most fun event I go to each year, and even after this last crazy college basketball season that's still the case.

In this city that seems perpetually high-strung about its sports, the Relays offer us a chance to loosen up, relax an enjoy sport for its own sake. Sure, there are winners and losers, but this really is one of those events where the results don't matter as much as they do at Citizens Bank Park or Lincoln Financial Field

And that's okay. There's a time and a place for every sport out there, even if the NFL seems hell-bent on taking all 365 days of the calendar.

But the Relays are much more than a distraction from this weekend's draft: there will be plenty of great athletes racing around Franklin Field over the next three days, from high school stars to Olympic gold medalists.

From now until Saturday night, this blog will be your home for live coverage of the 115th running of America's oldest and largest outdoor track meet. In addition to my writing here, there will be photo galleries, videos, and additional updates from around the Relays grounds on Soft Pretzel Logic's Twitter feed.

I also want you to participate in the coverage, and here's how to do it. Over to the right of here, you'll see a box called The Paddock. Starting as soon as I get to the track each morning, you'll be able to send in your comments, questions and Penn Relays memories.

If you're coming to Franklin Field, you can join the conversation via Twitter. Just hashtag your tweets #pennrelays and they'll show up in the chat window. Feel free to email me as well and let me know where you're sitting.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend, and I hope you are too.

Of course, the real Relays aficionados out there know that the first official events have already taken place. The Decathlon and Heptathlon were contested today and yesterday, and a local guy took the headlines in the former event.

Penn senior and Bala Cynwyd native Max Westman (Lower Merion) became the first Quaker to triumph in the Decathlon since 1932. I bet it's no coincidence that he was coached by a two-time Relays Decathlon champion, Penn State grad Jamie Cook. No, the meet officials didn't confuse the two schools.

Full results from the Decathlon are here. Full results from the Heptathlon, won by North Carolina's Gabby Gioia, are here.

I'll talk to you all again in the morning.