Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News


We're live at Franklin Field for the 114th Penn Relays.


The view from press row.
The view from press row.

Good morning from Franklin Field, where we're just a few minutes away from the start of the 114th Penn Relays Carnival. It's my second year covering the Relays here on the blog, and I'll freely admit that it's the most fun event I get to cover all year.

I'm seated next to my College HoopsCast partner Joe Juliano, just under the overhang in the press section of the north side of Franklin Field. It's a cloudless day, with highs expected to be in the 80s. Good thing I packed the sunscreen, and a pair of shorts.

Come back throughout the next three days for videos, photos, and all kinds of anecdotes from the Relays. And feel free to post comments. I want to hear from you. Last year, I got emails from all over the country, and got more traffic during the Relays than any day except Selection Sunday.

To start things off, I have a trivia question for you. My good friend and fellow Relays enthusiast at the Houston Chronicle, Zachary Levine, was a math major in college. One lazy April afternoon, he had nothing better to do than sit around and start adding numbers up in his head.

He wanted to figure out the total number of miles run in the Penn Relays. So he added up all of the distances in the following:

-- All the distance races
-- All the racewalking
-- All the wheelchair races
-- All the running events in the decathlon and heptathlon
-- All the hurdles events
-- The steeplechase

He did not add in distances thrown (or run, at least those few steps) in field events, nor did he add in the elementary- and middle-school shuttle runs (which are contested on the football field, and aren't always in straight lines anyway).

What number did he come up with?

Post your answer in the comments. If someone gets it right I'll figure out a prize of some kind.

Oh, and the first race of the day -- a college women's 400-meter hurdles race -- got off to a false start. Serves them right for starting 15 minutes before the listed time.

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Jonathan Tannenwald
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald
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