The 2011 Penn Relays had wonderful energy that just seemed to fill Franklin Field. From the nervous excitement of the athletes to the passion of the fans and families, everyone was thrilled that this year’s event had finally arrived. The Penn Relays have always drawn a great deal of attention to the “USA vs The World” races, and this Saturday was no different.
The Jamaican fans had the stadium rocking (causing multiple delays to the start, as the runners couldn’t hear their starter). The Men’s 4×100 USA vs World produced dominate showings from both USA squads (Blue and Red). Germany was out on the first exchange due to a vicious fall, which may have slowed Jamaica and dashed their hopes at the title.
The weather was sunny and warm and the track was fast. The LSU tigers had a great showing, leaving with four titles while Villanova’s weekend ended on a somewhat disappointing note.
The carnival, outside of the stands, also had a lot to offer, from a massive Nike “playground” with hair cuts, makeup, and photoshoots for all the young stars, to custom printed shirts produced on-site.
The 2011 Broad St run was about 20 degrees cooler than last year’s race which seemed to really hype up the crowd of close to 30,000 runners. Mayor Nutter was on hand and spoke to the virtues of the race and all the runners who support it.
The wheel chair participants took off at 8:25am and were followed by the sea of runners, lead by the Elite class, at 8:30am. The elite runners quickly separated themselves into a small group of five by mile 1, which dwindled to 3 by the time they hit center city.
From there it was a pace set by Martin Fagan who was matched in perfect harmony by Ketena Migusse and Deresse Deniboda. Fagan set the pace from the very start but was unable to hold of Migusse in the last mile when the sprint started. Migusse bested his second place finish from last year and posted a time of 46 min and 29 seconds. Fagan was second with 46:42 and Deniboda with a 46:46.
You can view of full photo slideshow of the Penn Relay’s and The Broad Street Run below [photo credits: Christian Hafer]: