The Penn Relays is important for the following reasons and is like a `pilgrimage’ for many Jamaicans and Caribbean fans alike:
The Penn Relays is the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet athletic event in the USA and is the largest meet (outside of the Olympics) that attracts over 17,000 athletes primarily from the northeast United States and the Caribbean, namely Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Bahamas and Grenada,
In its 115 yr the Relays have hosted, more athletes than any other single meet in the world.
More spectators have watched the meet than any in the world except the Olympics and World Championships,
Jamaica has competed at the Penn Relays for close to 50 years, and during that time our athletes have made significant contribution to the success of the Relays,
The continued success of the Jamaican athletes has brought the fans in record breaking numbers for the past several years. According to ESPN/ABC Sports, of the 90,000 to 150,000 persons who attend the three day event, over 43% are Jamaicans, others estimate that number to be closer to 75%.
The Relays present an opportunity to re-unite with friends and families. It provides for friendly competition among schools and is especially a grand display of national pride.