Penn Relays Sports Brillance

penn relays track and field
It’s hard to live in the Philadelphia area and not hear about the historic Penn Relays, an event that generally takes place mid-spring. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Mary Slaney, Carmelita Jeter, Michael Johnson and Vicki Huber are just a few of the track and field standouts who have competed at the world famous event.

Watching Bolt, Blake and the other Jamaican relay team members sprint ahead of all other relay runners is memorable. Their performance brings to mind Carl Lewis and the United States’ teams 4 x 200 run at the 1992 Penn Relays. Clearly, the sports tradition that originally kicked off in April 1895, doesn’t stop at spotlighting collegiate track and field stars. In fact, top high school and professional track runners regularly attend the Penn Relays over three to five days. Watching them in the stands, on a single day, can be more than 30,000 fans, adults and children filling the stands at the University of Pennsylvania stadium.

penn relays women run

This year’s schedule starts with Tuesday and Wednesday qualifying races. Thursday’s races being with women’s hurdles championships, followed by women’s high school hurdles. There are also Special Olympics and Master’s  track competitions. Field events include the shot put, pole vault, long jump, high jump, hammer throw and discus throw.

Although you can catch the Penn Relays on NBC and Universal Sports, there’s nothing like  attending the Relays in person.  Attend in person and you could see some of the world’s top track stars up close. If you’re passionate about running yourself, you could also note some warm-up, relay hand-off, block start and finish techniques used by the fastest runners in the world.

If you do attend the historic races, make sure you bring a digital camera as there will likely be dozens of experiences you’ll want to capture and remember. Who knows, you might even get the chance to chat with a competitor after the event has ended.

penn relays race

Another tip you’ll want to remember is to arrive at the Penn Relays early. If you’ve never been to the Penn Relays before, head for Franklin Field at 235 South 33rd Street. Traffic in and out of Philadelphia can get thick. The good thing is that there won’t be a Philadelphia 76ers or Eagles game to add even more congestion to area roadways. Check weather reports before you leave, making bringing an umbrella or raincoat just in case the weather changes.

Above all, have loads of fun. You might even leave the Penn Relays determined to begin a personal fitness regimen. If you’re a mature adult, you might even consider entering the Master’s competitions at future Franklin Field track and field competitions. Track and field . . . it has always been Raymond Clarke’s favorite sport. Learn about his sports exploits in Love Pour Over Me, a story that unveils the inner workings of a fictional world class track star, simply unforgettable.

To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&,, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today.

Feature Interview with Raymond Clarke, Starring in Love Pour Over Me

Meet Raymond Clarke:  Born in Dayton, Ohio in the 1960s, Raymond Clarke is a world class track and field athlete. His athletic exploits have landed him on the cover of magazines like Athletic Ambassador, Track Historian and Sports Hall of Famers. Although rarely discovered, Raymond’s academic achievements are on par with his sports accomplishments, earning him Class Valedictorian of his graduating class. He has overcome great odds, tremendous childhood challenges, many of which have stopped millions of other men and women. While at a famous university in Pennsylvania, he shares a myriad of ups, downs and good-good times, as well as harrowing experiences (some life threatening), with three of his best male friends. Raymond Clarke’s determination and resilience, and, more importantly, his healed heart, help him see and later accept the woman he was born to love. This fictional character’s story is told in detail in the new book, Love Pour Over Me which is available at, Barnes & Noble,, Google Books, iTunes, print bookstores and libraries.

love pour over me book by denise turney

Denise: How are you able to love Brenda so deeply considering the fact that your mom, the most important woman in a man’s life, left you?

Raymond: If you’ve ever known something was right deep in your gut, you’ll understand when I tell you I knew, I instinctively knew, Brenda was my woman. Despite all we went through, nothing could disturb that.

Denise: Did you ever go looking for your mother?

Raymond: (Sigh). No. I thought about her a lot, especially when I was a kid, but I never took off and starting looking for my mom. I wouldn’t even have known where to start.

Denise: Why did you choose UPemb?

Raymond: Coach Carter (he’s probably the closest thing I had to a loving father) and the school’s awesome track and field program. Track is my passion. Thank God, I’ve been very good at the sport since I was a kid. Plus, I got a scholarship to UPemb and with Coach Carter’s help I know I can earn a gold medal in the Olympics.

Denise: You hang out with a cool group of friends. What do these guys mean to you?

Raymond: Oh, man. Anthony, Patrick and Doug, these three dudes are my brothers. Sure. We’ve had our close calls, especially me and Anthony. The two of us have damn near cheated death and more than once. But we always work things out. I love those dudes. They’re like family. (shaking his head) We have some good times together! Our ladies get along pretty good with each other too, well. . . most of them.

Denise: Do you keep in touch with your friend from high school, the guy you ran with back in the day? . . . . .

Read the rest of this feature interview at:

Get your copy of “Love Pour Over Me” Now at –

Preparing for Track and Field at the 2012 Olympics

By Denise Turney

Let me start off by saying, “I love track and field.” I’ve loved the sport since I was 10 years old. This is the time of year when track and field, especially at the professional level, is in full swing. Of course, this year we also have the 2012 Olympics which kick off July 26, the day when the Olympic torch is scheduled to be lit at London’s Olympic Stadium.

Track and Field 2012 Olympic Trials

The air is filled with anticipation, nerves, great expectation and excitement. National Olympic trials are already causing a stir. For starters, sprinter Yohan Blake beat fellow Jamaican, Usain Bolt, in the 100 meters at Jamaica’s track and field trials. Of course, both sprinters raced their way into the Olympic Games. It’s just that few people expected anyone to beat Bolt, an international favorite in the 100 meters. As reported in The Guardian’s June 29, 2012 “London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt Beaten by Yohan Blake at Olympic Trials” article, Blake was clocked at 9.75 in the 100 meter finals during the trials. Impressive.

The women’s 200 meter trial sprint was a scorcher, Allyson Felix barely edging out Jeneba Tarmoh by running a blazing 22.297 seconds. Trials for longer distances were held later in the week. One of the more challenging distance events is the steeple chase, a race that demands stamina, mental strength and flexibility and an undefeatable will. During the Oregon trials, Emma Coburn was clocked in the steeplechase at 9:32.78, a time that was almost three seconds ahead of second place finisher, Bridget Franek, who crossed the finish line in 9:35.62. The field events were no less impressive.  Consider this, Jill Camarena-Williams took the top spot in the women’s shot put, throwing 62 feet and 10.5 inches.

Running for Olympic Gold Medals

Earlier at the United States’ track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, 400 meter runner Kirani James (coached by former Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Fame college coach, Harvey Glance) ran down the final turn and home stretch alongside LaShawn Merritt. Unfortunately, James had a false start and was disqualified. Both runners were impressive, Merritt more so of the two.

This is the time of year Raymond Clarke, the main character in Love Pour Over Me, lives for. Running and winning championships since middle school, Raymond is an Olympic hopeful. His athletic career takes flight during the time when athletes like Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Evelyn Ashford and Mary Decker Slaney dominated the sport.

A gifted and talented middle distance runner who set records at the national indoor track and field championships, Raymond knows how to hold his own. He’s tough and resilient, unafraid of a challenge. He also loves to run, crisp air pumping through his lungs, his legs stretching out fast and smooth across the pavement. Running sets his mind at ease, makes him feel free. Even now I know, had he been born at a different time, he would have made the 2012 Olympics.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!