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Relays 101 brings campus traditions to Des Moines community

April 6, 2010
News PhotoAmerica's Athletic Classic will jump its way out of Drake Stadium this
year to bring the longstanding traditions and events of Drake Relays to
the Des Moines community.

Through "Relays 101," community members will learn about the
elements of Drake Relays, which will be held April 22-24, starting with
the longtime tradition of Street Painting. In addition, Drake Relays
will co-sponsor the inaugural Grand Blue Mile community-street run downtown with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

"The theme's goal is to represent an introductory educational
experience," said Relays Director Brian Brown. "This year's off-campus
events stem from a vision for the 101st running of the Relays to
simulate the academic nuances of 101, as in English 101."

Drake shares longtime tradition

Each year prior to the Relays, student organizations decorate a
square on the "painted street" on Drake's campus, along Carpenter
Avenue between 27th and 28th streets.

For the first time, community members will be able to help kick off
Relays in true Drake fashion at the inaugural Downtown Street Painting,
where local businesses and organizations will gather to paint Court
Avenue sidewalks between Third and Fourth streets.

The downtown event will be held Wednesday, April 21. Registration
will be open from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and judging will begin at 11:30
a.m. The cost to register is $250 for business entrants and $125 for
nonprofit, alumni and community organizations. Registration forms, which are available online, and designs must be submitted to Drake's alumni office for review by Wednesday, April 14.

Grand Blue Mile: Fitness 101



The Drake community also will be able to experience the fitness
element of the Relays by participating in the Grand Blue Mile, a
premier street run for all ages and abilities.

Olympians Suzy Favor-Hamilton and Steve Scott will guide the 1-mile
run, which was created to encourage and empower all individuals to lead
a healthier lifestyle.

The inaugural run will be held Tuesday, April 20, beginning at
17th Street and finishing at Nollen Plaza just short of Third Street,
all along West Locust Street.

Registration, which must be completed online, is $20 for adults and $15 for youth.

More about Drake Relays, special events

For more information on Drake Relays track and field events and meet times, visit the Web site.  Ticket packages are available and the cost for adults is $85. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.godrakebulldogs.com or call 515-271-3647.

A detailed schedule of Relays and special events, which are free and open to the public (unless noted), is available online.