Marcus O’Sullivan Remembers The Penn Relays

He compares them to the Roman Coliseum.

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Villanova's Coach Marcus O'Sullivan has fond memories of the Penn Relays. Photo: Villanova Running

He compares them to the Roman Coliseum.

The Penn Relays are taking place this week. In the lead-up to one the nation’s most-famous track meets, the Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed Villanova’s men’s track and field coach, Marcus O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan also once ran for Villanova. He is entering his 13th year as coach.

An Irishman, O’Sullivan admits that he hadn’t heard of the relays until he arrived in the U.S. In his first Penn Relays as a freshman he says that, “[a]ll I had to do was put my head down and run hard and not worry about too much else because we had upperclassmen to carry the load. I ran two relays, and we won, and it was luxurious in the sense that I was part of something immediately and really didn’t know what I was a part of.”

O’Sullivan has been known to compare the roar of the relays, held on Franklin Field, to the Roman arena. “When I was a junior, I was stretching outside and noticed Franklin Field has this kind of Colosseum look about it” he recalls. “I called it the arena because the image I had was of the Christians and the lions. You hear this roar that something happened, and all I’m thinking about it some poor Christian in there getting eaten by a lion.”

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