Drake Relays Week (Part 2)

Okay so you can finally catch your breath. Here is the dramatic conclusion to my two part Drake Relays Week series!

Pole Vaulting in the Mall I’ve talked about this Relays Wednesday staple before, because I am mildly (read super) obsessed with it. The gist is that Olympic caliber, world record holder-type pole vaulters prep for Relays…at the Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines. The action takes place in an atrium of the mall, but honestly, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Some of my friend hung out on the upper deck where they could see the athletes flying through the air and over the bar. I stuck down near the runway where I could casually hang with the valuters as they got ready for their jumps. With the possible exception of some intense Bath and Body Works sales, it’s safe to say I’ve never been so invested in the drama of a mall.

A peak at the Relays bustle from inside Drake Stadium.

A peek at the Relays bustle from inside Drake Stadium. I know it looks like a tornado, but I promise it was actually very nice. 

Court Ave Relays week Friday night makes one of the biggest, most exciting, and longest nights of my Drake experience. The Student Activities Board hosts a concert with a big name act downtown on the streets of Des Moines for Drake students and community members to come enjoy. It’s an amazing experience to host our own mini music festival on Court Avenue, partly because we all get to break outside of campus and remind ourselves that we really do celebrate Relays with the whole city. This year’s act was rapper Hoodie Allen, and let me tell you, It. Was. A. Crazy. Show. Even though I was working the concert, it was still a blast (in the most exhausting way possible, that is).

Relays Track events After three years, I gotta tell you I still get overwhelmed walking into the Blue Oval come Relays time. The place is consistently packed with world-class athletes, students, families, faculty, fans, and basically everyone else you can imagine. There’s events going on in every corner of the track. World records are being set over here, an underdog is completing an amazing finish over there…it’s awesome, especially if you’re lucky enough to call yourself a Bulldog.

Pancakes Ah, the grand finale! The Relays dénouement, if you will: Pancakes. Our last SAB event is a late night pancake breakfast in a tent on campus. It’s tasty, it’s fun, it’s a collective celebration of the Relays spirit. I technically spent the evening filling syrup bottles, but more so, I did a lot of chatting with all of the students, friends, and acquaintances who came through for some pancakes. A lot of people I knew, and a lot I didn’t, but during Relays especially, we are all friends who can share the awesome times we’ve had and the amazing things we’ve been a part of. Pancakes is the perfect event to recap the Relays madness and bid farewell to all the fun. Until next year, that is.

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