PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The inaugural Penn Relays 5K was meant to fill the gap for those who were eager to get out on the track. Those Penn Relays are finally happening again on April 28, but the event satisfied the competitive spirit of 300 runners who laced up and took off Saturday morning.

“You just had to be committed to running itself when COVID was going on, which was hard,” runner Jacob Dinerman told CBS3.

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And the commitment paid off; Dinerman won the race with a time of 15 minutes and 50 seconds.

“Having races back, it’s just so many people back into it. I’m able to have a full team that I can run with and train with,” he said. “It’s way different, way nicer, and I feel like that the same for everybody out here. Just having everybody come back together again helps everybody.”

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Dinerman was among the 300 runners who took part in the race. After taking off from in front of the Palestra, runners ended their 3.1 miles with a lap around historic Franklin Field.

In addition to Saturday’s 5K, Penn Relays also held running events in the spring and summer. While the famous three-day track and field event is still 194 days away, the organization said they’re trying to make the Penn Relays a year-round event.

“Our point is just give as many participation opportunities as possible for track and field athletes,” Scott Ward, executive director of Penn Relays, said. “So this will hopefully be our signature event for the fall kicking off the year.”

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