The Westside Relays have being going on in Petaluma for over 35 years.  If you are not sure what this event is just ask anyone who went to Elementary School in Petaluma in the past 35 years!  They will tell you that it is the premiere event, the coming of age, for all 5th & 6th graders regardless of their athletic abilities. (There is also the Eastside relays that started 20 years ago).

The Petaluma High School track team and physical education students, oversee the event under the guidance of the Physical Education staff and coaches.  In the months leading up to the big day the local Elementary Schools begin preparing for the event.  Parents are asked to volunteer both during school hours and after school to help prepare kids for the big event.

It is a opportunity for parents along with kids to shine.  When I coached at Grant and McNear Schools I had parents who where “track stars” in college but who hadn’t done track for years come out and have as much fun as the kids.

Track is  ideal for promoting fitness.  In track there is an event for everyone.  You might not be the best 800 runner but maybe you rock at shot put!  Coaches (the parents and teachers) can work with the kids to show them the various events and find the one that they love doing.  Yes, it is competition.  But good competition challenges us to find the best in ourselves on that day, thank our competition for the challenge, and celebrating our accomplishments regardless of the out come.

Congratulations to the 500 kids for participating in the “Large School” Westside relay (Small School relay was rained out). Good for Petaluma for motivating our kids and families to be more active.  I wish that we could have the Westside Relays everyday!

If your kids are interested in Track check out the “P-Town Track & Field Camp” this summer presented by Jim Lynch, PHS Cross Country/Track & Field Coach & the PHS State Cross Country Runners & Track Athletes.  For information email

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