California Lutheran University hosted its eighth-annual Loop da Lu 5k Family Run/Walk on Saturday, Oct. 12. Loop da Lu was one of the many homecoming activities on campus during the weekend– bringing Cal Lutheran alumni, families and students together to participate in the 5k run.
“We really try to encourage the whole Cal Lutheran family to get involved,” said Carrie Barnett, assistant director of Alumni and Family Relations.
The run started in Kingsmen Park and wound through Cal Lutheran’s campus. This particular route gives alum and their families the opportunity to view the new improvements on campus, Barnett said.
The route of the run went through the Spine, around William Rolland Stadium and Hutton Field, behind Trinity and Grace Halls and zigzagged through the academic buildings to finish back in Kingsmen Park.
The runners could see the newest residence halls, construction for the new science building and construction for The Habit Burger Grill.
“I really wanted to be apart of the Cal Lu community and I think it’s a good opportunity to get in some exercise,” sophomore Mia Onesto said.
Alumni and Family Relations puts on all homecoming events and “it really takes a village,” Barnett said. There are only four people who work in the alumni office, so they heavily rely on volunteers and vendors to help make it happen.
“We have over 75 volunteers this morning, they are running the check in, the volunteer tent, they are course monitors and they help cheer people on,” Barnett said.
There is a lot of preparation to make Loop da Lu happen. Tickets go on sale over summer and the coordination for vendors and volunteers gets started around the same time, Barnett said.
There was a good turnout for Loop da Lu this year, bringing in about 350 participants, Barnett said.
Ryan Van Ommeren, associate vice president for Facilities Planning and Operations, ran the pace car for the race and has for a few years. He leads the runners with his mountain bike.
“My joke is every year I get older and slower and every year the runners get faster so one of these days those two lines are going to cross,” Van Ommeren said.
Van Ommeren said he enjoys being the pace car because he gets to see the race happen throughout the course.
“This year it was really fun because a lot of the time the person in the lead is in the lead the whole way, but this year there was some runners that were passing each other,” Van Ommeren said.
This event gives alum and their families the opportunity to have fun on campus, revisit memories and admire the many changes Cal Lutheran has had over time, Barnett said.
“I came down to bring my family and my wife, to bring our kids down to run the race and enjoy time with friends,” said Karl Stutelberg, Cal Lutheran alum from 2001.
The Loop da Lu participants were rewarded with a pancake breakfast once they crossed the finish line.