PLNU’s Second Annual Homecoming We Are Loma 5K

PLNU’s Homecoming 5k Run. Photo courtesy of Jenna Bernath.

During Point Loma Nazarene University’s homecoming weekend, the Alumni Association hosts many events that alumni and other members of the PLNU community can participate in. One of the events is the We Are Loma 5K. This year, the second annual We Are Loma 5K was hosted on Feb. 19.

Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of PLNU participated in the run/walk on a 3.1-mile course around campus. The course gave alumni the opportunity to relive their campus days by taking trips down memory lane as they passed dorm halls, major buildings and Caf Lane. 

“It’s the prettiest 5K course on the planet,” said alumni Steve Densford.

Densford and his wife, Kelli, made the trip down from Seattle this year to participate in PLNU’s homecoming activities, which included their 35th class reunion. Since the couple does not live close to PLNU, they wanted to be as involved in the homecoming events as possible. Both agreed that the 5K was “well worth it” and truly felt the support of the PLNU community.

“It was super fun. There was a lot of support from all the students who were cheering us along. They were genuinely doing that which was nice,” said Kelli..

While the Densfords were able to participate in the 5K in person, the Alumni Association knows this is not possible for everyone so they created an option to participate virtually. Originally, this virtual option was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but alumni relations assistant Bekah Van Bruggen wants to continue offering the virtual option so more alumni can be included.

“It gives our alumni, or anyone not here in person, the opportunity to participate in Homecoming,” said Van Bruggen.

The 5K is also the only event that helps support the Loma Fund, which is used to provide students with scholarships. By the time the 2022 We Are Loma 5K started at 8 a.m. on Feb. 19, almost $10,000 were raised by over 250 donors. 

Student volunteer Emily Donahue who runs for the PLNU cross-country and track and field teams called the 5K the “ideal distance” for a run of this type and explained how the activity of running helps in building a community.

“It is kind of long, but it’s not too long that it doesn’t end up being fun at all. It’s just long enough to humble you and have you work together with others and cheer each other on. It’s incredible,” said Donahue. 

Alumni board member and volunteer Veronica Eckert reflected on the 5K and the way it brings alumni and students together to connect by doing something fun together.

“It was an epic event with lots of energy for all ages, all generations, current and past students. It was a fun experience,” said Eckert.

Written By: Jenna Bernath