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La Verne Loop attracts many for a good cause

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On Saturday more than 100 people turned out at the University of La Verne’s Sneaky Park to race in support of Lupus research.

The event, called the La Verne Loop, was a 5k-race put on by two University of La Verne students, Gabby De La Cruz and Jamie Mahoney.

“I was really excited to see how everything came together,” De La Cruz said. “So many people came out and volunteered.”

People clad in spandex and windbreakers gathered at around 7:30 a.m. that chilly morning eagerly awaiting the race.

Lauren Moon, Miss La Verne, was also there to pump up participants.

Some walked while others jogged and ran, but overall everyone was there to show their support for finding treatments and to have fun.

Lupus is a chronic tissue disease. It affects the body’s organs through skin rashes, joint pain and swelling or inflammation of the kidneys, among other things. Not all people with Lupus display all these symptoms.

But according to the Lupus Research Institute, Lupus affects about one out of every 185 Americans, making it one of the most common in the country.

The course began at Sneaky Park on Third Street and wound for 3.1 miles around the city, with long stretches on Third and First.

Along the route people cheered and gave their support for the runners.

And at the halfway point, water was available to those who needed it.

A few of the runners on La Verne’s cross-country team lead the pack of participants along the course.

They all ran together most of the way until one man broke free and raced to the finish.

Effrain Partido, a ULV junior, won the first-place prize for men with a time of 16.5 minutes. And, in a surprising win, 11-year-old Lexie Jackson won first place for women with a time of 21.5 minutes.

She said she ran this race because she and her family always run 5ks on the weekends and they were unable to run the San Dimas 5k, so they decided to run this one instead.

Almost all the runners came in under about 33 minutes and the joggers and walkers trickled in after that.

The sponsors of the race donated Vitamin Water, Rock Star energy drinks, Smart Water and bagels to all participants.

LVTV and KULV were both on hand to document the event.

Many people huddled around after the race and chatted, munched on the provided snacks, slowly attempting to catch their breath.

At the awards ceremony immediately following the race, Mahoney, who has Lupus herself, handed out the awards and thanked the sponsors and fundraisers.

The sorority Phi Sigma Sigma won an award for having the most participants in the race. All four of the on campus sororities were in competition for this award.

And, for first place fundraiser, Ann Orosz won for most money raised,at $650.

Overall, the event raised $7,251 for Lupus International, making it a glorious success.

“It was a really long process,” Mahoney said. “A lot of people showed up and it turned out great.”

Katherine Hillier can be reached at khillier@ulv.edu.

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