Runners take off in the Loma Linda University Family Health Fair 5K on Sunday. 

On the last Sunday in October, Loma Linda University Health hosts a free 5K walk/run to kick off its Family Health Fair at the Drayson Center. This year 1,500 people pre-registered for the race, though only 839 showed up. Still, that was the largest turnout ever in the annual race.

“This event is not about raising money, but to get families out together and have fun together,” said spokesman Briana Pastorino. She explained how all the university’s schools and departments come together to host this event, with their students and teachers volunteering. Abut 1,300 people attended the Health Fair. The event started 26 years ago.

The 5K was added a few years ago. The goal is for as many as possible to get screened, get active and become a Hero for Health, hence why superhero capes were handed out to all runners at the start line.

At the fair many health screenings were offered for free: glucose/cholesterol, blood pressure, kidney disease, peak flow/spirometry for lung capacity, pulmonary function and sleep disorder, body composition and stress management.

On the center stage healthy cooking and fun fitness demos ran every 30 minutes. One of the largest draws was the flu shot booth, where nursing students administered shots for free for those 3 and older. Nursing students who are almost finished with their degrees use this as a practice.

Kathi Wild, an assistant professor who teaches public health nursing, directed those getting shots after they signed the mandatory waivers. She said they would administer up to 557 flu shots at the event. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that flu vaccination be offered by the end of October according to its website.