University Mile: One step at a time


Homecoming week is a week full of traditions, one such tradition that brings people from far and wide is the annual University Mile.
The 34th University Mile, hosted by ULM’s Recreational Services, was held Wednesday.
President Nick Bruno kicked off the race as has become customary.
With the sound of Bruno’s gun going off, the race began.
The sprinters and joggers instantly took the lead and left a cushion of space for the walkers.
The event doesn’t require participants to run and accepts walkers and slow joggers.
At the race’s finish, top finishers in eight different categories are awarded with a plaque.
Nathan Hall, a university alum, was the first to finish the race. Hall stays active throughout the year running anywhere between six to 22 miles a day, six days a week.
“I participated in the mile because it is one of my favorite races. I have been doing it for the past 10 years,” Hall said.
This year’s mile, like the last, started in front of Hemphill Hall on Northeast Drive and finished in front of the Activity Center on campus.
Adidas long-sleeve, clima-lite tees were given to all the participants to wear after registering while supplies lasted.
Michael Bruscato, the director of recreational services, said the purpose of the event is to inspire a healthy lifestyle in the community and to promote the spirit of Homecoming Week.
The University Mile is open to the whole community.
According to Bruscato, the University Mile shirt helps bring in more people for the event and also serves as advertisement for the event.
“Five years ago, we began purchasing our shirts through Adidas to ensure a better-quality shirt for all that register for the race. We have seen our participation numbers rise over the last few years as the shirts have become a hot commodity,” Bruscato said.
Bruscato added that he hopes the trend continues next year as they hope to offer an even better shirt for next year’s race registration.
Katerina Svecova, a junior kinesiology major and student athlete, said she doesn’t see the point in just buying the shirt and not participating but likes seeing the support the event has from the student body. Svecova’s participation in the event was for fitness; she usually runs a couple times a week, so the mile was something normal for her.
“I enjoy running and joining ULM sports events, so that’s why I wanted to participate,” Svecova said.
The event was originally called the “Louisville Mile,” because in the race’s early years, it was held on Louisville Avenue on Saturday, the day of Homecoming.
The name has since changed to the University Mile and moved closer to campus to better help bring people in for the homecoming festivities.
It is now held on Wednesday to make room for other activities held on Saturday.