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There are plenty of opportunities to get out and walk this weekend. If you are in Italy, you have to head to Aviano. This is the big weekend for the Aviano Road Runners’ 35th Annual Madonna del Monte volksmarch.

The walk is Sunday and starts at the Area D pavilion between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. There are four routes to choose from. The five- and 10-kilometer routes are stroller friendly and suitable for the whole family. The 15- and 21-kilometer trails will take you into the hills and past the “Silver Dome” Church. The prize for the walk is a drawstring backpack with the Road Runner’s logo.

As we said last week, we loved the year-round walk in Percorso Circolare Santuario, Italy; the two longer courses go into the hills above Aviano on part of this trail. You will see some stunning views of the countryside and get a good workout.

Whether you choose to walk a short distance or run a longer one, it doesn’t really matter; just get out to the Area D pavilion Sunday morning and experience a volksmarch Italian style. We are confident that the Aviano Road Runners will make this an outstanding experience for you.

• If you are not in Italy, there are some other walks that might interest you. The walk in Brücken appears to be just down the road from Baumholder, Germany. From the Turnhalle on Feldstrasse you can start the six- and 11-kilometer routes both days between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. For the 20-kilometer trail, you must start before 1 p.m.

• Sunday’s walk in Niederkail will be convenient for those in the Eifel, Germany, region. Start the five- and 10-kilometer routes between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the 20-km before 1 p.m.

• We are heading to the walk in Petit-Rechain, Belgium, this weekend. We have driven past Petit-Rechain many times as we pass through Verviers on our way to the Ardennes. We hope this walk will take us into Verviers and past the church we see from the highway.

We have also seen signs for an outlet mall in the area, so we’ll probably check that out, too. With a 6 a.m. start time, we can walk and still hit the outlet mall before the crowds. Yeah… We’ll see about that!

• Mother’s Day weekend found us at the Ramstein Roadrunners’ walk and, as usual, the club put on an amazing event. The weather was perfect, the scenery pretty, and the food and fellowship at the start hall were outstanding. Brad and Lynn Crandall were coordinating activities at the start hall, and things appeared to be running smooth as silk.

After registering, we headed out on the trail and really enjoyed the walk past the lake and then through the fields. As we got close to the end of the route, we could smell the burgers and bratwurst on the grills. The food was excellent and the cold Bitburger beer was especially good out of a glass with the Roadrunners’ logo on it.

As much as we enjoyed the walk, meeting with the other walkers and volunteers was the best part of the day. We finally met Richard and Donna Glenn, who send us so many walk fliers, and got to talk with them for a while. We also met several members from the Heidelberg International Wandering Club who must have sent a bus load of people. The Capps, Mike and Sue, were there with their dog, Dee, who accompanies them on their walks. Mike, by the way, was recently honored by Army Community Service Heidelberg as Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented by Colonel Butcher, the USAG Baden-Wuerttemburg Commander. Way to go, Mike!

It would be hard to name all of the volunteers who made the Ramstein walk so successful, but you know who you are and our hats are off to you. We are looking forward to visiting Ramstein again in the fall for their annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

After walking through the countryside in the morning, we walked through the KMCC in the afternoon. It was so crowded, but then, the day before Mother’s Day, one has to expect crowds. We bought everything from Polish pottery to Jack Wolfskin walking shoes, but soon the crowds got to be too much and we retreated to the hotel for a while. Later we ventured out to the Macaroni Grill for dinner and had a nice meal. We were very pleased with the hotel accommodations at the KMCC and probably will stay there again.

Sunday morning found us on the road home for our own Mother’s Day cookout. Bob fired up the Weber grill for the first time this year and Lorraine handled the phone calls from our kids. It was a nice end to an exciting weekend of traveling, walking, shopping and visiting with friends.

• This week’s “atta-boys” and “atta-girls” go to: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Cath and Rob Floyd; Richard and Donna Glenn; Wayne Henry; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; Rick and Wanda Sciascia; and Nancy Shawley.

• We are always tickled to see new names on the return address of a big envelope of volksmarch fliers. Such was the case recently when we received fliers from new contributors Michael and Michelle Connor. Thanks a lot and we hope to see more fliers in the future.

Email volksmarch information to two.walkers@yahoo.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO AE 09752.

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