Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Thanksgiving is only two weeks away and that means the Ramstein Roadrunners’ Turkey Trot is rapidly approaching. We hope you have cleared your morning schedule to participate in this unusual volksmarch.

The 5- and 10-kilometer trails start between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.; the finish time is 3 p.m. Please finish by that time so club members can quickly clean the hall and enjoy their Thanksgiving meals that afternoon. This year, the prize is a choice of B-medals from previous walks. Choose between a 14-inch-tall snowman doll wearing a green outfit and holding a small tree and a shovel or a wooden nutcracker figure.

The Roadrunners could use some volunteer help to make this a successful holiday walk. Whether it is helping set up, marking trails, staffing a control point or cleaning up afterward, your help will be appreciated. Please contact Pat Patterson at if you can volunteer. If you can’t, you can still help by donating baked goods for the club to sell; both homemade and store-bought goodies are greatly appreciated.


Lommel, Belgium, after-action report: We made our official return to the volksmarch circuit when we joined the Tri-Border Walking Club for its bus trip to this Halloween walk. As in years past, we walked through a park with a haunted house and several booths with food and other activities. It reminded us of a Christmas market, only with a Halloween theme. The rest of the trail took us past many ghoulishly decorated houses. One house had a life-sized witch on a broom gliding between two trees.

The intermittent drizzle and cold weather limited us to the shorter route, but it was still very enjoyable. Getting back to the finish early allowed us to visit a nearby restaurant. In need of something warm to eat and drink, we stopped in at the Chanthè restaurant and had a hearty bowl of pumpkin soup. Served with a warm half-baguette, the soup really hit the spot.

After we met the other club members, it was time for the bus ride home. It dawned on us that the only time we have ever been to Lommel has been at night for this Halloween walk. Lorraine mentioned that there are plenty of walks in the region, so we decided we would have to return to this nice city to check it out during the day. You can bet that we’ll pay a return visit to the Chanthè restaurant as well.


We are well into torch walk season, and this week we have four Fackelwanderungs to select from.

• Although we have never been there, we hear that the event at Volkach, Germany, is a popular walk. The 6k and 12k torch walks start between 4 and 6 p.m. Saturday in the Mainschleifen-Halle. The club recommends walkers take a flashlight. If you prefer, you may buy actual torches for 1.80 euros. Regular daytime walks also will be held Saturday and Sunday.

• For those close to Stuttgart, there will be a torch walk on Saturday at Kernen-Rommelshausen. Start between 1 and 6 p.m. and finish by 9 p.m. Sunday. There also will be regular routes of six, 11 and 20 kilometers starting between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. The prize is a B-medal for the reduced price of 2 euros.

• If the Saarland is closer to you, head to the torch walk in Rilchingen. It, too, is Saturday evening, starting between 4 and 7 p.m. You must finish by 9 p.m. The distances are five and 10 kilometers, and is for IVV credit only.

• South of Offenburg, the town of Elgersweier’s torch walk is on Saturday starting between 2 and 6 p.m. and finishing by 9 p.m. The distances are six and 10 kilometers. They are offering a prize of a model semi-truck.


In 2001, the club in Vorbachzimmern, Germany, offered a decorative church candle holder as its souvenir. In 2002, it offered a Pfarrhaus, or rectory candle holder. In 2003 it was a Rathaus (town hall); in 2004, a Gasthaus (guest house); 2005 was a Schulhaus (school house); in 2006 a Bahnhof (train station); and last year the prize was a farmhouse. This year the club is adding a mill with a water wheel to the series. Why are we mentioning past years’ prizes? Because if you’re interested in collecting these candle houses (place a tea light candle in it and watch it glow), you might still be able to get one or two since B-medals are available in limited quantities. We love collecting them and have given them as Christmas gifts.

Start times for the five-, 10- and 20-kilometer trails are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The finish time for both days is 6 p.m. So, unless you walk a 20k in two hours, don’t wait until 4 p.m. Saturday to start the long course.


Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• Sunday’s walk in Bettendorf, Luxembourg, is convenient for folks in the Bitburg and Spangdahlem areas. Not only is the countryside beautiful, but it also is close to Bob’s favorite Battle of the Bulge museum, in Diekirch, Luxembourg.

• One of the prettiest fall walks we have ever attended was in Hahnstätten, Germany. This weekend, sponsors are offering five-, 10-, 20- and 30-kilometer trails for you to enjoy.

• What is probably the last biking event of the year takes place this weekend in Hattenhof, Germany. Start the 25k between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and finish by 5 p.m. Saturday, or 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and finish by 5 p.m. Sunday. If you want to walk, there are five- and 10-kilometer trails both days with the same start window as the biking event. The B-medal is a small semi-truck.

• We abbreviated the Italian city of Colloredo di Soffumbergo–Faedis to just Colloredo in the chart to save space.

• The prize at Badia Polesine, Italy, is 250 grams of Nodini ia funghi porcini and 250 grams Nodini d’amore pasta. The pasta looks like tiny sacks closed with a cord at the top. The cost for the restoros and two packages of pasta is 3.20 euros — not a bad deal.

E-mail volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now