Volksmarch column for the May 6, 2010 edition
Sunday is Mother’s Day, and we hope you have a volksmarch in mind for Mom. After treating her to breakfast in bed (and cleaning up afterward), load Mom and the rest of the family into the car and head to a volksmarch. You can spend quality time together, get some exercise and see a bit of Europe that you might not otherwise. After the walk, you can enjoy some traditional German bratwurst or other food that is always served at these events.
The big event this weekend is the Ramstein Roadrunners’ spring walk. It is always a popular walk because of the excellent organization, the nice trails and the fabulous prizes. And you can expect a party atmosphere at the start hall with food, drink and music.
The Roadrunners are offering three trails, two of which — the 11- and 20-kilometer ones — are new. From the Realschule on Schernauerstrasse, you can start the six- and 11-kilometer trails Saturday and Sunday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you want to walk the 20-kilometer route, you must start before the noon cut-off time.
This year the main prize is a scarf with both an edelweiss pattern and a pendant. The scarves come in different colors. They will also have some B-medal beer mugs from last year’s Turkey Trot. These multicolored mugs have a view of the Brandenburg Gate as seen through a hole in the Berlin Wall. Nothing says "I’ve done a volksmarch in Germany!" any better than these awards. Quantities are limited — especially the beer mugs — so get there early!
If you have volunteered to work at this walk, we tip our hats to you. It takes a lot of time and energy to host a volksmarch and the Roadrunners’ family always does an outstanding job. Even if you can’t work as a volunteer, anyone attending the walk can do a little extra something to guarantee the success of this walk: Bake some cookies, brownies or anything, to donate to the club so it has plenty of goodies to sell to walkers.
If you can’t make treats, please stop at the bakery of your choice and pick up something to donate. The eyes of the people working at the food sales will light up when they see the donations, and the walkers’ eyes will light up when they eat them. We thank you for your willingness to help with your edible contribution.
The walk ends at 5 p.m. both days, and on Sunday the club will need help cleaning up and putting things away. To help, please contact the Roadrunners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live farther to the east, perhaps the walk in Bamberg is better for your Mother’s Day activities. It starts between 7 a.m. and noon Saturday and Sunday at the Graf Stauffenberg Schule at Kloster-Langheim-Strasse 11. The trail distances are six and 10 kilometers. The prize they are offering is a ceramic vase.
Maybe you would rather get a real good workout. If so, the town of Limburg an der Lahn, Germany, is hosting an IVV triathlon this weekend. You can walk six, 11 or 20 kilometers, bike 25 kilometers, and then swim either 300 or 500 meters and receive a commemorative triathlon certificate.
If a triathlon is a bit much, you can do any of the separate events for the regular volksmarch price of 1.50 euros for IVV credit only, or 3.80 euros for IVV credit and the prize. The prize is a choice of decorative plates. They will not have bikes for rent, so you will have to provide your own. There will be a shuttle bus from the Markthalle (start hall) to the swim event at the pool in Offheim.
Our Mother’s Day plans call for a volksmarch in Brussels or at Camp Elsenborn, Belgium, for the walk held in conjunction with its open-house activities. The Brussels walk would be a new one for us, whereas we have done the Camp Elsenborn walk before and really enjoyed it. We might have to flip a coin to decide which to do.
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Thanks to Lt. Col. Simon Hamid who sent us a message about the walk in Saint-Avold, France. He reports the walk was through the "charming and beautiful town," as well as through the local forests. He combined the walk with a trip to the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, which he found, "somber and beautiful in the spring sunshine."
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• Sunday’s walk in Bitzfeld, Germany, is a Stammtisch event for the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club.
• The volksmarch in Holzeim, Germany, is offering a prize of a handmade African mask.
• The German towns of Witzhave, Trittau, Grönwohld and Lütjensee have staggered their start times so that you can complete four IVV walks and a swim event in one day. Five IVV events in one day is a rare opportunity.
• Due to elevation, the Brescia, Italy, walk will give prorated credit. For example, if you walk the 14k route, you will receive credit for 15 kilometers. If you walk the 42k trail, credit will be for 50 kilometers. The latest arrival for this walk is 5:30 p.m.
• Supper for the first 400 walkers is the prize at the Oggiono, Italy, walk. There will be food, water, and a surprise.
• The 23-kilometer route at the Noventa Vicentina, Italy, walk is in the hills and is challenging.
• Grumolo Pedemonte di Zugliano, Italy, is a great mountain walk.
• There are only two more weeks until the walk in Aviano.
E-mail volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.