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European edition, Thursday, September 10, 2009

CORRECTION: The schedule that originally ran online with this week's volksmarch column was for the wrong date. It has since been updated. We regret the error.

See this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Labor Day is behind us as we head toward the middle of September. What does that mean? First, there will be no more days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, fingers crossed, so we can enjoy the cooler weather and the pretty autumn colors. Second, the kids are in school, so maybe a Wednesday volksmarch becomes a possibility. Third, the days are getting shorter, and we will have the chance to do some torch walks. And soon we’ll "fall back" and get our daylight-saving time hour back.

The big walk this weekend is in Aviano, Italy. Clark Soeldner sends the following information: "This is the 33rd edition of the Madonna del Monte walk hosted by our group, the Aviano Road-Runners. The five- and 10-kilometer routes are flat and stroller friendly. The 15- and 21-kilometer routes are partially on mountain trails and go by the ‘Silver-Dome’ Church. This year, we are sharing the trails with the Aviano Air Base’s Third Annual Marathon. Sign-ups for that event are through the fitness center. This is our opportunity to return all the friendliness and goodwill to the numerous Italian groups we meet throughout the year at the multitude of walks they sponsor. Even if you don’t want to do the walk, we need all the help we can get, especially with traffic control and parking. If you can help, please contact or call DSN 632-7006."

The walk is Sunday and starts at the Area D pavilion between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. The prize is a ceramic souvenir for the first 250 people to register.

September also means that the annual Heidelberg walk is almost here. We received the following invitation from the HIWC: "The Commander of United States Garrison Heidelberg, LTC Robert L. White, invites readers to participate in this year’s 35th Annual Volksmarch on 19-20 September. The HIWC and the surrounding countryside offer one of the most beautiful and challenging courses you’ll find anywhere in Germany. Whether you enjoy walking through the towns and forest or running in the hills above Heidelberg, this Volksmarch has something for everyone. The HIWC always attends meticulously to every detail, so come out and participate in a great German tradition."

The start and finish of the walk will be at the International Gesamtschule behind Nachrichten Kaserne (site of the Army hospital). The 5k route will stay below the hills and will be flat and stroller friendly. The 11- and 22-kilometer trails will meander through the forests and fields throughout the hills above Heidelberg, passing by the Ehrenfriedhof Memorial. This is a monument commemorating those who died in battle in the Heidelberg area during both world wars and offers a marvelous panorama of the city. Additionally, the 22k trail will venture past the Heidelberg castle. Start times are between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday.

The volksmarch will be full of surprises — plus good food and traditional German music on Saturday on Sunday. This year’s beer stein will depict an old scene of the bridge and castle on the front of the mug. We invite everyone to join us for this special event.

In addition, organizers will be awarding Commander Cup "High fives" to this week’s contributors: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; John and Evelyn Golembe; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; "Pat" and Cheryl Patterson; and Bob Gambert, Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry and Nancy Shawley.


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