Volksmarch column, Nov. 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Today is the Ramstein Roadrunners’ Annual Turkey Trot. We hope that when you read this, you’ve already completed the walk and are now resting in preparation for a big Thanksgiving feast. If, on the other hand, you have not been to the walk yet, you have until 1 p.m. to get there and start the five- or 10-kilometer routes.
This is the 28th year that the Roadrunners have hosted the Turkey Trot. Again this year, the start hall is at the Mehrzweckhalle in Miesenbach. The street address is Am Kiefernkopf 22.
If you have time, take a couple of minutes to pick up some baked goods to donate to the club. Make sure you finish your walk by 3 p.m. so the club members and other volunteers can quickly clean up the hall and get home to their Thanksgiving meals.
Today is also Lorraine’s birthday, and Bob would like to send her a “Happy Birthday” greeting. Since Thanksgiving is not a NATO holiday, most of us in the tri-border area have a usual workday today. We will have a small celebration tonight, but will cook the turkey and have our Thanksgiving on Saturday.
• If you are a World War II history enthusiast, Dec. 14-16 is the weekend to be in Bastogne, Belgium. There are numerous activities throughout the weekend, but Saturday’s historic walk is the highlight. This event is designed to honor those who died during the Battle of the Bulge. This year the routes will be west of Bastogne in the area of Hemroulle. The citizens of this city donated their white bed sheets to the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, to use as camouflage in the snowy fields in their area. After the war, Lt. Col. John D. Hanlon returned to Hemroulle to show his appreciation and give new sets of sheets to the people of the town.
The distances of the walk routes will be 7, 13 and 22 kilometers. There is no advance registration, so try to get there early. You can register Friday afternoon between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. or Saturday morning before the walk, starting at 7 a.m. The walk starts between 8 and 9:30 a.m. Registration takes place at the sports center.
• If you have wanted to volksmarch in Paris, your chance is coming soon. The Ramstein Roadrunners club is planning a trip to Paris for the “Paris Illuminated” event. It hopes to take an ICE train to Paris on Jan. 5 and return Jan. 6. Gene Behrends is coordinating this trip, so contact him for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have done this walk three times and have really enjoyed it. It can get very cold and the footing can be slippery, but it is a beautiful walk. It is a very popular event with several thousand walkers.
• This week’s volksmarch vocabulary tip for newcomers is Streckenteilung or Streckentrennung. In Germany, this means that the trail is about to split. In areas where French is the language, the sign might say Bifurcation. In Dutch it might be Splittung. In any language, it’s a warning that you need to pay attention to your route! Look for a sign with an arrow pointing in the direction your intended distance is going. Some clubs will have a sign after the split telling you which distance trail you are on. Not all clubs do this, and we appreciate it when they do.
Email volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO AE 09752.