Friday, May 29, 2015

• Volkswalking

Coming up on Saturday June 6th, from 8:00am to noon, there will be a big event at Marna O'Brien Park. It's part ribbon cutting for the Murrieta Creek Regional Trail, part Community Health & Fitness Fair, part Bicycle Safety Event and part Volkswalk.

Do you know what Volkswalk is?

I had a chance to ask Kathy Bundy, local outdoor enthusiast, about Volkswalk.

 WR:   Volkswalk? [asked while administering the dog head tilt]
 KB:   "Volkswalk" is a difficult word to say. It's a German word and it means "people walk". It's open to everybody. Anybody can do it.

 WR:  What kind of walks are there?
 KB:  Most of the walks will specify the course so you'll know if you can walk with your dog, or if it's stroller or wheelchair friendly. The walk [the course] is prearranged ahead of time. You go your own pace. If you want to jog it, you can jog it. If you want to walk it —you walk it. If you want to go slow and smell the roses and take pictures, you can do that. There are no set rules. The main focus is for you to have fun along with some fitness and fellowship.

 WR:  Tell us about the local club.
 KB:  We're very fortunate to have a local club, it's out of the Corona/Riverside area. We're called the Low Desert Roadrunners. We were organized in 1985. We were the fifth club for California. Volksporting has been in the United States for 39 years. Our servicemen brought it over here [when they returned from duty]. The servicemen knew this sport as volksmarches, but in the USA volksmarches wouldn't sound very good. Someone would think we're protesting something.

We are not just walks, though in California we mostly do walks. In other states, and countries, they do volksskiing, volksbiking, volkscanoeing, most any type of sport. My passion is to promote this sport and I'm hoping to get the biking events back [locally]. I have someone working on the bike trails. You can do it for free, or if you want to keep track with a little passport/booklet we keep track of our kilometers at our events and we get hatpins and different rewards from our head office in Texas.

 WR:  Tell me about the event on June 6th.
 KB:  June 6th is a four-city Volkswalk that I'm doing with the [official opening] of the Murrieta Creek Trail. This is a project that I've been privileged to be part of with the four cities, the National parks and the Sierra Club. For almost three years we've had meetings every month, sometimes smaller groups of us got together, to organize this wonderful event.

The Murrieta Creek Trail may not look like much of anything to some people right now, but it's an interim trail and Wildomar has a very beautiful section McVicker to Clinton Keith and you're welcome to give me a call (951-218-3755) and I'll take you for a walk even if you don't do it on June 6th.

 WR:  Where will you be on June 6th?
 KB:  I'll be stationed at Marna O'Brien park. My booth will not only be Volkssport but it's also the Sierra Club's booth. We have a different kind of passport [for the event]. If you're adventurous enough to go to all four staging areas (Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar and Lake Elsinore) you get a memento of the day. It's a little passport that gets stamped at each location. You also get your name entered into a drawing, this is something the Sierra Club is doing.

A Volkswalk and a Sierra Club event is not usually on the same day. This is exceptional [situation] for me because I belong to both organizations.

 WR:  What happens if you get all four stamps for the passport?
 KB:  The way the passport is you tear off a little section that has your name and other info on it and it's entered into a drawing. I'm not sure what the prizes are at this point, it's something the Sierra Club has [in mind]. The first 25 people that come in the morning, at each staging area, will get a really nice Sierra Club water bottle.

 WR:  I remember that last year you did a 100 walk challenge.
 KB:  Through Volkswalking there're many different challenges. They have a Centurion Challenge, and my aunt was turning 100 years old, I thought I'm going to do a walk for every year she's been alive. The challenge was to do 100 Volkswalks in the year. Most were 10ks (about 6 miles), but others were 5k (about 3 miles) and you can choose the distances and go at your own pace.

I started the challenge in March. I still had to complete the 100 walks within the calendar year, not just the next 12 months. My last walk was going to be in Banning [on December 31st], but we had that snowstorm and couldn't get there. I ended up walking around the perimeter of the Santa Rosa Plateau [to get my miles in.]

 WR:  I know that people can participate for free, but if they want to be full members, how much is that, and how much are typical events?
 KB:  A new walker packet is $5 with coupons for first three walks/events free. In the packet they receive two record keepers. One for distance and the other for events. All events get a sanction stamp number. After the three coupons walks cost $3.

If you're interested in walking locally, or in the greater SoCal area, send Kathy a message or give her a call (951) 218-3755. Better yet, come on down to Marna O'Brien park on June 6th and speak to her in person.

My tag line is I Walk to live and Live to walk.
 Kathy Bundy

Even those of you in mortal fear of Walmart can still enjoy this event despite the fact that they are a major sponsor.

 I D E A     T I M E 

Plan on coming out early and picking up a breakfast burrito prepared by
Boy Scout Troop 332. A good way to support a local youth organization 
and get some food in the ol' tum-tum at the same time.

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