Salisbury, North Carolina



Articles from Recent Newsletters

Club Group Walks - Why do one?

Many people do not do Year Round Events because they do not like to walk alone. This criticism is also heard about regular events that have low attendance. If no one is ready to start when you arrive, you walk alone. The club group walk solves this problem. Everyone starts at the same time and everyone walks because there are no tables or check points to man. Do we all walk at the same speed? Of course not. The faster walkers get ahead of the slower walkers. But in a group of 30 or 40 walkers, there are plenty of walkers at all speeds. Often, the faster walkers wait at the check point or some other convenient locations for the slower walkers to catch up and then the group starts together again. At the end, most walkers head for a local restaurant for lunch and a social event. This is a great way to spend a Saturday when there are no regular events to do. Join us next time.

Club Officer duties

At the end of each year the club needs to have an election of officers who will serve for the coming year. To help interested people understand what is involved in the offices, the duties of the various officers are:

President: The President is the chief executive of the club and as such, shall enforce all the provisions and purposes thereof. The club constitution limits the president to two consecutive terms. In addition, the President shall perform the following duties:

  1. Preside at all meetings of the club and the Executive Council.
  2. Appoint committee chairpersons as he/she deems necessary to carry out the administrative business of the club (Event, Membership, etc,).
  3. Be a member, Ex-Officio, of all committees except the Nominating Committee.
  4. Coordinate the work of the officers and all committees.
  5. Appoint a replacement to complete any office that becomes vacant, other than the presidency.
  6. Verify the club's bank account balance at least quarterly.
  7. Act as the representative of the Rowan Roamers at all meetings that are other than club membership and Executive Council meetings. But, unless authorized by the membership or the Executive Council, he/she shall not make commitments in the name of the Rowan Roamers without prior approval.

Vice President: The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence and shall act as the assistant to the President.

Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all proceedings of the club meetings and the executive committee meetings. In addition, the Secretary shall perform the following duties:

  1. Compile and record all activities from reports made by members or committees of the club, and from all volkssporting events held by the club.
  2. Have charge of and conduct the correspondence of the club unless the bylaws have established a separate position of Corresponding Secretary.

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall receive all dues and other funds paid or donated to the club and issue a receipt for such income when requested or required. Except where limited by the by-laws, the Treasurer shall dispense funds of the club for the purpose of paying any debts or liabilities incurred by the club. In addition, the Treasurer shall perform the following duties:

  1. Within seven days of receiving funds, deposit such funds in the name of the Rowan RoamersVolkssport Club in a bank which is a member of, and whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or in a Credit Union that is federally insured.
  2. Prepare and provide a financial statement and balance sheet annually that accounts for the financial condition of the Rowan Roamers Volkssport Club.

Senior Advisor: The Senior Advisor (immediate past President) shall be available to provide advice to the current officers of the club and continuity between the past and current administration. The Senior Advisor shall be a member of the Executive Council and shall have a vote in the committee only in the event of a tie vote of the elected officers. Otherwise, he/she is a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.

What Is a Volksswim?

Volksswims are 300 meters in length. They earn event credit but no distance credit. The only requirement is that the participant goes the 300 meters without leaving the pool. If the pool is shallow enough, the event can be walked. The editor has seen participants pull themselves along on the ropes or hang on to the drain gutter when the water is too deep to walk through. It is also possible to double the number of laps and just use the shallow half of the pool. Our swim in Mocksville is the only swim in the Carolinas. It is particularly inviting after doing the walk on a hot, sticky day. The YMCA waives its admission fees for those doing the Volksswim. When we have done the swim during the week, we were usually the only people in the pool. On Saturdays, the pool is divided into separate areas for recreation and lap swimming, but it is never crowded.

How Long is a Volkmarch?

There are really two answers to this question.

The first answer is administrative, it deals with sanctioning. The IVV defines a short walk as 10 to 15 km and a medium walk as 20 to 30 km. This is the international standard. The IVV recently allowed a 5 km distance in conjunction with a regular event of 10 or more kilometers. IVV requirements state that both a short and medium event be offered. AVA allows a walker to do the 10 km twice on the same start card to cover this requirement. Year Round Events must have a sanctioned distance of at least 10 km.

The second answer is practical, it deals with how far the walker actually went. AVA rules state that the walker receives credit for the distance actually walked, regardless of the sanctioned distance. They talk about "functionally disadvantaged" walkers without defining the term. If a walker feels that he/she is only capable of doing a portion of the route, the walker receives event credit and distance credit is given for actual distance walked. Basically, you can walk as far as you are able and record that distance in the distance book. This may require a number of insert pages to get the total distance required for submission of the book. A suggestion from the editor: If you reach the eight kilometer point and start to feel pooped, don't turn back.

Hints for YRE Walkers

  1. Protect your IVV record books. Use a waterproof zip-lock bag and replace it when it wears out. There are two types of ink pads used in start boxes. A business pad has permanent ink that doesn't run or wash out. An art pad has water-based ink that will run when wet. These pads have non-traditional colors and produce a colorful record book. I had the corner of a book get wet and half of an orange stamp disappeared.
  2. What to do with the directions after completing a YRE. One possibility is to return it to the box for someone else to use. I keep a set of all YRE directions and take a copy when we go to a YRE This allows more flexibility in start times. For example, the restaurant start point at Morganton does not open early. With the map, we can go to the park adjacent to the restaurant, use the park facilities, do the walk, and be back to the restaurant as it opens. We then fill out the log and start cards, stamp our books, and EAT AT THE RESTAURANT. We also check the maps in the box to see if the route has been revised. What if we did a route that has been changed? I've never heard of a club sending a walker a bottle of "white-out" because they missed a check point.
  3. Mark the map for future use. The locations of restrooms and food can make planning a future trip more enjoyable. Also, an alternate start point can be marked. Some events, like Charlotte, have parking problems. Finding a space or paying an exorbitant amount can ruin a walk. There are shopping centers on the walk route. Park there, do the walk to the start point, do the box bit, and finish the walk.

Early Volksporting History

This year is IVV's 35th anniversary. The article below is taken from the Newsletter of the Peninsula Pathfinders. It first appeared in a 1983 issue of the Pathfinder's newsletter.

Volkssport evolved from public running races (Volkslauf) sponsored by sporting clubs in Southern Germany, which were held in the early 1960s. In 1963, the sports Club of Bobingen, a small town near Augsburg, Germany, organized the first Volkslauf (run of the folks) to stir interest in the club among the general public. The idea caught on quickly in Bavaria, and within several years, Volkslaufs were being sponsored by sports clubs throughout Southern Germany.

In 1968, the Intemationaler Volkssportverbandes (IVV) was founded by West Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria. One year later, 15 Volksmarches were held in Southern Bavaria. These were the first events that resembled the Volksmarch events as we know them today. These events really caught on with the urban dwelling German who welcomes a little exercise on the weekends, a chance to breathe country air, and a chance to receive some recognition for his/her efforts. These events had no time limits or classifications, and wanderers both young and old could participate as they pleased and as they were able. Participants were from the general public - this meant everyone was welcome - parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even the family pets. (European stores close at noon on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays, so people tend to get out and socialize on weekends!)

Walks proved to be more popular than runs. The IVV originally sponsored only Volksmarches, which are still the predominate event but has steadily grown to include other sports contests: bicycling (Radfahren), skiing (Skiwandern), and swimming (Schwimmen). Volkssports started in the USA in 1976 in Fredericksburg, Texas, as the International People's Sport (IPS). In June 1979, the AVA was formally organized and officially recognized by the IW as a member country.

Stride and Pedometers

What is a pedometer? It is a device that counts the number of steps that a walker takes. The length of stride can be set and the display shows the length of stride multiplied by the number of steps taken. It is only accurate when the length of stride entered is the same as the actual length of stride that the walker takes.

The number of steps taken in a 10 km walk depends on the length of stride.

Stride Length (inches)Number of steps

If a walker has a 25 inch stride, he will take 15748 steps. If the pedometer is set for 24 inches, it will read 9.6 km at the end of the walk. If it is set for 26 inches, the final total will be 10.4 km. The error grows when the setting is further off. Suppose you know your stride is 25 inches and the pedometer is set correctly. At the start of the walk, you meet an old friend and decide to walk together. Your friend is a slow walker so you shorten your stride to 21 inches to stay together. At the end, the pedometer reads almost 11.9 km.

One can walk a known distance and count strides to calculate stride length. However, stride length changes with terrain. Walking on a trail with rocks and roots will cause a shortening of stride, as will going up and down hills. Beach walks cause an additional problem. I tried to use a pedometer to measure a beach walk. After 30 minutes of walking, I checked my pedometer and it read 100 meters. The sand was so soft that the pedometer could not detect a step to count it.

Reminiscenses of a Volksmarcher

The Winston Wanderers Walking Club recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and, in November, Winnie and I celebrate twenty years of Volksmarching. We got started when we moved to Florida to do analysis for the Navy. My secretary asked me what we were doing one weekend and I answered that we would go to a State Park and walk. She mentioned that she was doing a Volksmarch in a State Park and suggested we try it. We did and are still doing it.

Twenty years ago, there were no year round events. There was a single regular event held about once a month, but it would be held on both Saturday and Sunday. Walkers came from all over. With few events available, volksmarchers tried to arrange their schedules to get to as many events as possible. The first event in Panama City that we worked at drew walkers from as far away as Richmond and Louisiana. Our club members returned the complement by supporting those clubs. We drove all day Saturday, walked Sunday morning, and drove home on Sunday. Attendance at events was between 150 and 250 walkers on a good day. Since computers and email did not exist, clubs spent hours folding fliers, addressing envelopes, and licking stamps. Most clubs put on two events per year.

Publicity was a problem. The local papers did not see Volksmarching as a sport. No scores, no winners, therefore no sport. The only place the local paper would list our events was the society page, with the bridge tournaments and the quilting bees.

Over time, the number of clubs increased and the year round events were introduced. With more walks available, the need to travel was less and attendance started to drop off. Events became primarily local in nature. Since the number of walkers on Sunday was about one-fourth of the Saturday group, the events were shortened to one day. This did not hurt much since walkers were no longer driving all day to get to events.

Since the clubs remained small, new incentives to attend events were introduced. The multiple event weekend with walks and bikes seemed to bring more participation but bad weather could be catastrophic. Volksmarching was shifting into a survival mode.

Six years ago, I retired and we moved to the Piedmont. We quickly found the Clubs here and started walking. The mixture of regular events and group walks provided walks almost every weekend.

Computers and email partially eliminated the need and cost of sending out fliers and newsletters. For those with dial-up modems, it was necessary to write the fliers into the newsletters as articles. Scanned fliers were too large for many members to download.

Tarheel 100 Memories

From Dick and Winnie

Winnie and I went to the Tarheel 100 wrap up with the expectations of doing lots of walking. Unfortunately, she developed a cold and we had to cut back on walking, doing 5 km for two of the walks. From what we heard, we missed walking in some beautiful areas. But we had a good time and saw many memorable things.

The guided walk in Raeford was supported by the community. The start point was the meeting room of the Library. The walk wandered around the whole town, through many residential areas and the small, but well-preserved downtown. At the museum, the museum staff set up a refreshment area in the gazebo. They provided drinks, fruit, snacks and tours of the historic house that contains the museum. The museum was not supposed to be open that day but the staff opened it and welcomed us in grand style. One staff member had Volksmarched in Europe and created paper medals as a souvenir of the visit. The flowers and homes along the route were beautiful, but the most memorable part of the walk was the people, particularly the head librarian and the museum staff. We did all 10 km on this one. The forecast was for rain and it rained while we were driving to Raeford, but it stopped before the walk and never resumed.

The Lumberton guided walk on Saturday afternoon started in a large park near the Lumber River. We had a picnic shelter for the start point. We did the 5 km walk here. It went around a large lake and then out and back on the river levee. While our group was on the levee, someone in the back yelled “bikes”. Two bikes started to pass us and stopped when they reached Winnie and me. The lead biker asked what was going on. I tried to explain. When I said Volksmarch. He said he had Volksmarched in Germany. I mentioned our newsletter and he produced a business card (I didn’t think bikers carried cards but he does). He was Erich Hackney, a Lumberton councilman. I mentioned that we were all eating at River City Restaurant and he introduced the second biker, the owner of the restaurant. Since we would not get into the city, we drove to the downtown to see the historic buildings that have been restored. On the way, we passed many houses where the azaleas, dogwood, and wisteria were in full bloom. The second 5 km part must have been beautiful.

Sunday’s walk in Clinton started in the Wellness Center of the Hospital. They had advertised it locally and a number of residents did the 5 km portion as we did. This wandered through residential areas which were in full bloom and the downtown which still had most of its historic buildings. The wellness center set up a refreshment table with healthy drinks and snacks for the walkers.

The banquet at the River City Grill was as good as advertised. The room was large and the acoustics allowed every one to hear the program. The restaurant has a large buffet and that is how we got our food. We made as many trips as we wanted and chose the food that appealed to us. This eliminated the need to choose beforehand from a limited menu and allowed everyone to eat at the same time without waiting for service. The food was well prepared, hot, of many varieties, and very good. The program was short and well run. The 15 people completing the program received their well-deserved recognition and the raffle raised a fair amount of money for the state organization. The big prize was a $100 gift certificate from the New Balance Store in Raleigh and was won by a person from Raleigh. New Balance is no longer connected with AVA but the Raleigh store still supports Volksmarching.

All-in-all, it was a great weekend. These counties were left for last because the clubs thought that it would be difficult to find good routes. Actually, these were three of the best walks.

From Judy Michele, Tarheel 100 Weekend Coordinator

We delivered the checks and the Start Cards to Ralph Barnes on Saturday -- so, as soon as he goes to the bank, the Tarheel Weekend will be finished.

A huge thank you to all of you for your hard work. Dick Feldmann asked for our thoughts on the weekend, here are mine:

I was overwhelmed by the degree of spontaneous cooperation among all the NC clubs to put this weekend together. Each walk, the banquet, the volunteers came off without a hitch. The walks were good (and better than I anticipated), the food was good, the spirit of camaraderie was at its highest -- everyone, newbie and seasoned, seemed to have a good time... I just hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

As for the numbers, we had over 200 credit walks for the weekend, sold $100+ worth of Specialties including some New Walker packets, collected $26 in Donations and $200+ on the raffle. So Tarheel is in good shape to continue the program for those walks the clubs do not want to repeat.

A reminder, there were over 70 walkers present; only 16 completed the Tarheel 100. That means over 50 walkers are interested in the County program. So dust off those old Directions and Maps for past County walks and either get them in your schedules for the next few years or send them to Dennis,, so that Tarheel can offer them as seasonals.

One more reminder, the Amblers July 22 walk at Crabtree Falls covers 3 counties without YREs; Yancey, Mitchell and McDowell. The brochure should be ready by early May and on our Website,

From Margaret Little

It has been a 7+ year adventure to complete walking the 100 counties of NC but Loren and I have enjoyed many fun and different walks and feel privileged to have shared this adventure with so many friends. Of the 65 friends at the 100 Counties banquet in Lumberton we had met all through volkssporting.

As I started thinking about the 100 County celebration I wanted to see where we had walked so I started by placing a dot on the NC State map to show all the places we had walked and that even surprised myself when I saw the places marked on one page. When I showed the map to a friend at work she challenged me to put photos together in an album to go with the map. Well the photo album became 2 albums and continuing. I will enjoy sharing the albums and the map with walkers and non-walkers.

As I worked on the photo pages many memories came flooding back to me. One in particular; as we were approximately 2/3 the way up Grandfather Mountain we met Sheila and Logan Brown at a rest point(at this time, I think Logan was about 7 or 8 yrs). Sheila was wanting to stop at that point but Logan turned to us and said, "Mom., if you don't want to go to the top, I'll go with Mr and Mrs Little!!" To make a long story short we have a photo of Sheila and Logan at the top of Grandfather Mountain!!

Another fun time was seeing a limo in Love Valley with all the horse riders. When walking the Warrenton walk we were serenaded by a man playing a full size harp in the doorway of his store.

As I think of the many types of food we have prepared, served and shared at the various walks, I'm thinking of compiling a "Where To Eat " book.

To all my walking friends, "THANKS for the MEMORIES"!

In Case Of Emergency (ICE)... from Loren Little

We volkssporters tend to be an independent and, at least in our own minds, invincible lot. We head out alone, as couples or as groups with no doubt that we will successfully and safely complete our intended walk, shopping trip or any other outing. But what if the unthinkable were to happen and we were to not make it to the end of our outing?

Not a problem! We have our identification documents and insurance/Medicare cards in our wallets/purses; and we may even have ICE (In Case Of Emergency) or "911" numbers identified in our cell phones – all of which are - - securely stored in the trunk of our car which is probably parked somewhere near the start point of our walk. But who knows where we are, what we drove to the start point or where it is really parked? Probably no one but us.

Okay, so someone does know where we went, what we drove and where we parked. And they are able to get to our (remember, securely stored) documents. What information will they be able to glean from those documents? Certainly name, address and maybe basic insurance information. Significant medical conditions and medications being taken? Allergies that could have severe implications in emergency treatment? Primary Care Physician? Who should be contacted and how to contact them? Maybe, but my guess is that in most cases the answer is “Probably Not.” Some recent events in the life of our club have served to highlight some of our vulnerabilities and how little we really know about each other.

I would urge everyone to devise a document that they will carry with them with any information they would want known early-on in case of an emergency situation in which they were not able to adequately communicate. I would even suggest that multiple copies be made to maximize the probability of having at least one copy with you at all times. (We now have copies in our wallets, our hats and our backpacks.) Hopefully, none of us will ever need this document, but I think it far better to have it and not need it than to be in the hospital ER or ICU with all these questions unanswered.

Editorial: When is Five Plus Five Not Ten?

The AVA Policy Manual. Section 4.02 TRADITIONAL (REGULAR) VOLKSSPORTING IVV EVENTS states “Permitting the small distance to be walked twice in lieu of a 10 km walk is not allowed.” The small distance walk is a 5 km walk. A person walking the 5 km trail twice must register twice and pay two registration fees. The club must pay AVA two participation fees.

This ought to be changed. Many 5 km walks are more than just a short version of the 10 km walk. Often the 5 km offers a walk that has an less challenging trail from a terrain viewpoint. Many of our members are becoming terrainchallenged. Balance and coordination problems tell us to avoid trails with roots, rocks, and erosion damage. Those of us with knee and hip degeneration also avoid these trails to avoid aggravating existing conditions. (When I see a trail with a D or E rating, I look for somewhere else to walk.) It makes sense to allow a person who wants 10 km of safer walking to do the 5 km trail twice.

Also, a walker might find it convenient to walk the 5 km trail, stay at the start point to rest a few hours or WORK, and then complete the 5 km walk again to get the 10 km.

If the intent of the rule was to prevent an event with a 5 km trail which everyone walks twice, then the wording should be changed. I have been to events where there was just a 5 km loop which was walked once in each direction. I don’t recall anyone objecting. One was a great walk in an area which just did not allow a 10 km trail. Perhaps, all we need is to change the word ‘permitting’ to ‘requiring”.

Also, clubs need to provide separate trail ratings for each walk when the 5 and 10 kilometer trails have different levels of difficulty.

Olympic Racewalking

Racewalking is an Olympic Sport and in the 2012 Summer Olympics the men’s 50 kilometer event was won by a Russian in a time of 3 hours, 39 minutes and 59 seconds. That amounts to 44 minutes for each 10 kilometers. The women’s 20 kilometer event was also won by a Russian in a time of 1 hour, 25 minutes and 2 seconds. That is 42.5 minutes for each 10 kilometers. The best USA could do was 43rd in the men’s race and 29th in the women’s race.

New Rules for Logging Kilometers Over 22,000 Kilometers

The NEC voted at the June 2014 meeting to allow new rules for logging kilometers earned over 22,000. Presently, once you reach 22,000 you fill a yellow book for 3,000 to reach 25,000 and continue in the yellow book for 5,000 after that. You now have the option of continuing to use the orange book after reaching 22,000 kilometers. As you finish each new 1,000 kilometers over 22,000, you will receive a certificate. You will receive the normal pins, patches and certificates for 22,000, 25,000 and increments of 5,000 over 25,000. Please make sure each orange book you send in has the total kilometers at the top that you have reached so Karen may log in the correct level you have obtained. This change is effective immediately.