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May 4, 2017

Get your walking shoes on and go volkssporting

By Perki Sweet

Walking4Grab your favorite walking shoes, rain gear, hat, gloves and sun glasses and join other walkers from across the United States and British Columbia for the Seabreeze Walking Festival in Ocean Shores over the long weekend of Feb. 18-20, 2017.

The event is sponsored by Capitol Volkssport Club and held at Ocean Shores every other year.

Volkssporting is a movement that got its start in Germany in 1968 and now exists in more than 40 countries, according to the American Volkssporting Association.

The idea is to promote fitness and good health in a non-competitive, stress-free environment through self-paced walks and hikes. Some events include bike rides and swims, and in some regions cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The walks are the most common events and are often referred to as volksmarching.

Walking11For the Seabreeze event, eight different walks are charted out around Ocean Shores and other beach towns farther north. There are beach walks for those who especially like to walk next to the pounding surf and watch for sea birds. But for those who prefer to walk, shop and stop for coffee, there will be town walks in Ocean Shores, Seabrook and Pacific Beach.

All events, including Seabreeze, are sanctioned and records are kept for those who complete particular walks. You’ll know the volkssporting veterans by the number of pins and badges they sport from past events. Walkers choose when they want to start a particular walk and must finish within a certain window of time.

A Saturday evening catered dinner is optional. So is an evening walk and beach bonfire with refreshments, weather permitting.

Directions for all the walks will be available at the Ocean Shores Lions Club, 832 Ocean Shores Blvd. NW, at 8 a.m. each day. If you don’t have a walking buddy, come anyway. Group walks happen every day, offering an opportunity to make new friends. Other than walking on beach sand, most walks are fairly easy and typically have options from 5 to 10 kilometers (3.2-6.4 miles). Walking sticks are considered helpful by many.

Walking9Some walkers also like to bring their bicycles. Biking routes are available on flat roads around the Ocean Shores peninsula. All walking and bike events are free, unless you are walking for Volkssport credit; and free walkers are always welcome.

For more information about the weekend, including details of the walks and a Saturday night dinner reservation form (reservations are required), check out the Capitol Volkssport Club website at

www.capitolvolkssportclub.org.

Coming Events: Hundreds of events are planned around the region. For a list go to AVA.org

 

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Exercise, Health