Volkslauf: for a purpose

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Volkslauf: for a purpose

Brooke Howard

Brooke Howard

Brooke Howard

Participants run the Volkslauf on Oct. 11.

Brooke Howard, Reporter

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In 1997, a group of Marines designed a 10-kilometer run that would challenge and motivate participants by incorporating the traditional Marine mud obstacle course. Today, thousands of runners in Bakersfield alone team up and take over the course.

Many runners, volunteers and Marines were present at this year’s event Oct. 11 across from Meadows Field Airport.

Race director Denise Haynes commented on the motivation of the event.

“The motivation behind our efforts is twofold: to be able to give generously to several local sharable organizations, and to provide you, the zealous warriors, with an experience that will give you countless good stories and endless bragging rights.”

All the proceeds of the Volkslauf run go to charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Bakersfield Ronald McDonald house, Toys for Tots, Feed the Less Fortunate, Society for Disabled Children, and Boy Scouts.

The vigorous course itself held many challenges but as many know, Kern County is in a serious drought.

“The unprecedented drought besieging California this year has brought a significant change to the course dynamics,” Haynes said. “With this event consisting of many mud-based obstacles, tarps were used at the bottom of the mud pits and the main water obstacle was taken out completely.

One volunteer also said, “We tried to think of everything to make it fun and water efficient.”

Many Marines came from all over the country to participate in the Bakersfield Volkslauf and even held pull-up contests to give out T-shirts and water bottles.

One Marine helping with the pull-up contest was Sgt. Eleaza Zamano.

“I’ve been in the Marine Corps nine years, and it is a life changing experience and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it,” Zamano said. “This is a really nice motivating event that really focuses on teamwork. I really love this run.”

A kids’ course was also incorporated with The Young Marines, a youth group focused on drug reduction and healthy fit lifestyles, in charge of helping other children through the obstacles.

Executive Officer John Gonzales said, “This 501 Non-Profit organization, going on its 56th year, takes elementary to high school aged kids and teaches them hard work and good life skills.”

With a good cause and even better turnout, many people left tired, muddy and with smiles plastered on their face. To register for next years Bakersfield Volkslauf visit http://www.volkslauf.com/Register.aspx


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