Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

July 10, 2007

Volksmarch Poem

Volksmarch SAGA

Waking up early on a Saturday morn,
Have I really willingly from my bed torn?
I hop in your car with a bleary-eyed grin,
You sip at your coffee with a touch of chagrin.

We’re off to go walking, too late to wonder why,
Though the day is so new, still black is the sky.
Once again our weekend sojourn is about to begin,
We plug in the Lady, car wheels start to spin.

Once at the starthalle, we’ve done this before,
I don’t think I need your help anymore.
You grab another coffee to wake yourself up,
I’ll find some cake, with cherries on top.

The process is simple as long as you’re here,
We’re gonna go walking, there’s nothing to fear.
First we need a startcard, to carry along,
Then stamps at Kontrolles, to prove that we’ve gone.

Don’t forget your camera, some Euro and phone,
Even on the trail, you’re not so alone.
Fill your pockets with flyers, that’s Werber in Deutsch,
Ipod and/or water, it’s really your choice.

To find the trail, just follow the signs,
Meant to be obvious, wild colors and lines.
Great arrows on pavement, in white spray paint,
Chalk lines as well, or trees encircled in tape.

Once back at the Starthalle, a stamp in our books,
So often we turn them in, to jealous looks.
The prize is a paper, a patch, and a pin,
Yet another empty book, to begin again.

The trail can be anything from rocky to flat,
We curse on the uphills, and then run after that.
The forests are peaceful and so are clear streams,
Wandering through vineyards and fields so green.

The trails in the towns sometimes follow a street,
Past churches and playgrounds and places to eat.
Bridges and train tracks, around graveyards of old,
Flowerbeds and tractors, barking dogs so bold.

If we get hungry there’s plenty to eat,
Homemade cakes and pies are oh so sweet.
On the trail we drink tea, and maybe a beer,
Plenty of cheese-bread and bratwurst here.

In winter needing layers of clothing gets old,
With frost and with fog and with blustery cold.
In summer the sun blows the clouds all away,
We revel in sunshine, wear glasses for shade.

Sometimes it’s windy and raining and cold,
Let’s hope our shoes don’t have any holes.
This European weather is hard to predict,
I hope my raincoat survives all these drips.

Along the path we pause to play around,
Feeling spry today? Then try the playground!
Loggers give us too many obstacles to count,
More points to the one with the best dismount.

Sun warms the hay bales, how ‘bout a nap?
Instead let’s try rolling them, it’ll be a snap.
We moo at the cows and baa at the sheep,
Stop to pet horses and want them for keeps.

Windy days under windmills are thrilling,
And campfires keep our hands from chilling.
The trail stretches always endless ahead,
Sometimes on hillsides we pray for a bend.

We pass by many just ambling along,
Couples hand in hand, and some are alone.
Hordes of people, all on the same walk,
Clubs in matching jackets, engaged in talk.

Germans wearing knickers and feathered cap,
Then I always try to get you to wear that.
We laugh at the costumes and cry at the pain,
Of walking and walking and walking again.

A 1SG volksmarch is open to all,
Soldiers and families, large or small.
A 5k’s enough with a stroller to push,
Take your time, don’t be in a rush.

Our friends and family reluctantly come,
Lured by the mention of pastries and sun.
Often, too, they lay still sleeping in beds,
After the chill of morning air hits our heads.

In the darkness of winter, it’s a Fackel day,
We all burn bright torches to light our way.
The trail crosses a field with a blanket of snow,
The long chain of our torches reflects the glow.

Sometimes we swim in a pool, please don’t drown,
Add a bike trip as well, it’s a triple crown.
But mostly we walk, through good days and bad,
Talking and laughing about the times we’ve had.

At least eight times a year, a marathon week,
42 k is the distance we seek.
1SG marathons draw a big crowd,
The talk beforehand is boisterous and loud.

We empty our pockets and walk along slow,
Bring along friends just to lighten the load.
A Ziploc of gummies is worth the weight,
When plodding up a hill, we just can’t wait.

We slip in the mud and sully our pants,
Wish for a camera to record our rants.
A whole day of walking just to earn our prize,
The coveted patch is a sight for sore eyes.

Now friends ask us often, what is it we seek?
What brings us together, out week after week?
Why we get up so early, travel so far from home,
For the sake of some patches, a stamp in our tome.

You say it’s the need to come again and again,
To enjoy the outdoors, away from everyone.
We mention the passion for friendship, for freedom,
I shrug and gesture, say, “Hey, it's just fun.”