Hundreds run Volkslaufe Race - WNEM TV 5

Hundreds run Volkslaufe Race

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FRANKENMUTH, MI (WNEM) -

Hundreds of people laced up their tennis shoes and donned patriotic running gear for Frankenmuth's Volkslaufe Race on Friday morning.

One thing was not in shortage at the 39th annual Volkslaufe Race in Frankenmuth on Friday: red, white and blue.

"A lot of families come back year after year and it's part of their family tradition over the Fourth of July to not only enjoy the festivities, but run the race with their families for generations and generations," said Jamie Furbush, race director.

It was a beautiful day to kick off the Fourth of July weekend.

"I've run this race six or eight times and this is the nicest it's ever been in terms of weather," said Joe Whitman, Swartz Creek runner.

The morning started with a 10k and 20k run, followed by a 5k and 2k. With fireworks the night before, the second day Volkslaufe event drew crowds of hundreds in Frankenmuth.

"I think many races you go to, you just go to the race and you run and leave. But here it's a very festive activity. Kind of like the old Fourth of July picnics, with the Frankenmuth Om-Pah-Pah band playing, chicken barbecues and people having a great day with their families," Mayor Gary Rupprecht said.

Other than kicking off a great Fourth of July weekend, one thing that makes this race interesting is the winners receive German steins imported from Germany as their prizes.

"I love the steins they give us at the end of the race. And it's nice because you can run both races," said Jason LaFave, Sanford runner.

The race was founded by a member of the Frankenmuth Jaycees in 1976 and he still runs the race, Rupprecht said.

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