Hundreds of Mid-Michigan runners participated in the 44th annual Volkslaufe Races in Frankenmuth with runners embarking on a 5, 10, or even 20K run on country roads.
After runners struggled with the blistering heat last year, they made a few changes to keep things running smoother this year.
Joe Burns and Scott Fiske run the Volkslaufe in Frankenmuth every year.
For The People’s Race's 44th year, they chose the 5K race but before they start, they're giving a little boost of encouragement to other runners.
“It just fun to be out here and just cheering folks on,” Burns said.
“It’s just what goes around comes around so they’ll be cheering us on when we finish,” Fiske said.
While they're staying cool as fans on the sidelines, both Burns and Fiske recall last year’s race when the warm weather hit dangerous conditions for some runners.
“Yes, it was very hot when I did the 20K last year and I can definitely attest to the fact it was very hot,” Fiske said.
Volkslaufe organizers say during last year’s events, more than 40 cases of heat induced injury or illnesses were responded to by EMS.
To help beat the heat this year they moved all races up by one hour.
“This year we have Covenant Healthcare down here helping us,” said Danielle Daugharty, a race chair person. “The EMS is on standby. We added extra water stations and then by moving the race events one hour up we’re hoping running in cooler temperatures will decrease medical needs for our runners.”
“It’s a wonderful race to begin with and just the fact they moved it back regardless for safety reasons or not I think the runners are really enjoying the fact that it’s 7 o’clock so it’s cool and then they’re done at 8,” Burns said.
The late start is a welcome change that runners are hoping becomes tradition for the Volkslaufe’s 45th year.