About 1,000 exercise enthusiasts from around the country will be in Des Moines June 22-24 for the American Volkssport Convention. The event, which includes 11 organized walks throughout the state and association business meetings at the Polk County Convention Complex, starts Saturday, June 18 and runs through Sunday, June 26. The Greater Des Moines Volkssport Association is the local club hosting this convention through the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) Des Moines Connector program.

"It's fitting that Des Moines, named one of the top ten healthiest cities by Parenting Magazine, is hosting this group," said Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Volkssporting is a personal fitness and sports program offering non-competitive walking, biking, swimming, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and rowing. Walking, also known as volkswalking or volksmarching, is the most popular volkssport activity with most being 10K walks (6.2 miles) on marked paths or with guided leaders.

The public is invited to participate in the Des Moines walk on Friday, June 24 as of 7 a.m. Walkers will tour Downtown Des Moines and residential neighborhoods. Registration for this walk is $2. More info can be found here.

Interview and story ideas:
  • There are eight local residents from this club that have walked at least one 10K in all 50 states.
  • Some walks will have up to 700 people participating; more than 530 walkers are expected for the Des Moines walk.
  • American Volkssport Convention has a statewide economic impact of $750,000, of which $500,000 will be in Polk County.
For additional information, visit ava.org or call Susan Pinneke at (515) 255-3653.