Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sri Chinmoy Peace Run passes through Quad Cities

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BREWSTER—When Rupasi Young and Hastakamala Diaz carried their Global Torch across the Bridge Street Bridge on Saturday, June 29, they were performing in miniature what the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run has been doing in mass, running for world harmony since 1987.

The day-long leg of the event that passed through Brewster began in Methow earlier that morning and was scheduled to reach Grand Coulee Dam.

The run was founded by the late Sri Chinmoy, an Indian-born spiritual leader as well as an author, artist, musician, and poet. Billed as the world’s largest peace torch relay has covered more than 395,000 miles in 155 countries involving more than 7 million participants. The two major 2024 runs are in Europe and the USA/Canada. The Europe will touch 27 countries over more than 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers). The four-month, 12,000-plus mile circuit around the USA and through southern Canada started and will end in New York City. 

The USA/Canada relay began in New York on April 15. The first leg of the Washington State relay went from Portland, Oregon, to Chehalis on June 19, Seattle - June 20, Edmonds - June 21, Port Angeles - June 22, Bellingham/Diablo – June 27, Mazama/Twisp – June 28, Bridgeport – Jun2 29, and Grand Coulee – June 30.

The Peace Run website, peacerun.org, provides daily updates from the cities the runners are visiting that day. The Peace Run comes to the USA, Canada, and Mexico every two years. The website updates the routes so followers can see how close the event will come to their locations.

“Our team of 11 people started in New York. and some are currently still on that team. Others join whenever they can,” said Young. “For instance, I joined at the Peace Arch (Blaine).”

Young’s running partner is Australian-born Diaz, who joined the Peace Rin in Seattle. She explained a part of the prominent history that forms some of the Peace Torch’s legacy.

“This torch has been held by many, many people all around the world,” said Diaz. “Famous people, ordinary people, Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Pope Francis.”

To add a personal touch to the torch, wildflowers found along the route are often inserted in place of the flame as ambassadors of the local fauna.

Young said she will remain with the run as it progresses through southern Canada to Regina, Saskatchewan. 

“I started with the Peace Run in 1987 when I was an intern,” said Young, who now functions as one of the run coordinators. “I ran through this segment back in 2012.”

Everyone who runs has a million of these small moments that are life-changing,” said Young. “All across America, I’ve noticed that it seems the heart of America is in its small towns.”

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or michael@ward.media 

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