Runners participating in the North American leg of a global torch relay made a stop in Lee’s Summit to help spread the message of worldwide peace and harmony.
The 27th annual Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run continued its journey across the United States with a brief pass through Lee’s Summit May 19. The trek began in New York City April 11 and continued its designated route through eastern and southern states before hitting Midwest cities Memphis (May 13), St. Louis (May 16) and Kansas City.
According to the organization’s website, the run is a global relay that seeks to promote international friendship and understanding. Since its inception in 1987 the run has traversed more than 100 nations forging ahead in rain, sleet or snow.
“We do run throughout the day regardless of the weather conditions,” said runner Antara-Prabhat, a singer-songwriter from Seattle, Wash. now working in New York. “At night, if it’s really bad we’ll check into a motel. We’re lucky enough to get some of our motels donated along the way, but if we don’t do that, we usually camp.”
“It’s great because you met a lot of people,” added fellow runner Sandro Zincarini, a native of Italy now living in Austria. “That really fuels us to run. It’s magic. To describe it, it’s really magic.”
The run is named in the honor of Sri Chinmoy, an internationally recognized spiritual leader who tried to unite people from different cultures and walks of life to work for a more fulfilling world. A strong advocate for the role of sports as a powerful instrument for promoting global harmony, Chinmoy was an athlete, philosopher, artist and poet who dedicated his life to advancing the ideals of world peace and oneness.
The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run is organized by an international network of volunteers inspired Chinmoy’s vision of a more peaceful world.
Organizers divide the run 100 miles at a time split between four teams. The goal is to cover 100 miles each day.
After a weekend of rest, Antara-Prabhat and Zincarini started their May 19 journey in Pittsville and finished up in Kansas City, Kan. before moving on to Oklahoma City May 23.
Both runners, who alternate every two miles during their stint on the trail, said their aim with the run is to help spread the word of Chinmoy’s message.
“Peace to me means everyone has made an effort to get along,” said Antara-Prabhat, “and that we are trying to achieve a deeper level of understanding of each other so that there is less bad things happening in the world..”
Zincarini, a runner in the event since 2006, added: “Peace is not just being quiet and not having problems with others. It’s when you have that feeling of satisfaction in life; a love of oneness with one another. Like a glowing feeling that things are going well. It might seem like a distant target , but you start with the small things and you start with a message that is pure as can be. We just want to spread the message and do it ourselves.”
The North American leg of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run will end with a return trip to New York Aug. 15.