Australia 9 May: Werribee - Geelong

The heart of Greater Geelong

Plenty of action today as we wend our way from Werribee towards Geelong.

A short run in from yesterday's ending point, saw us arriving at Werribee Primary School, where we were greeted by the Assistant Principal, Rosemary Doherty and several hundred enthusiastic children.

The Mayor of Wyndham City, Cr Heather Marcus attended the ceremony, to exchange letters with the ACT Chief Minister, which are being carried by the team all around Australia on the occasion of the Canberra Centenary. She expressed enthusiastic interest in the Peace Run and admiration for the runners in their commitment.

The children had prepared their own artwork on the theme of peace ...

... and participated eagerly in all parts of the ceremony ...

... including the actions of the Peace Run song ...

... and the moment's silence.

The students offered their artwork to us for the Peace Run travelling art exhibition:

... in return we were happy to offer them artwork we had brought from previous schools.

Reporters and photographers from two newspapers were in attendance: 'The Star' ...

... and 'The Wyndham Weekly'. Both took great care to capture some wonderful shots of the children with the Torch and some of the Peace Run team.

Our boys team then ran the 38 km out of Werribee.

Braced for the cool of Winter, we were pleasantly surprised by a balmy day of 24 degrees.

Our girls team had meanwhile run to our second school for the day, Rollins Primary, which they visited while the boys were still out running.

We were absolutely thrilled to be assisted by two local runners, Vibhita and Rachelle who joined us on the road. They said we inspired them but in fact, to share our day with them gave us heaps of joy.

At Rollins Primary we were greeted with a most enthusiastic welcome with many high fives, cheers and smiles.

When it came to explaining the message of the Peace Run we found the children extremely supportive and encouraging.

My favourite part was when the school formed a giant circle and all of the children passed the torch around.

You could easily see and feel the qualities in them that we should really nurture in the world.

Our third visit was to Hamlyn Banks Primary School ...

... where the children sat in neat rows in the yard in front of the school.

There was an ebullient atmosphere at this outdoor ceremony as the kids fully immersed themselves in all the activities of our program.

It was about 11 km to our final engagement for the afternoon. With relatively low mileage to cover today, we ran some of the way in tandem.

The final school for the day was Clairvaux Primary School, which embraced the Peace Run wholeheartedly.

After an honour guard of 'high-5s' as we entered the school grounds, the children sat quietly and attentively on the school lawn while we told them all about the Peace Run and what we are doing.

The Mayor of Greater Geelong, Cr Keith Fagg, addressed the children and spoke with heartfelt enthusiasm of his passion for running and for peace.

The Mayor – himself a marathon runner of distinction – has participated in many events organised by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in both Geelong and Melbourne, and made particular mention of the significance of the 'moment's silence' which precedes every event the Team stages.

The Principal told the Mayor and all the runners that we are always welcome at Clairvaux – a welcome we all felt in our hearts.

After the ceremony, Mayor Keith led the children to the school gate...

... and continued with our team for several kilometres from the school all the way to the Surf Coast Highway, from where our girls team had started for the final leg of the day's schedule, towards Torquay.

To round out the day, our boys team headed to Geelong's famous waterfront, and straightaway found the beautiful plaque which designates Geelong as a 'Sri Chinmoy Peace City'.

Peace runners do need to chill out as well …

... however, always keeping in mind and heart the vision of the Run - oneness family, happiness sharing and contributing to something meaningful.

We are about to hit the Great Ocean Road and we are extremely looking forward to it, especially with this amazing weather!

Although putting out the flame can be difficult when you are wet and getting cold…