Nov. 7, 2014 Live from the road

Renmark, SA - Mildura, Vic

Reported by Felix Lindner, Grahak Cunningham, Stacey Marsh 144.0 km

The whole team made it down to the Renmark Hotel who kindly offered to feed all the team their scrumptious breakfast.

As we were about to sit down for breakfast we met Les Sullivan who is rowing the Murray on a 4.5 metre row boat that he built himself. He had seen us on his travels and Renmark was where we crossed paths. He has to stop briefly on his expedition to have a little heart surgery and will be in Canberra the same time we will be. We hope to see him there!

With a forecast of some hot weather we tried to get on the road early. But with the time change as we left South Australia soon after we left Renmark and crossed the border, our early start was soon gone.

Temperatures soared today.

The mercury reached 38 degrees.

The feeling was like coming back to the desert, which was really nice ...

... the difference being that here we are only surrounded by fields of cereals ...

... on a highway with many more cars and trucks than in the desert.

All day today the team ran on the Sturt Highway, the biggest road we have run on so far.

So we had to adapt: it meant a lot more tooting and waving as the cars passed us by and there was a lot more holding of our hats as trucks thundered past. Atul lost his hat at one stage; it rolled like a tumbleweed before coming to rest in the dust.

A ride in a plush air conditioned limo would have been nice.

Our first school was 135 km into our day, at The Lakes Primary School. The Principal, Rod, had seen one of us running along the road not too long before and quickly offered water when we arrived.

Here 200 students welcomed us into their school.

Atul hosted the presentation.

Yasodevi spoke about finding inner peace. “And where do you find it?” she asked ...

... “In the library,” came the response from a knowledgeable youngster.

Placing their hands on their heart they soon learnt another place within themselves they can find peace.

Actions with the song.

The two school captains, Simone Palamara and Gus Rogers came up to receive the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of their school.

The Flame of Peace brings forward a glimmer of the soul.

Take off!

This was the girl’s team cue to go, as we had to make it to the next school 8 km away in about 40 minutes.

To cover the kms we took off and made our way towards Mildura.

It seemed like the temperature got hotter as we ran ...

... I arrived at Mildura Primary School looking like I had just run a marathon!

Here the Principal David Midgley heartily welcomed us.

The students had formed a Guard of Honour ...

... to welcome the Peace Torch to their school and into their hearts.

We all assembled in their hall and here Pranava spoke about the Peace Run before introducing the runners to give clues about their respective countries of origin ...

... which led to some enthusiastic guessing of the countries!

The two school captains, Zac MacKay and Shakara Dekastegne, came up to accept the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the school.

We then went out to the oval to light the Torch. As there were so many students, to give everyone a chance to hold the Peace Torch and make a wish for Peace, we had two torches going so all could make their wish before running with us around their oval.

Happy faces of Mildura Primary School.

After a brief pause ...

... we ran through Mildura to our last appointment of the day down at the Mall, where Mayor Glen Milne was to welcome the Peace Run to the city.

Set for the TV cameras ...

... before a ceremonial run in to the function.

Smilingly greeted by Mayor Milne.

Grahak Cunningham introduced the program.

Mayor Milne was pleased to welcome the Peace Run to Mildura and spoke of how proud all of Mildura was to be such a multicultural city, with 66 different nationalities.

He pointed to some of the flags adorning the stage which represented a small portion of this diverse city’s population.

He saw the similarities with our diverse group of runners from 10 nations working together to share the message of Peace and how if this can be achieved on a small scale it can be enlarged to spread through the world.

The team introduced themselves, and their countries.

This was a special engagement as it marked the occasion of the presentation of the second plaque designating the Murray as a Sri Chinmoy Peace River. National Coordinator of the Peace Run in Australia, Stacey Marsh, presented the plaque to Mayor Milne.

This plaque will be placed in the soon to be redeveloped waterfront area, in a place where people can sit in quiet contemplation and reflection.

Singing Sri Chinmoy's Peace Run song.

At the conclusion of the formalities the team spent time talking to everyone there, including the reporter from the Sunraysia Daily and the local TV station.

Such a warm reception we have received from Mildura!

Vanessa Martin – Events Support Officer of Mildura Rural Council – had been promoting the Peace Run and our arrival for about 3 weeks before we arrived. One of the press releases she sent invited all of the community to make Peace Cranes that would be displayed around the mall when we arrived ...

... Ruby, Hamish and their mother Monique Tiller, had made some of these paper Peace Cranes for the occasion. They came to the mall a little after the ceremony in the hope we would still be there. It was so wonderful to meet them and spend some time talking about the Peace Run.

This lady had seen us running into Mildura and tooted. Then she made a point of coming to the Mall to meet us and find out who she had seen on the road.

Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity.

At the conclusion we went to our separate accommodations. Tonight our women's team is staying at the Best Western Boulevard Motor Inn. Gail kindly put us up for the night in a lovely two-bedroom suite, including breakfast. When she mentioned a pool our eyes lit up, we were so hot that our brains couldn’t think of anything else but to cool down! Thank you so much Gail for looking after us in this luxurious Motor Inn. The pool was great and the beds super comfy!

The Mildura River City Hotel offered one of our teams extra rooms to stretch our legs. This was sincerely appreciated after a very hot day.

Our second boys team stayed close to town in the Best Western Early Australian Motor Inn – kindly hosted by Jackie, whose children we had earlier met at Lakes Primary. There's nothing 'early Australian' about the facilities here. The place is luxury!

Our heartfelt gratitude to Joseph Carrazza, the Manager at the Pizza Café at the Grand for feeding the whole team with the great Italian delicacy, known to the world as Pizza ...

... and lastly, a big thank you and gratitude to Marg at the Clove Organic Café for supporting the Peace Run and runners with organic fizzy drinks and juices to enjoy with our dinner.

Torch carried by
Atul Arora (India), Felix Lindner (Switzerland), Grahak Cunningham (Australia), Kaspars Zakis (Latvia), Mikhail Vasilchenko (Russia), Nurari Merry (Great Britain), Prabhakar Street (Canada), Pranava Runar Gigja (Iceland), Stacey Marsh (New Zealand), Sukhajata Cranfield (New Zealand), Yashodevi Samar (Ukraine).  
Kaspars Zakis, Prabhakar Street , Stacey Marsh
The torch has travelled 144.0 km from Renmark, SA to Mildura, Vic.

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