Nov. 18, 2014 Live from the road

Thredbo, NSW - Cooma, NSW

Reported by Amalendu Edelsten, Stacey Marsh, Sukhajata Cranfield 84.0 km

It was a clear morning as we descended from the mountain town of Thredbo through the alpine forest.

The pure air was refreshing.

Our girls team took the final 18 km into Jindabyne. We were due at our first school at 9.15 am so we were on the road by at about 7.30 am.

This gave us time to enjoy some lovely running – and almost all of it downhill!!

Lake Jindabyne provided a stunning backdrop to our meeting with Snowy Mountains Grammar School students.

This is our first school in NSW, arranged through the Primary School director Scott Frize. Here we were greeted by Darcy and Cameron, who led us into their classroom.

Here two classes had met to learn about the Peace Run.

Atul, our Indian representative, talked with them about Peace and different meanings for the word Peace.

There were many questions and insightful responses.

The students also exhibited their artistic and poetic side, offering us some very moving poems and artwork on Peace.

Our Ukrainian runner, Yashodevi, taught them the World Harmony Run song with actions.

Next we all took time to feel peace inside our hearts.

Presenting the Certificate of Appreciation.

Then we all went out onto the oval to hold the Peace Torch.

One of the students had seen me run in to town this morning and was going to ask his parents if he could run with us after school.

A teacher remembered when we had come through in 2008 and all the schools had meet at the park to welcome us all. After everyone had held the torch we all ran around the oval a few times ...

... ran very enthusiastically!

After bunching for a group photo, the students gave the Peace Run team a rousing "Three Cheers" for all our efforts. This was the first time I have had this on the Peace Run this year it was great!

One of our boys team then started running to Berridale, while the rest of us made a short run of less than 1 km into town, to the Jindabyne Visitors Centre.

Here we were greeted by Kerry Coomber, Manager of the Visitors Centre, and Anthony Evans, Area Manager (Alpine) from the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service.

Anthony welcomed us and said how fitting that we were meeting here to be welcomed by the community, as right beside us is where the plaque is located for the Sri Chinmoy Peace Park ...

... Kosciuszko National Park was declared a Sri Chinmoy Peace Park back in 1995.

The plaque still shines today!

A number of staff also enthusiastically greeted the team and offered their support by holding the Peace Torch. Many of them know our organisation through the Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic which we stage in and around Lake Jindabyne and the Koscsiuzko National Park each March.

We sang Sri Chinmoy's Peace Run song for the gathering.

Certicates of Appreciation were presented to both the Visitor Information Centre ...

... and the Kosciuszko Naitonal Park.

Kerry then invited us into the Visitor’s Centre to have some lovely refreshments she had made, and what perfect food for runners, some fresh fruit and juice. Yum! Kerry had also kindly wrapped a gift for each of the Peace Runners.

While we were enjoying our refreshments in Jindabyne, our other team was keeping us on schedule, running out over the Jindabyne Dam wall ...

... towards Berridale.

We leave the Snowy Mountains behind, now a distant memory.

The rest of our team rejoined just as Kaspars was running in to Berridale Public School. We all gathered to cheer him on his last few steps ...

... before joining him to run into the school.

We met with the students outside ...

... and Pranava, with the help of Grahak, spoke about the Peace Run.

After our brief program, everyone had a chance to hold the torch before playing the Passport Game, where each student is given a passport and they have to ‘run around the world’ and get it stamped by each of the runners.

As the students in Berridale were getting their passports stamped, it was time for our girls team to hit the road again.

We had another 17 km to do before going to our last school for the day, St Patrick’s Parish School in Cooma.

It was nice to get out again and stretch our legs.

The road to Cooma offers a unique landscape of grasslands and unusual rock formations.

We are never alone.

Misha's roadside find of the day.

We have arrived in Cooma at St Patrick’s Parish School in time to gather before running into one of the classrooms to meet two of the senior classes. Here the Captains and Vice Captains of the school showed us in.

Artwork on Peace had been prepared by the students.

Teaching the movements and actions that go with the World Harmony Run song.

Feeling peace inside our hearts.

We awent outside so all could hold the torch and make a wish for Peace.

Then everyone played the Passport Game until the end of school.

This game involves a lot of running.

Passports complete!

Can we blow that out?

Our team now had just one more appointment left down at the avenue of flags where we were to meet with the Mayor of Cooma. Before this however two of the newspapers came down to interview both Amalendu and Grahak about the Peace Run, we even got them both to hold the torch together, along with several passing locals.

Runnign the Torch in.

The Mayor, Dean Lynch, then arrived.

The Mayor welcomed us to the Cooma Monaro Shire, and told us the significance of the Avenue of the Flags.

Back in the 1940’s after the War, some 100,000 workers came to this area to work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

The 29 flags represent the 29 nations that came to work on the Snowy Hydro project in 1949.

Kaspars was surprised to see his flag there! And we had a chance to have a look at the other flags as well. A truly multi cultural area!

Our girls team arrived at our accommodation at Alkira Motel to be greeted by Mona who kindly supplied the girls team with free accommodation tonight. Mary came down to hold the torch on behalf of her mother.

Two of the boys team stayed with Sharon and Kevin at the Sovereign Inn Motel, who were delighted to pose for a photo. Thank you Sharon and Kevin.

Long time Peace Run supporters, Chandra and Saras Singh, kindly accommodated the remaining 8 members of the boys team at their beautiful establishment, Marlborough Motor Inn Cooma. Chandra remembered hosting the Peace Run back in 2010 and was again happy to assist. We thank them both for their self-giving.

Torch carried by
Amalendu Edelsten (Australia), 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), Steve Elliott (Australia), Sukhajata Cranfield (New Zealand), Yashodevi Samar (Ukraine).  
Kaspars Zakis, Prabhakar Street , Stacey Marsh
The torch has travelled 84.0 km from Thredbo, NSW to Cooma, NSW.

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