The Peace Run Team drove into York for the commencement of the 980km run through South West Western Australia. The team was warmly received by the Deputy Shire President, Denese Smythe (holding the Peace Torch), Graham Simpson, CEO, and an enthusiastic group of local citizens.
After photos in front of the historic Shire Chambers we held the ceremony in the shade, which concluded with the Peace Torch passed to everyone present.
We then all moved into Peace Park, where the largest tree, a York Gum (indigenous to York) was dedicated as a Peace Tree.
We all enjoyed delightful refreshments, particularly the scones with jam and cream, before we had to leave to catch up with our fastest runner ...
... Bayarkhuu from Mongolia, who was making his way down the road so we could make the schedule for Brookton.
Today's journey for the girls team was lots of fun and though it was our first day we are all experienced on the Peace Run and were an efficient team ...
... oneness in diversity!
Medhavati from Mongolia, is the only member of our team who has not run in Australia before.
It got hotter and hotter and it was impossible to escape the flies. They were everywhere!
The Great Southern Highway is being followed all the way south to Albany. As the day progressed, the temperature rose and rose.
Luckily we were saved to some extent by the wind.
We met some lovely locals along the way and felt welcomed by the people and landscape.
Our girls team commenced the meeting in Brookton while the boys were finishing their running. Very appropriately they made their entrance during the singing of the Peace Run Song during the line "Sisters and brothers".
The Brookton Shire President, Kym Wilkinson drove 45km from his farm to meet us. He said it was nothing as we had run further than his drive. We were welcomed also by the new CEO, Darren Friend, who was assisted by Carina Whittington. We were very grateful for their generous catering in their air conditioned Chambers.
It was a lovely reprieve from the sun at lunch time in very nice company.
After our meeting in Brookton Shire Chambers we decided to run without the flame to ensure there was no risk to the countryside. The road's wide shoulders to run on, and the friendly waves and hoots from passing motorists helped the kilometres pass. The air conditioning in the van was very welcome after running in 34 degree heat.
In Cuballing we met the Shire President Mark Conley; Gary Sherry, the CEO; and Deputy CEO, Tonya Williams.
The meeting took place in their Memorial Park, a place very dear to the small community.
A new red wattle tree was planted as a Peace Tree.
Everyone lent a hand and it was soon settled in this new location with its Peace Plaque.
We enjoyed our third repast for the day, and with the running all completed were able to enjoy the sweeter offerings.
Thank you very much Cuballing, for a lovely event!
Here is May with the Peace Torch ...
... and May's daughter and son-in-law.
Driving on to Narrogin, the boys soon discovered they were staying in a lovely place called Bella's Country Place, owned by Lizette and Faan Carlse, who generously gave us 3 rooms. They were accompanied by their 2 radically different dogs, Sammy and Jonty (large). Their lovely place, a modified hostel, was extremely comfortable, with lounge and cooking facilities.
After a tough first day of running it was delightful to be able to relax at the end of the day. Thanks Lizette and Faan!
News of tomorrow's cooler change brings great relief. A great first day...
Our girls team are very grateful to Theresa and all the kind staff at Albert Facey Motor Inn for offering us accommodation this evening. It is indeed A Fortunate Life!
Time to prepare dinner for the hungry runners ...
... and thanks also to our long-time supporters Recochem, who supply the clean-burning fuel which keeps our Peace Torch alive.