Europe 26 July: Holyhead - Dover
Wales and England
This is a painting of Prometheus, who according to the ancient Greek myths, stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity. According to the famous mythologist, Joseph Campbell, similar myths are found in many ancient cultures. Light and fire are brought to humanity and significantly, in many of those stories, the fire is passed from one person to another (or one creature to another) in a relay. As Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the Peace Run said: "Everything goes from one to the many. A seed becomes a plant; then it becomes a tree and finally the tree produces countless fruits". We have seen over the past 33 years, how the Peace Run acts as a catalyst, awakening the fire within: awakening that inner yearning for Peace in the world. As we carry the torch and pass it from one person to another, there is a tangible inspiration that is kindled in each heart.
In 1995, her Majesty the Queen used the Peace Run torch to light a beacon in London, to celebrate 50 years of Peace since the end of World War II. Sri Chinmoy reminds us that:
'Peace does not mean the absence of war.
Peace means the presence of harmony,
Love, oneness and satisfaction.
Peace means a flood of love
In the world-family'
In 2018 the Peace Run ran along 'The Long Walk' - a path that runs up to Windsor Castle. The 1908 Olympic Marathon started here at Windsor Castle.
This week we are presenting a new project. In Japan, at Kansai University, students have been following the activities of the European Peace Run this year as part of their English language studies. The students have been invited to reflect on the Peace Run and produce messages and posters for a country of their choice or for the team.
Knowledge, happiness, friendship: all these, like the torch, are passed from one person to another. Children around the world are invited to hold the torch and offer their own silent prayer for Peace.
Baroness Flather holds the Peace Torch at the House of Lords by the river Thames in 2007. Shreela Flather and Sri Chinmoy were good friends. Baroness Flather was the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor, and served as a Justice for the Peace 1971-1990. She became a Member of Parliament and is the first Asian woman to receive a peerage. Her tireless dedication to the betterment of humanity can be seen in her work for women's rights, refugees, race relations and the youth.
The Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council in Wales, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, holds the Peace Torch in 2016.
The secret to success in England is the daily observance of tea. This happens at four in the afternoon, and requires some freshly baked scones, jam and the finest piping hot tea. With these ingredients, anyone is able to run his or her miles on the Peace Run.
Here we find Penny and Cliff, who live in South Africa, showing their oneness with the English Peace Run.
This is a photograph from a Peace Run several years ago in Cambridge. Penny and Cliff were living in Cambridge at that time.
The Peace Run visited the Beatles Museum in Liverpool in 2018, where they have recreated John Lennon's room. It was in this room that he composed 'Imagine' - a song that we often hear in connection with Peace.
Dima is running in Russia. He lives in Kaliningrad, which enjoys a wonderful coatline along the Baltic Sea.
Believe it or not, this is an English beach. This photograph was taken on the 2011 Peace Run in Cornwall.
Prabhavati (far right) and Charana (with the yellow flower in his lapel) are the main organisers of the Peace Run in Wales. Wales has welcomed the Peace Run on numerous occasions, and is a country dedicated to the ideal of Peace.
England is described by the famous poet William Blake as 'This green and pleasant land'. This is the river Cam in Cambridge.
Over the years, the Peace Run has planted trees around the world. This is a tree in Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum planted in 2011.
Rasmivan has been running in his hometown of Bristol. In the background you can see the famous Clifden Bridge, an iconic Victorian feat of engineering. The Clifden bridge crosses the river Avon.
Over the 33 years of Peace Run visits to the UK, the runners have been invited to bring the torch to several Cathedrals and churches. This is Wells cathedral in Somerset. This is the earliest cathedral in the UK built in the Gothic style.
The Peace Run has also visited Coventry Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral, St Mary's Cathedral in Wrexham and several more.
The founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy, met with the Princess of Wales in May 1997, at her residence in London.
Shyamala coordinates the Peace Run in Scotland. She was born in Cornwall, the very south west part of England, which is famous for its stories of pirates.
The late Dipavajan, European coordinator of the Peace Run, finding his own way through the rainy streets of Birmingham.
There are several statues of Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the Peace Run, around the world. This statue is in the National Botanic Garden of Wales near Carmarthen.
King Arthur and the knights of the round table. There are several theories about where King Arthur lived: some say Wales, some say England, some say Scotland.
Drinking tea has made Great Britain a successful nation. Our second secret is to keep everyone off the grass. But we couldn't stop the two chaps in the picture below!
This statue is situated in Cardiff Bay, by the Welsh Parliament building. Standing with the statue is the sculptor, Kaivalya Torpy. The sculpture is designed to invite passers by to come and hold the Peace Torch, and dedicate a few moments to silent meditation.
In 2011 a special Peace Run was organised which started at the northernmost tip of Scotland, John O'Groats and ended ......
Rasmivan from Bristol is one of the few people who have run a whole 7 month European Peace Run. He has done it twice!
Ken Radford and his wife at the Eden Centre in 2011. Ken received the Torch Bearer Award from the Peace Run for his service to the community and his People and Gardens project near St Austell.
On her run, Jana came across an old acquaintance, Encarna from Spain. Visibly inspired by the virtual Peace Run, Encarna says she will offer special prayers for the Peace Run.
The Peace Run coordinators in Oxford, Dr Piyasi Morris and Dr Sarvosmi Morris welcome the team to their home for dinner in 2018.
Garga has been running in and around his hometown of Bristol. After a 2 kilometre swim in Marine lake, he ran 3 kilometres along the coastal path called 'poets walk', named after Coleridge and Tennyson who both have connections to the nearby town of Clevedon.
Purushottama Boris Grebenshikov, the famous Russian singer and songwriter, holds the Peace Torch in Hyde Park in 2008.
Wales is famous for its singers, especially male voice choirs. Members of the Burry Port Male Choir pass the Peace torch on 13th March 2016, at the inauguration of the Peace Statue in the National Botanic Gardens.
There is always the spontaneous element of the Peace Run, where we just meet people along the route. Here the team crossed paths with the famous actress, Helena Bonham Carter CBE in Hampstead, London. She and her children were fascinated to learn about the Peace Run.
This is a statue of Richard the Lionheart outside the Palace of Westminster. Although he was the king of England at the end of the 12th Century, he spent most of his life abroad leading armies.
Member of Parliament, Steve Pound, came to a school in Ealing, London to inspire the children to carry the torch. He spoke very highly of Sri Chinmoy and his initiatives.
Sudhahota Carl Lewis and Baroness Flather at a special event 'A Moments Peace', which was held in London at the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games.
French British oneness. Runners from Great Britain (left) and runners from France (right) hold the torch together by the old Severn and Wye bridge which connects England and Wales. The bridge was dedicated as a Sri Chinmoy Peace Bridge in 1991.
Kristina met this young man picking up litter in Serbia. They both mistakenly assumed that the other person was not Serbian, and spoke in English for some time.
Sri Chinmoy (right) at the inauguration of the Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile in Oxford in May 1987, the same year that the Peace Run was inaugurated.
Dipavajan and other members of the team on the track where Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute barrier.
Kepha Nabothi Ligate sends his greetings from Tanzania. A safari guide, he helped carry the Torch up to Kilimanjaro in 2013 and joined the Peace Run in Arusha again in 2019.
Abhejali from Czech has been a long time Peace runner - and is also an ultra distance swimmer. Here she is holding the torch and saying a prayer before swimming across the English Channel.
Shankara (far right) is on our virtual team this week. This photo is from a special Peace Run in 2009, connecting England and France.
Angikar from Serbia holds the torch before his English Channel ultra-triathlon Dover-Heidelberg. Behind are the famous white cliffs of Dover at Shakespeare beach.
The national flower of Wales is the daffodil. William Wordsworth immortalised the daffodil in his poem: I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
The national sport in Wales is Rugby. This is a photograph from a Rugby match between Wales (in red) and England.
Niharika and Kagni in Vaasa Finland. Runners in Vaasa ran 78 kms this week. Makula in Ukraine ran 35 kms.
Map reading has been an important aspect of the Peace Run over the past 33 years. Nowadays we are using less paper maps and more satnavs.
Peace Run Wales 2016
Statue inaugurations in North Wales 2019
Peace Run England 2018