Finland 30 July: Savonlinna - Imatra

Our Last Day in Finland

Palash had the good fortune to literally run into Finnish composer Uljas Pulkkis who was in Savonlinna for the Opera Festival. Uljas, along with being an accomplished composer, is also a fantastic runner who will be running the Helsinki Marathon in two weeks time! We were so honored that he ran a few kilometers with the Peace Torch and wish him all the best for his upcoming race and beyond!

Two happy Peace Runners!

We were so happy to meet some local runners (and an adorable dog) to run this most scenic stretch of road near Punkaharju that is well known in Finland.

The view is absolutely stunning in all directions!

Making the most of your time in between running daily kilometers is essential on the Peace Run!

We were thrilled to meet local runner and teacher Sami Käkränen who lead us for a scenic 18 kilometer stretch into Imatra.

This local running group, Juoksun Vuoksi, were waiting to join us for the last 12km. They completely energized the team as we ran through Imatra. We were so grateful for their support.

This woman holding the torch is nearly 65 and recently won a major marathon for her age group, in 3.37!

City Council member Niina Malm and her sons joined for the last few kilometers of our run to the center of Imatra.

Heikki Laine, pictured on the left, is a city representative who was responsible for organizing our presentation in the centre of Imatra. Here he enthusiastically passes the torch to a fellow towns person.

We had a lovely ceremony in the town Center in Imatra and were joined by city council member Niina Malm, who welcomed us warmly.

We were so happy to present a certificate of appreciation and painting by Peace Run founder, Sri Chinmoy, to the city of Imatra.

Many people held the torch!

We had a lovely BBQ at Finnish Peace Runner, Lauri's summer cottage and enjoyed a final evening together in Finland as a happy and grateful Peace Run Team.

The view from the cottage is so beautiful!

Our team Captain, Shyamala, got her wish to kayak at sunset in a peaceful Finnish lake. The team was so grateful for her kind and heartfelt leadership.

Yum!! A huge thank you to Litaf (centre) and Kristiina (left) who have fed the large team with breakfast, lunch and dinner for the last 3 days! A full time job! Perfect food for runners!

We were all so grateful for such a deeply inspiring run through Scandanavia. We are looking forward to joining the Peace Run again very soon!

This morning was our last in Finland and we started the day by running to the border of Finland and Russia.

The last few meters with our full Scandinavian team. We will truly miss those that cannot travel on to Russia!

It was a unique experience to run through a national border-passport in hand!

Here we are over the Finnish border and in Russia!!

We received an escort from the Finnish authorities across the border.

Here we are on Russian soil greeted by the Russian Peace Run team. It was such a moving experience to be received so warmly in a new country by team members in their native country -we immediately felt at home.

The Russian Team meeting the International Team!

The Peace Run song in Russian is so beautiful and powerful!

Sharing torches from across borders!

One big happy team! Here is the proof that we are truly one world family!