United States 4 June: Los Angeles
The team made it in Hollywood
This morning the mens team participated in the YMCA 8 miles Hollywood Sign Run. We were welcomed onto the stage to share the message of the Run and to encourage people to come and hold the torch. It was a great way to start what was going to be a challenging and hot run up into the Hollywood Hills.
The staff of volunteers put together a great race and did a fantastic job looking after all the runners. This race was organised to raise money for the YMCA and we were happy to be invited to participate. In recognition of their tremendous service to the community we presented Torch-Bearer awards to Michael Foley, Executive Director at Hollywood YMCA and Nicole Mihalka, Hollywood YMCA Board Member and the Event Chair.
Atul from India placed first in his category. His training and preparation for a sub 3 hour marathon seems to be paying off.
Congratulations to our runner, Pierre from France, who won the overall 8 mile race. It was an extremely hot and hilly race and we were so proud to see him leading the pack on the way to the finish line.
Many thanks to Eric and Utpara and our other visiting coordinators Santiva, Sarvadhan and Misha for arranging our entry into the race and for providing the picnic lunch in the park.
While the mens team was hill running in Hollywood, the girls team was following the beach road north towards Encinitas.
They had a chance to visit the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) gardens which was a huge blessing. Yogananda Paramahansa, founder of this meditation community in California, gave many talks across the US. Yogananda wrote the well known book "Autobiography of a Yogi" that has helped countless people connect to their spirituality. Hundreds of visitors come through each day seeking inspiration and peace.
We were honored have Kate Harrison, who is a member of SRF, lead us in a meditation and prayer for peace. Yogananda believed that we are all divine souls and that we can reach our inner peace through meditation.
We were so grateful to the "Steamed Organic Vegetarian Restaurant" located in Long Beach for providing the team with dinner tonight. Stephanie is a real peace loving person with a big heart and her restaurant is a real reflection of her own values and life.