Pujari who had been running with us on the West coast and in Canada had warned us: Minnesota is amazingly beautiful and known for its ten thousand lakes. Well, as we ran this morning we were about to find out that this was no overstatement
The water is so translucent, Minnesota takes its name from the Sioux word meaning "sky-tinted waters".
Well deserved name don't you think so?
And so we started the first miles along some of these saphire-blue lakes, and soon we discovered that the morning running is taken very seriously by the Minnesotans.
And behold, our pacer and guide this morning was none other than the long distance running legend Danny Ripka.
Some great people stopped to share the torch with us as we ran along the Mississippi River.
Danny took us through a true wonderland.
On the route we also met a the black lives matter gathering and needless to say they were thrilled to see us running by.
Joined by Francine a friend runner thrilled to hold the torch.
And to add to this beautiful day it was Daulot's birthday.
So he told us all sorts of inspiring stories of his incredible running journey.
We met so many people who wanted to know everything about the Peace Run. Like Bill and Gordon who gave Pierre from France a big hug after what happenned in Nice.
Even some cyclists would stop to share the torch with us.
Families passing by were happy to share the torch in oneness.
Stota, Daulot's wife, who just celebrated her birthday also recently, drove one of the support vehicles as our group ran along the parks and river.
Believe it or not, as we were running by this bakery the owner spontanously invited us for a doughnut! If you pass by Minneapolis try the Melo Glaze bakery, they have great pastry and a big heart for sure.
We crossed the Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossom Bridge over the Mississippi.
These three gentlemen ran a continuous 16 miles to St Paul, Capital of Minnesota.
We saw St Paul's Peace Plaque.
Pierre as usual couldn't help looking for fun things to do.
While Puroga thoroughly stretched after a long run.
And Danny revealed us some of his secret weapon for streching.
We improvised a birthday lunch, sharing endless running stories.
Our other team met with some wonderful people in Hastings where they started their run. Break away Arts is a gallery that opened its door for our runners. Mecca, holding the torch with Christy, the General Manager, created this gallery to bring people from the community together and to express their creative talents.
The gallery encourages all forms of art and encourages senior citizens to express their creative talents as well.
They kindly offered us drinks and took us on a tour to enjoy the various art forms.
We offered our own artwork, a painting by Sri Chinmoy, to the gallery
Russ and Pat Hanson are friends of one of our hosts in Rochester, the Hoppe family, and were thrilled to make a wish for peace.
We finally get on the road for the afternoon section of the run and Homagni has his first full run after joining us yesterday.