May 19, 2018 Live from the road

Flagstaff, AZ - Grand Canyon, AZ

Reported by Grahak Cunningham, Nikolaus Drekonja 79.0 mi

We began the day by packing up our tents and leaving Gouldings Campground. We have stayed at this unique and beautiful location many times, and are once again incredibly grateful for the generosity of the owners and staff for taking great care of us- thank you!

We were so fortunate to meet local runner Jacki Frank today. He organizes runs and walks across the United States to raise awareness for different sacred Navajo sites. He said: "running opens peoples' hearts"

Theresa Saloetore also joined us for a 7 mile run from Flagstaff City Hall to the Arboretum. Theresa is a nurse practitioner and runs marathons, often with her dad! We were so happy to get to know her!

The 7 mile run went through a fragrant pine forest. We also met some amazing runners on the way. Built for speed and distance many were professional and trained in the high altitude of Flagstaff. 

At the Aboretum the torch was handed to Congressmen for Arizona’s First District Tom O’Halleran and Lynne Nemeth, Executive Director of the Flagstaff Arboretum.

We moved to the Sri Chinmoy Peace Tree which was planted on a previous Peace Run visit.
Jacki Frank, who runs amazingly and often jogs before dawn is a Navajo. He offered his heartfelt thoughts on peace and delivered a moving prayer in his native language.

Congressman O’Helleran also talked about his aims for peace and received the Torch Bearer Award for his continued service to his constituents and the world at large and for his inspirational deeds and support for peace. 

Pragati Pascale remarked that the Peace Tree was planted just after a devastating forrest fire as a sign of new life and renewal in general.

We also had a moment of silence around the Peace tree.

Jacki Frank and Theresa Saloetore both receive a Certificate of Appreciation.

Some runners of the men's team left early to do miles.
The rest of us gathered for a wonderful lunch kindly prepared and donated by Roger Clark and the Grand Canyon trust.

More than 8000 feet elevation.

A very realistic mural of the Grand Canyon.

Thank You Grand Canyon Plaza for a delicious dinner!

An elk near the rim of the canyon.

Torch carried by
Banshidhar Medeiros (US), Grahak Cunningham (AU), Harita Davies (NZ), Homagni Baptista (AU), Kaspars Rutkis (LV), Mandra Laing (NZ), Natabara Rollosson (US), Nikolaus Drekonja (AT), Pragati Pascale (US), Tanuja Konecna (CZ), Varunavi Klabnikova (CH), Zuzana Klaskova (CZ).  
Photographers
Banshidhar Medeiros, Kaspars Rutkis, Natabara Rollosson
The torch has travelled 79.0 mi from Flagstaff, AZ to Grand Canyon, AZ.

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