United States 11 July: Richland Center, WI - Chicago,Illinois

Making it to Madison and Beyond

We had a nice stay at the 'White House' last night in Richland Center, Wisconsin and not the 'real one' Washington,D.C. It was a wonderful Ramada Inn which offered our team very spacious and comfortable rooms. We are very grateful to them for their kind hospitality as well.

The men's team was first out on the roads early in the morning. The traffic was heavy with many trucks on their way towards the bigger cities as we close in on Madison, Wisconsin and eventually into Illinois.

Banshidhar, Arpan, Sarankhu and Yatkara had to cover about 40 miles before the Ceremony with the Boys and Girls Club in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sarankhuu wanted to do close to 20 miles himself today which took some of the pressure off of some of the other runners.

Yatkara, our ace photographer and coordinator for the up and coming Canadian sections of the Peace Run, was able to have a relatively easier day of running because of Sarankhuu's inspiring 19 mile run.

Banshidhar extinguishes the Torch after his last run as we get close to Madison.

Running into Madison.

Arpan meets some very enthusiastic and excited women from a nearby medical clinic who just came out of a Mexican Restaurant on their lunch break as we passed by in Madison towards the end of our run. They were thrilled to share the Torch and offer their cheerful goodwill.

The women's team also takes to the busy roads this morning to try to make it to the Boys and Girls Club in Madison.

Along the way they meet some very friendly and interested locals who take the time to share the Torch and their goodwill with some of our team.

Meanwhile some of the women have a little fun when they are not running.

Two good friends from Italy and Bali, Indonesia on their last day of running here with us in North America.

Arpan accompanies Sarankhuu on his last mile into the Boys and Girls Club playground facility.

Many excited children and staff members are there to greet the whole team.

Part of our presentation today was going back in time to when the Peace Run first began in 1987.

Nikolaus and Salil are dressed as if they are in the 1980's. This young girl is the Statue of Liberty in New York where the Peace Run was first organized by Sri Chinmoy, the Founder of the Peace Run.

We are grateful to Amanda, one of the main staff members here at the Madison Boys and Girls Club for her heartfelt participation with our team and the children as well.

We had the children guess where we were from and then sang a few songs for them.

Aloha! What state am I from in the Pacific Ocean?

Danielle, the Supervisor here, accepts our deep appreciation for helping to make this event possible for the children today.

Some of the children hold up a colorful painting on the theme of World Harmony by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.

Thanks you Boys and Girls Club of Madison, Wisconsin.

The children follow Sarankhuu who hails from Mongolia, as he leads them around the playground on the 'Peace Train'.

The children then have a chance to pass the Torch to one another and make wishes for peace.

Serious peace lover.

Precious moments of peace.

After our running and ceremony is over for the day we had to drive to Chicago where we will have many local events over the next few days. Our good friends at Victory's Banner who have arranged many exciting events with the communities in Chicago are hosting us and feeding us as well. We are so grateful to all those volunteers who work very hard to keep us on the road and make these events happen as we carry the Peace Torch to share with as many people as possible during these four months.

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