Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Relay runs for peace

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 5/21/2014

Sarvodaya Grygoryivskyy’s smile communicated a message transcending the boundaries of language — peace.

The Ukrainian runner made his way south through Ottawa Wednesday, headed down U.S. 59 toward Princeton, as part of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. The torch relay symbolizes a universal aspiration for a more peaceful world, organizers said.

Sarvodaya Grygoryivskyy’s smile communicated a message transcending the boundaries of language — peace.

The Ukrainian runner made his way south through Ottawa Wednesday, headed down U.S. 59 toward Princeton, as part of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. The torch relay symbolizes a universal aspiration for a more peaceful world, organizers said.

The North American route of the run started in New York City April 11 and will make a loop back to the same location by Aug. 15 going through Orlando, Florida, over to Tijuana, Mexico, up the West Coast to Vancouver, Canada, to Chicago and back to New York.

“Along the way, we meet people who want to share that idea (of universal peace), so we inspire them to share with us what they are doing in the community and usually the schools with the kids create a curriculum for kids to think about what peace means to them,” Arpan Deangelo, Peace Run team captain, said Wednesday. “They come up with artwork and poetry and songs, and they run with us a little bit. Usually we go through all 50 states in the U.S. and now we go through Mexico and Canada, so that makes it a bit longer and we are about 25 percent of the way through. We’ve been on the road for a month and we have three months to go.”

The Peace Run, now in its 27th year, has traveled through Ottawa annually since the late 1990s, Deangelo said. Grygoryivskyy is one of several runners carrying the torch for the international relay this year.

“There are six women on the road right now and six guys, and sometimes there are 10 people, some people come, some people go, but there is only four of us who are going the whole way,” Deangelo said. “We volunteer our time.”

The group includes torch runners from Italy, Australia, Luxemborg, Russia, Ukraine and Serbia, Deangelo said. Those who aren’t running stay inside a Peace Run vehicle in case a runner needs to be switched out along the way.

The Peace torch runners came through Tonganoxie and Lawrence before making their way to Ottawa. They were heading south and planned to stop at Chanute, Deangelo said.

“There is a nice breeze, but sometimes it is in your face,” he said of Kansas weather. “The people are really nice. Most people think we are pretty crazy running on the highway, but others are really interested.”

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