After swimming to Africa (Gibraltar Straits) in Oct. 2012 and some more Peace Run activites this summer in Europe (UK and Germany), it felt like the time for me to finally join Peace Run Africa, which will be converging from the north, south and central Africa in Arusha on Nov. 6th. Starting Nov. 8th, a mixed very international team will then carry the torch up Mount Kilimanjaro, hopefully all the way up to Uhuru Peak – to the highest point in Africa (5895 m)! I am sooo excited!!! Summit day will be the 12th. Support prayers welcome!
I am aware of the danger of altitude sickness, especially with a short 6 day tour (Marangu route), and we will respect any serious signs of that. However, my father did it (still a smoker at that time) when he was 3 years older than I am now, also Marangu route – so there is hope! Last night watched the DVD “Kilimanjaro – Summit of Freedom” (German, “Gipfel der Freiheit”) – very inspiring and great for some last inner and outer preparation!
I am bringing my Peace Torch from Heidelberg – so the school kids will be even more excited next time, when Africa has been added!
Another highlight or our trip was going to be our visit to Tegla Loroupe and her Peace Foundation and her to her Peace School in Kapenguria, Kenia, which we have been supporting for many years – but for several reasons, the Kenia part was cancelled for now, we will go there later. Peace Run South Africa and Ethiopia are on their way.
Here some impressions from the Peace Run/Harmony Run of the past:
More on: www.peacerun.org/fa
→ Interesting facts on Mt. Kilimanjaro
It was a nice adventure and a great honour to be invited to the Global Open Water Swimming Conference Sept. 21st/22nd 2012 on the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, California, to accept the IMSHOF award for Sri Chinmoy, who was being honoured posthumously for his decades of inspiration and mentorship in the Open Water and Channel swimming world. I felt like a tiny fish among so many great fish (Diana Nyad, OW legend Greta Anderson, “Big River Man” Martin Strel (who was lifted by Sri Chinmoy in 2004), Penny Lee Dean, Marcos Diaz (U.N. Goodwill and Ocean Ambassador), Marcy MacDonald, Elisabeth Fry, Dr. Jane Katz (who has trained some of our team`s Channel swimmers in N.Y.), Michael Read (King of the Channel 1997-2005), Ned Denison, Peace Swimmer Nejib Belhedi and many others) – and it was extremely inspiring to meet with and listen to so many open water greats – and to speak to them about Sri Chinmoy and the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team – and introduce the new book “Sport and Meditation”.
Many guests and speakers enjoyed holding the World Harmony Torch and making a wish for peace, and the Torch was finally invited also into the group photo with all the IMSHOF honourees.
Steven Munatones, main organiser of the Conference (with co-organiser Lexie Kelly on the left and Shelley Taylor-Smith on the right), was awarded the Torch Bearer Award of the World Harmony Run for his tireless efforts in promoting the spirit of self-transcendence and international friendship, inspiring and joining so many people across the world in their various quests in the open water world.
The 3rd day of the conference was marked by the “Swim Across America” in the Marine Stadium of Long Beach with races of various distances – and around 350 participants. Training for Gibraltar, I chose the 10 k olympic distance and was quite happy to finish in 3 h 25 – more than a minute before Mike Read, King of the English Channel from 1997-2005 with 33 crossings. Abhejali did 1.5 k in 27 min 26.
We were three from our Sri Chinmoy
Marathon Team: myself (EC 1985 and 2010, Zurich lakes etc.), Abhejali Bernadova from Czech Republic (English Channel 2011, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2012, Zurich lake etc.), Bigalita Egger, L.A. (ultrarunner, several 10 day races in New York at age 70+) and Ahelee (EC solo 2001), a good friend, and we had a great time during, before and after the conference! Thank you everyone for your support – and the IMSHOF for their amazing efforts!
Just back from a few very inspiring days on the World Harmony Run Europe. I had the honour of organizing the part from Trier to Aachen, and we had beautiful meetings all along the way, including lots of children on Friday, which is always the best part: receptions by the cities (or towns) of Trier, Bitburg, Prüm, Monschau, and Roetgen, schools in Trier and Bitburg on Friday, and in Aachen on Saturday an “Interfaith/Intercultural Run” visiting the Synagogue and the Bilal Mosque, the oldest and most international one in Germany, where the Run even received a special birthday cake and banner! Sunday morning provost Msgr. Poqué welcomed us at the famous Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage). Explaining to us about the distinguished annual Charlemagne Prize of Aachen (“Karlspreis”), he said he feels that the World Harmony Run belongs into the same category of efforts towards peace, harmony and unity in Europe, which the prize aims to honour.
Also, it felt quite special to be back at the Europe Square with the torch, where I had finished my Channel Triathlon Dover-Aachen in 2010.
Click here for reports and photos (part1), and part 2.
Quite a few newspapers carried stories in print and online.
Thank you everyone who contributed, supported and participated in this amazing project for the last 25 years!
On April 27, 1987, the first torches of the global relay called World Harmony Run now were lit in New York by UN ambassadors and Sri Chinmoy, the founder, at the U.N. Plaza. This retrospective video shows glimpses of those 25 years. I have been involved in this great project since its beginnings, and will be on the road again soon, meeting school children, city representatives, visiting mosques, synagogues and churches.
For the decade 2012 to 2022, Dr. Davidson Hepburn, President of the UNESCO General Conference, says about the World Harmony Run:
I believe that all global citizens are eagerly looking toward the next decade – 2022 and beyond – as a time of great progress and striking change.
It is imperative that we work together to build a true Oneness-World.
Among recent initiatives to strive toward this goal, the World Harmony Run is one of the most remarkable and far-reaching.
This is a link to the website with current events and to Dr. David Hepburn’s speech.
2012 started with a 3 week vacation in Nha Trang, Viet Nam – and some great opportunities for the first ocean swim training since my Channel-Triathlon in 2010.
We also used the time in Nha Trang for some World Harmony Run Activities and a video interview by Utpal and Kedar about my Channel experiences.
Back in Brussels on May 31st ond June 1st for a few special meetings at the European Parliament, the European Council and a very special ceremony with Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the Council of Europe and chairman of the European Union and a group of young school children to celebrate the 2oth Anniversary of the Planting of the Peace Tree at the Park Leopold near the Parliament (= the 20th Anniversary of the WHR visiting the European Institutions).
Video from the President`s Office: At the 24th Anniversary of World Harmony Run.
More Fotos: Replacing the Plaque at the Peace Tree with EU President Herman van Rompuy
More inspiring international events of the World Harmony Run 2011: