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!
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:
Just briefly – full story to come:
After my successful second Channel swim (non-wetsuit!) on Sept 3rd (16 h 50) – 25 years after my first one –
and some rest we made it from Calais via Brussels to Aachen (arrived Monday, 6th, afternoon) – about 300 km or more biking (some detours) and 2 marathons and are safe and happy back home in Heidelberg. It was easier than expected (or feared) but took a bit longer for several reasons. A great event, though, and a great training experience for the final big one before my 60th birthday, hopefully!
Here some impressions:
with Mareike at Oye-Plage past Calais on the way to Gravelines
Hondschoote near the Belgian border
at the Peace Tree in the Leopolds Park at the European Parliament in Brussels
Start of the 85 run behind Tienen, 60 km behind Brussels, after about 3 hours of rest
First marathon done! I cannot believe how easy it feels!
Run-walking into Vaals
End of Vaals Netherlands - beginning of Germany!
I had not intended to carry the World Harmony Run torch all the way through the city to the Europe Square (Europaplatz), but my friends made me
"Dead" between the "WELCOME" flowers at Europaplatz
The last leg: driving back to Heidelberg
Collateral damage (without the blisters the whole thing would have felt unreal - too easy, no other pain at all!)
Many thanks are also going to my friends at the WAVES Restaurant in Heidelberg for their superb vegetarian food, and to Europcar Heidelberg, Mr. Plitzko, wo was extremely helpful again in providing us with a support van.
‘The fullness of life lies in dreaming and manifesting the impossible dreams.” – Sri Chinmoy
Fotos of the swim
Link to all reports of September 2010
Some weekends in June left little room for swimming – such as the weekend of June 13th/14th (where Germany won 4:0 against Australia!), where I was in charge of the World Harmony Run route between Bingen and Trier.
One of my favourite projects, to which I am also dedicating my swimming and triathlon, this year in support of UNESCO and the International Year of the Rapprochement of Cultures.
Sister Christophora, running from the monastery of St. Hildegard of Bingen to the Germania
We had a very inspiring meeting with the nuns of the famous monastery of St. Hildegard of Bingen, where the artist nun ran with our team and carried the torch to the Germania monument (Niederwalddenkmal), while I was walking the distance with a 86 year old nun, who was told by a doctor 6 years ago that she will have to be in a wheelchair soon. So now she has two new and very effective doctors, she says: her left leg and her right leg. Here she is – beaming (her name, sister Candida, means the one radiant with light):
Sister Candida, monastery of St. Hildegard of Bingen, with the UNESCO-emblem in the back
In the evening we stayed in sponsored hotel rooms overlooking Bad Kreuznach and watched an amazing soccer play. Next day we met over 700 school kids in 4 schools along the route to Trier (city of lots of UNESCO sites) and Luxemburg.
our plaque at Varne Ridge Caravan Park - along with a couple of other successful swims
Varne Ridge Caravan Park, up on the cliffs between Dover and Folkestone (the ideal place for Channel swimmers and crew to stay when waiting for their swim) have the nice tradition of honouring their successful swimmer-guests by putting up plaques on the walls of the premises. So this is what we got for just a mere 3 hours (21 min.) in the water each!
Thanks Dave and Evelyn!
See also our story on: www.worldharmonyrun.org