Runners bring peace to Albury

A group of runners is pushing through the pain barrier to deliver a message of peace and hope.

Participants in the Sri Chimnoy Peace Run from around the world stopped in Albury on Thursday, part way through their journey from Brisbane to Adelaide.

Runner and accommodation coordinator Abhinandan Willis said it was the 30th anniversary of the original 1987 peace run. 

“It’s a grass roots initiative,” he said.

‘We’re trying to inspire people – it’s a very simply notion for a more peaceful world.

“What we’ve found in many countries is there’s far more that unites us than that divides us.

“We have a firm belief peace comes when you share it from one person to another like a flame.”

Mr Willis, of Melbourne, was joined by people from six different nations and their peace torch as they ran through Albury. 

He said the constant running could be a physical and mental challenge but spreading the message was worth it. 

“It’s definitely been challenging at moments,” he said.

“I have a few niggles, I'm really feeling it in my calves the last few days but you run as a team. At any given moment someone will be rearing to go and someone will need a lighter day, but as a team you get the job done.”

The torch and run travels to more than 70 countries throughout the world every year.

Humanitarians’ Nelson Mandela, Cathy Freeman, Mikhail Gorbachev, Carl Lewis, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa and Muhammad Ali have all been torch bearers in previous peace runs. 

The team visited Glenroy Primary School and met with council delegates at Retro Lane Cafe to listen and share messages of peace and hope. 

Mr Willis said Albury had always been a fantastic place to stop during the annual journey. 

“We get a consistently positive reception here,” he said. “People are filled with kindness, open heartedness and self-giving.

“It’s always a very, very great place to stop.”

The runners and torch will continue their journey to Shepparton and onto Adelaide.