• World Harmony Run

    World's Largest Torch Relay
    World Harmony Run

  • 1,000,000 Participants

    Across 6 Continents
    1,000,000 Participants

  • Dreaming of a more harmonious world

    100 countries
    Dreaming of Harmony

  • Schools And Kids

    Make a Wish for Peace
    Schools And Kids

  • Sri Chinmoy: World Harmony Run Founder

    World Harmony Run Founder
    Sri Chinmoy

  • Carl Lewis: World Harmony Run Spokesman

    World Harmony Run Spokesman
    Carl Lewis

  • New York, USA

    New York

  • London, Great Britain

    Great Britain

  • Shakhovskaya, Russia


  • Around Australia

    15,000 kms, 100 days
    Around Australia

  • Around Ireland

    14 Days, 1500km
    Around Ireland

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    New Zealand

  • Arjang, Norway


  • Rekjavik, Iceland


  • Beijing, China


  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Czech Republic

  • Belgrade, Serbia


  • Lake Biwa, Japan

    Lake Biwa

  • Kapsait, Ethiopia


  • Pangkor Island, Malaysia

    Pangkor Island

  • Bali, Indonesia


  • The All Blacks, New Zealand

    The All Blacks
    New Zealand

Austria 11 October: Bad Tatzmannsdorf - Graz

It was another early and cold start for the International Team, as they arose from their hotel in the sleepy Austrian village of Drumling, for a meeting with the regional television. As we drove up the rolling steep hills the view was quite spectacular as the mist hung in the lower valleys and the glorious sunrise revealed a most crisp freshness to the day. At a picturesque village of Neustift we were met by a camerman and the regional weather presenter. The runners were filmed quite a few times running out of and into the village and especially with the town’s sign in the shoot as the weather presenter was from the village. She ran with us holding the torch and said that “You can run for peace and friendship or just to keep fit but the weather forecast is sunny and dry”. A few of the runners were also interviewed. (We found out later that evening that it was included as a 2 minute report prior to the weather forecast for this region, and apparently nearly everyone watches it as it is immediately after the news).

We returned to Drumling to pick up the rest of the runners as we ran up the steep hills to join some children and the mayor as we headed to Schlaining. This city is the only Peace City in Europe and also is the location of a Peace University and Peace Institute, so what a better place for the World Harmony Run to visit. We had a spring in our running as the children led us over the bridge to a castle where the mayor warmly greeted us. He commented that it was most appropriate that the World Harmony Run should visit Schlaining. We were kindly and most generously treated to hot drinks and food in the café, but time beckoned as runners were sent ahead to St Martin. At St Martin we joined a local basketball team known as ‘The Gunners’ as they missed their training to join the team to run into the town. The team is very popular in the town as over 100 children ran with the team. They regularly get crowds of up to 2,000 at their home games, and this is even more impressive as the population of the town is only 8,000.

Runners had been sent ahead to cover the kilometres as quickly as possible and the rest of the team eventually caught up with them 12k from St. Martin at Market Allhau where we ran hard and fast for a brief meeting with the mayor at St. Johann i. Haide. There we had much needed oranges to quench our thirst and give us the energy for the run onto Hartberg and beyond to Graz. From Hartberg the running was tougher as runners ran along rolling, steep, long hills, but it was such a joy and relief, that eventually after the final long hill had been climbed, to be met with a wonderful reception at the brow of the hill at a small town known as Maria Fieberbrundel. The mayor and children were so smiley and glad to meet the runners that all the aching legs of running these long, gradual hills quickly faded. At Pischelsdorf we had a fantastic lunch in a local restaurant of soup, salad and pasta to gives us much needed energy for the final 44k to Graz. However, before our final destination of the day we met the mayor at Gleisdorf were the sports energy drinks were quickly drunk and the bananas and apples eaten as the team headed onto a wonderfully beautiful town of Nestlebach. There we were met by eager children who ran with us to their school to meet the school principal.

The children and teachers were so fascinated in what the World Harmony Run meant and what the torch symbolised. When each child held the torch everyone could see that it meant so much to them and everyone hoped all their dream and wishes for harmony and friendship would come true now and for the future.

This longing and energy materialised as the children bounded ahead, followed by the runners and a few of their teachers as we all ran down the hill. We only thought they would run to the edge of town, but the run continued into the forest along the stream and over rough tracks. Their energy seemed unlimited as we finally ran up a rather steep hill to the finish. It must have been a least 3k of difficult terrain and all 20 children finished with smiles on their faces and a feeling of pride. Everyone was so proud of them as we finished with a group photograph.

We headed swiftly towards Graz, now 18k away, briefly stopping at Hart 5k along the road to meet the mayor. The day was beginning to draw in as we all met up by the river in the park just 3k from Graz city centre. The evening was starting to turn rather chilly but in the dusk the torch was burning brightly and so were our hearts as we sped along the cycle path with the full flowing river alongside. Other runners and cyclists smiled and waved as we picked up the pace to meet Eva-Maria Gradwohl, the Austrian national woman marathon champion, who beamed as we handed her the torch.

With a spring in everyone’s step we ran off the park cycle path onto Graz’s city streets. The torch illumed our way to the city centre as darkness fell. We were greeted by the mayor and we heartily sang the World Harmony Song as Eva-Maria held the torch. She was so smiley and full of energy as she said her farewells shaking everyone’s hand. It was a superb day, full of excitement and joy, but this was to be our last full day in Austria. Tomorrow, another day, and another country beckons – Slovenia.

You can send a message to the runners or read the messages.

< Austria 10 October
Austria - Slovenia 12 October >