• 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


The day dawned cool and cloudy in Laon, where we had been accommodated in the local sports hall gymnasium. After fuelling up on muesli and scrambled eggs we were back on the road bright and early, covering the miles on straight, undulating highways through the fields of northern Picardie.

Coming out of Laon we had lots of waves and smiles from people on their way to work - the French people have been among the most vocal in their support of the World Harmony Run! Near Avresnes we ran into a group of government workers who were maintaining the lay-bys and cutting the grass verges. They clustered around the van and took turns holding the torch while our French runner Adelino told them about our run and all the places we had been. They soon had to get back to work, but we saw them twice more on the road - their progress by truck was somewhat quicker than ours on foot!

In Vervins, our first "official" port of call, we were met by an enthusiastic bunch of students from the local Agricultural College - all in rugby kit and sports shoes ready to join us for the last 500 metres into town.

Once they had the torch in their hands the young farmers were irrepressible, leading us in an exuberant parade up the hilly streets of Vervins to the Mairie (town hall) where the Mayor welcomed us with some kind words and all the figs, apricots and cookies we could eat. The students ran with us to the edge of Vervins and we set off on the "Route De Charlemagne" highway towards the Belgian border. By now the clouds had cleared and it was sunny and warm, though thankfully not too hot for steady running.

When you're covering so many miles each day you have to eat well so there was yet another food stop - for a roadside picnic - before we came to Maubeuge.

Here we met up with 4 members of the "Maubeuge Marathon" running club, one of whom had run a rather daunting 2.48 for 26.2 miles, but fortunately for us they set a comfortable pace as they led us into their hometown.

The streets were busy and Maubeuge must be a close community, as our hosts seemed to know most of the people we passed. The cheers, waves and shouts of encouragement here in Maubeuge were really something, and gave us a burst of energy as the marathoners led us out of town and said goodbye to our team just short of the border. Now, the border between France and Belgium is quite unusual - it's hardly a border at all in fact. Blink and you'd miss it. It struck me that people used to dream of a time when the barriers between nations would come down and the borders would open up - in some places at least, as we saw today, this is really starting to happen. As we ran northwards from the border, the countryside was similar to northern France, but we began to see the beautifully sculpted church spires and elegant step gables that are unique to Belgium. We finished our day's running in the Grand Square of the old city of Mons.

After a perfectly fine day, the rain was just beginning as the Mayor invited us into the Town Hall for a reception. Later he led us down to the local hostel where a delicious meal (pasta of course) and a cosy bed awaited - just what we needed after eleven hours on the road.


Distance: 110km

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< 25-04-05
< 25-04-05
Belgium 27 April >