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Ireland 3 April: Closing Ceremony of the 2009 Run
Today, we held our closing ceremony in Temple Bar's Meeting House Square, and to celebrate we held a concert with music from all over the world. Our Master of Ceremonies, Devashishu Torpy, got us underway by welcoming everyone.
First up we had some African drumming from Umoja, a group featuring three Magee brothers - Keith, Colm and Aidan - and Aivaras Zydelis from Lithuania.
The team, able to relax for the first time in two weeks without any running to do, listen attentively.
Next was Eithne Ni Chatháin, who treated us to some beautiful sean-nós singing, some fiddle playing and then played guitar whilst singing a song she wrote herself. She put out an album last year titled Eithne, which after hearing her performance today, quite a few of the running team resolved to get as soon as the shops open tomorrow...
Then we were treated to a sublime performance of Indian ragas by Utsav Lal accompanied by the Harmony Run's very own Colm Magee on tablas.
Salil Wilson, the global Executive Director of the world Harmony Run, talks of how the experience of the round-Ireland trip has enriched all of the runners' lives.
Then the entire running team was invited up on stage - 15 runners from eleven different countries. Colm, who coordinated the round-Ireland trip, talked about the Run and the inspiration he recieved from his adventures whilst on the round-Australia World Harmony Run last year to try something similiar here.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Eibhlin Byrne, gave a beautiful and inspiring speech about the need for events such as the World Harmony Run in troubled times such as these - here she is holding the torch with our World Harmony Run organiser, Paula Flood.
Brian from the Halleluia Gospel Choir gave a very soulful airing of the World Harmony Run Song composed by founder Sri Chinmoy, followed by another more impromptu rendition from the team.
The afternoon was then brought to a rousing close by the Halelluia Gospel Choir, who had the audience clapping and cheering as they sang some classic numbers.
I doubt we have ever met musicians who enjoyed getting up there and performing as much as this group - their joy and enthusiasm was really infectious and a great way to round off the concert. Thanks guys!
During the Gospel choir's performance, we made the torch available for the audience to hold and pass around from hand to hand.
Here is Utsav, with mum Sangita and Colm holding the torch.
The two Magee Harmony run coordinators, along with their brothers Keith and Aidan and mum Annette.
We would like to give a huge thanks to our sound co-ordinator Alex - here he is holding the torch with our entire team of runners and organisers.
That evening we had our own team dinner in Lotus Yoga on Wicklow Street, with delicious salads provided by Cornucopia and Blazing Salads, tofu steak and rice by Yamamori, and dessert by our very own Vanessa Boschetti from Brazil. Everyone was invited to say a little about what the Harmony Run meant to them. Rupashri sang a song on the guitar she had composed about the Irish Harmony Run, humorously namechecking the entire team. It was a wonderful evening, reminiscing about the beautiful experience we have just had.
On Saturday we visited some of the people who helped make the Run possible to thank them and give them a chance to hold the torch. The staff at Superquinn in Blanchardstown went a long way to ensure we were stocked with food and water around the entire country.
Total Fitness supplied us with towels and water bottles for the runners.
So many people all over the country joined in to make this run possible; that indeed was the original vision of the run's founder, Sri Chinmoy - that it be not just an isolated group of runners travelling around, but an initiative entire communities and countries could get behind. For those who say that individual people by themselves are incapable of great things, this Irish Harmony Run provided indelible proof that lots of little acts of kindness and self giving can add up to make an impossible sounding dream - 1400km around an entire country - a reality. Thank you so much to everyone who participated, helped out, or just held the torch and added their own silent support to those of the millions of people who had held it before them. Here's to seeing you all at the opening of the European leg of the Run in Dublin in 2010....
Adhiratha Keefe (USA), Boijayanti Gomez-Badillo (Puerto Rico), Kallola Brown (New Zealand), Rupashri Brown (New Zealand), Salil Wilson (Australia), Purnendu Knezevic (Serbia), Colm Magee (Ireland), Sundar Dalton (Ireland), Katka Purusova (Czech Republic), Svetlana Gorschkova (Russia), Baridhi Yonchev (Bulgaria), Aivaras Zydelis (Lithuania), Standa Zubaty (Czech Republic), Matthias Eckerle (Germany), Marina Chertaraeva (Russia), Vytautas Reinikis (Lithuania), Paula Flood (Ireland), Gary Foran (Ireland), Purohit Keaney (Ireland), Vanessa Boschetti (Brazil), Balavan Thomas (England)
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